Seth Jones was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday for Adam Boqvist, a first-round pick (No. 12) and a second-round selection (No. 44) at the 2021 NHL Draft, and a first-round pick in the 2022 or 2023 NHL Draft.
The Blackhawks also received a first-round pick (No. 32, originally belonging to the Tampa Bay Lightning) and a sixth-round selection in the 2022 NHL Draft.
If Chicago’s first-round pick in 2022 is one of the top two selections, the Blue Jackets will receive the Blackhawks’ first-round pick in 2023.
Jones, a 26-year-old defenseman, has one season remaining on the six-year, $32.4 million contract ($5.4 million annual average value) he signed June 29, 2016. He did not plan to sign a contract extension with the Blue Jackets and said he would “weigh every option possible,” according to reports.
“He did not want to sign an extension with the Blue Jackets with one year remaining on his contract, so we decided to do the best we could to get the return that we need to continue to grow as a franchise,” Columbus president of hockey operations John Davidson told ESPN. “Seth’s a great guy, he’s a great player, he had every right in the world to do what he did, and I don’t hold [anything] against him one bit. I know he loves this place, but he made a decision personally and professionally for himself. With us, we spent days and days trying to put a deal together.”
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Jones has scored 223 points (50 goals, 173 assists) in 381 NHL games since the Blue Jackets acquired him in a trade with the Nashville Predators for center Ryan Johansen on Jan. 6, 2016. Jones scored 28 points (five goals, 23 assists) in 56 games this season, when Columbus (18-26-12) tied the Detroit Red Wings for seventh in the eight-team Discover Central Division and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in five seasons.
“I think it’s a situation that you only get it once in your lifetime and, yeah, there’s a lot of pressure and people are looking at you from all over,” Jones said May 10. “I really have to take a step back and think about what I want. I could very well be here, but I’m just unwinding right now, and I’ll obviously be in touch with [general manager] Jarmo [Kekalainen] very soon.
“I’m definitely not making a decision right now. I’m here for another year. I plan to be here for another year, and we’ll see where that goes.”
The Blue Jackets traded the second-round pick they received from the Blackhawks to the Carolina Hurricanes for 23-year-old defenseman Jake Bean.
Brad Larsen was named Columbus coach June 10 after the Blue Jackets announced May 9 that John Tortorella would not return after six seasons. Forward Patrik Laine can become a restricted free agent July 28. Forward Nick Foligno was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of a three-team deal with the San Jose Sharks on April 11, when Columbus acquired a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, forward Artemi Panarin and center Matt Duchene left in free agency after the 2018-19 season. Forward Pierre-Luc Dubois was traded to the Winnipeg Jets for Laine on Jan. 23. Forward Josh Anderson was traded to the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 6 for center Max Domi and a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
“We hope to, as quickly as you can and as best as you can, draft, develop, continue to do what we do,” Davidson said. “I think Columbus is a great city, all the players who are here love this place and we’re going to get a lot of good young ones coming in here. It’s going to be fun to watch this.”
Jones joins his brother in Chicago; defenseman Caleb Jones was traded to the Blackhawks by the Edmonton Oilers on July 12 as part of the deal for defenseman Duncan Keith.
Boqvist has one season remaining on the entry-level contract he signed with Chicago on July 1, 2018. The defenseman, who turns 21 on Aug. 15, scored 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 35 games this season.
Selected by Chicago with the No. 8 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Boqvist has scored 29 points (six goals, 23 assists) in 76 regular-season games and no points in eight playoff games.