The NHL is notorious for its endless trade deadline madness.
There are literally thousands of players that are available on every team, so why can’t the league just use that to its advantage and bring in the players it needs to make trades?
That said, there’s one team that has done a little better than most when it comes to keeping its top prospects.
This is the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the team has been able to keep most of its top talent with the help of their highly-regarded free agent class.
There’s been a handful of trades over the last few months, but this one seems to be the most intriguing.
Last year, the Blue Jackets signed former Detroit Red Wings winger Jyrki Jokipakka to a five-year, $36 million deal.
He has been an absolute monster for the Jackets, scoring 30 goals and 43 assists in 59 games.
The deal was good for $3.7 million per year for five years.
While he has yet to record a goal, the 23-year-old winger has helped the Jackets get to the playoffs for the first time in his career.
Jokipackka also has been a consistent threat for the Blue Jacket lineup this year, recording seven goals and 10 assists in 21 games.
That includes two goals and three assists in four playoff games.
This season, he has five goals and 12 assists in 23 games.
While that’s an improvement over last year, it’s still not a lot, and he still isn’t a star.
The Jackets were rumored to be interested in signing former Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kris Letang, who was the fourth-leading scorer for the Penguins last season.
They also had an interest in signing the Pittsburgh Penguins left winger Olli Maatta, who has played well in his first season with the Jackets.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s just talk about what the Blue Jays might be looking for.
The Jays are in need of a left-handed hitter.
Jays outfielder Jose Bautista was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft, but he hasn’t played a game since 2010.
Bautiston has never played a full season in the majors.
While his minor league career may not be as long as the Blue Jay’s, he is still a young outfielder and has been plagued with injuries.
The Jays could use a lefty bat, so they could consider the former Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Mark Buehrle.
The Blue Jays have some outfield depth, but that isn’t enough to keep Buehring in the lineup for long.
He’s owed $10 million over the next two seasons, and Toronto is also rumored to have interest in free agent shortstop Kevin Pillar.
The Blue Jays need help on the outfield.
They have only had seven players with at least 100 plate appearances this season, and they have only one with a .200 batting average or better.
Buehler, in fact, has been the Blue Jays worst hitter in 2016.
He hit .233 with one home run and seven RBIs in 46 games.
It’s not a great year for Buehner.
Buehler was the top-ranked prospect in the Bluejay organization, and while he wasn’t exactly a star, he still managed to have a good season.
He put up a .270/.346/.455 batting line in 2016, but with just five homers, he had just five more RBIs.
That was enough to give him a solid OPS, and with a low BABIP, it shouldn’t be too difficult to put up that kind of batting average.
Buhrer also has a strong arm, which helped him hit .310/.371/.500 in 2017.
He is a two-way player who can play third base or left field.
Buhrer’s career was interrupted by injury, and when he did play in 2017, he struggled.
He batted just .238 with seven homers and 22 RBIs, which was still good enough for him to have an average of .268.
He also hit just .237 with four homers and 16 RBIs during the Bluejays postseason run.
That’s still good for an OPS of .924, which is pretty good.
Buchanan, on the other hand, had a decent season, batting .281/.338/.464 in 553 plate appearances, but his OPS is .826.
He does have a high BABIP (.270) and can play any infield spot, so his OPS should go up with time.
The team also needs some power, and that’s where Buchanan could make an impact.
Bachan is a solid player, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make the team out of camp.
He had a solid season in 2016 at Double-A Trenton, but after he was sidelined for six months with a knee injury, he was sent to Double-AA Binghamton.
He didn’t hit anything over .200