Vanek is the definition of a trade deadline rental, and will play for his eighth club in Columbus. Last season he brought the Detroit Red Wings a third-round pick, but Vancouver decided to target a young player instead.
In Motte, the Canucks receive a 22-year old center that was only acquired by Columbus last summer. Part of the Brandon Saad–Artemi Panarin trade, he looked like a player who could compete for a fourth-line spot and perhaps move up the lineup if his offensive potential started to show. The former Michigan Wolverine scored 32 goals in 38 games in his final NCAA season, but has just 12 points in 64 career NHL games.
Jokinen will be joining his fourth team of the season, and is just a body to even out some of the salary in the deal. After being bought out by the Florida Panthers last offseason, he signed a $1.1MM deal with Edmonton before being flipped for Mike Cammalleri early in the year. He was then claimed off waivers by the Blue Jackets, and now flipped again to Vancouver. The veteran forward can play multiple positions, but has just seven points on the season and looks close to being out of the league entirely.
Vanek looks like a great fit in Columbus, who have needed some help on the powerplay all season. After finding chemistry with Brock Boeser in Vancouver this year, Vanek has 41 points in 61 games and can still be a healthy offensive contributor in a sheltered role. The 34-year old was once one of the league’s very best goal scoring threats, but will only be needed to be a secondary option on a deep Blue Jackets roster.