The Columbus Blue Jackets might wait until the last minute to trade their second overall draft pick Friday in Pittsburgh.
Not that Scott Howson will definitely do that, but according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Jackets’ GM is fielding lots of calls about the second pick and “seems almost excited to trade it.”
Howson tells Portzline “it’s going to depend a little with what goes on with the first pick before we can make a decision.”
Obviously Howson won’t know what he’s got to trade until Edmonton makes its selection. The consensus No. 1 prospect is Nail Yakupov, though speculation is growing the Oilers will take defenseman Ryan Murray.
Murray is one of many highly touted blue-liners in the draft, so if the Oilers take Yakupov and Howson wants to draft a defenseman, maybe he’s fine with taking whoever’s still available a few sports later in return for an additional pick or two.
On the other hand, if the Oilers take Murray, Howson’s arguably got a bigger chip to play in Yakupov. Granted, if he plans to trade Rick Nash at some point, he might want to hold on to the talented Russian winger.