The second overall pick at the 2012 NHL draft is, as they say, in play.
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson confirmed as much this morning on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
“We’ve certainly listened to people. We’ve had a couple of expressions of interest on the pick in terms of moving down,” Howson said. “We wouldn’t want to move too far down so we’ll just see how it plays out next week. Traditionally, and if history repeats itself, teams get a little more serious about exchanging picks as we get closer to the draft on the draft floor.”
He added: “We’d be open to any suggestions.”
Should Nail Yakupov go first overall (to either the Oilers or the team they trade the pick to), potential second picks include D Ryan Murray, C Mikhail Grigorenko, C Alex Galchenyuk and C Filip Forsberg.
There’s also a chance Edmonton goes against the consensus and overlooks Yakupov to add help on the blue line, e.g. Murray.
If Howson covets Yakupov, maybe the Oilers and Jackets swap picks. (Rampant speculation is fun.)
At any rate, Howson should be making and taking plenty of calls before next Friday’s first round in Pittsburgh. He’ll likely deal Rick Nash at some point this summer, and he desperately needs goaltending help.