In the biggest trade of the NHL season to date, the Columbus Blue Jackets have traded away former No. 4 overall pick Ryan Johansen to the Nashville Predators for another former No. 4 overall pick, defenseman Seth Jones.
Johansen, who had 59 goals over the previous two seasons combined and just six so far this year, had been falling out of favor in the Columbus organization and appeared to be an ill fit for new head coach John Tortorella. He was recently even made a healthy scratch. Additionally, the team had a severe deficiency on defense.
Jones, who Preds GM David Poile giddily selected fourth overall in 2013, was the No. 3 defenseman on the Predators, averaging nearly 20 minutes a night. He has 11 points in 40 games so far this season and boasts strong underlying numbers for a 21-year-old blueliner.
Johansen has one year remaining on his salary after this season at a cap hit of $4 million. He is owed $6 million in actual salary next year. Jones, meanwhile is on the last year of his entry-level contract and if the Jackets are smart, they'll lock him up long-term even though he'll be a restricted free agent.
Johansen has 193 points in 309 games, while Jones has 63 points in 199 NHL contests.
Both teams should get better from this, but it will be interesting to watch the trajectory of these two players over the coming years in their new surroundings.