The Columbus Blue Jackets aren’t done adding. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Blue Jackets have finalized a deal to acquire forward Ryan Dzingel from the Ottawa Senators. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Senators will trade Dzingel and the Calgary Flames 2019 seventh-round pick to Columbus for Anthony Duclair and two second-round picks, ones in 2020 and 2021.
For Columbus, general managers Jarmo Kekalainen continues to add to a team that has decided to go all-in and try to win a Stanley Cup, so far getting all his additions from Ottawa after the team acquired Matt Duchene from the Senators Friday. This almost guarantees that the team will hold onto forward Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky as own-rentals instead of trading them both away. This time, Columbus moves a pair of second-rounders to get Dzingel, who should add another key element to the team’s top-six and continue to move the rest of their team to strengthen the third and fourth lines.
Dzingel, who was one of three pending unrestricted free agents in Ottawa who didn’t want to commit to the Senators’ long-term, returns to Ohio where he played three years of college hockey at Ohio State University (and was a Hobey Baker award finalist), making him a legitimate candidate to potentially re-sign with the Blue Jackets this summer. There has been no discussion as of yet of an extension, however. The 26-year-old has 22 goals and a career-high 44 points and should make an instant impact next to Duchene.
For Ottawa, the team gets back forward Anthony Duclair, who Columbus’ head coach John Tortorella said on Tuesday, “I don’t think he knows how to play.” The 23-year-old Duclair is considered to be a talented scorer, but is now on his fifth team in his young career and there were rumors that he was a locker room distraction. He will get a final chance to develop into the player that many teams have thought they could get when they traded for him. Duclair posted a 20-goal season with Arizona in his rookie season back in the 2015-16 season, but tallied five goals after that and combined for 11 between Arizona and Chicago last year. He was not handed a qualifying offer and eventually signed a minimum-salaried deal with Columbus this summer. Duclair started off strong this season as he scored eight goals in his first 19 games of the season, but has seen his playing time drop considerably due to his lack of defense. With the available playing time that Ottawa will have after moving their top three players, the Senators should have the playing time to see if they can get Duclair to figure things out in the NHL.
The key to the deal is the two second-round picks. While it is often said that second-round picks pan out at a significantly less rate than first-rounders, the Senators managed to snag two of them, not including the 2019 first-round pick that Columbus gave Ottawa in the Duchene trade as well as a conditional first-rounder in 2020. With their recent trades (not including those including Mike Hoffman and Erik Karlsson) last summer, Ottawa could have as many as 16 picks in the first three rounds of the draft in the next three drafts, including five first-round picks, seven second-rounders and four third-round picks.