NATIONWIDE ARENA - On the eve of the Christmas trade freeze, the Columbus Blue Jackets have announced a trade of futures with the Washington Capitals, GM Emerson's former club.
Heading to the Caps is 25-year-old Russian defenceman Alexei Emelin. Coming to Columbus in return is 20-year-old defenceman Brian Dumoulin, a Junior with Boston College of Hockey East (NCAA), along with a late pick in 2013.
Emelin has made a name in this, his rookie NHL season, by hitting everything that moves for the Montreal Canadiens (NHL). With his size, mobility and aggression he's a breath of fresh air for a Habs blueline that all-too-often has been pushed around by the opposition. He gives Washington a young, affordable player who can step into the lineup and play significant minutes in a defensive capacity next season.
Dumoulin is a smooth all-around blueliner who at 6-4, 210 could stand to add another 10-15 pounds of muscle as his body matures. He was part of BC's National Championship team in his freshman year, and was selected as the best defensive defenceman in Hockey East last season. This season Dumoulin is leading HE in scoring from the blueline with 14 points in 18 games, and with luck will help his conference-leading Eagles to another National Championship.
Already a Junior at 20, he's expected to complete his college career next year before turning pro, where he will join fellow collegian Justin Schultz and CHLer Dougie Hamilton on the Jackets' future blueline.
Last edited by Ohio Jones: 12-23-2011 at 02:18 PM.
The Blue Jackets continued to makes moves with their defensive depth, but this time it's not futures but some immediate help they're looking for.
Heading to the Dallas Stars is young stay-at-home blueliner Mike Sauer. The 24 year old is on a good contract and has proven a solid presence in his own end.
Coming back is veteran checking forward (and former Jacket) Chris Kelly. It's hoped that the 31 year old will help solidify a penalty kill that has been surprisingly porous in the season's early going. With a two-year deal, Kelly will also give the Jackets some options this summer with pending free agents Dominic Moore and Scottie Upshall.
This move, combined with the recent trade of Alexei Emelin, makes it more likely that veteran blueliner Marek Zidlicky will have his contract extended another year. It also means that the Blue Jackets have made a stron organizational commitment to building their defence around mobile, puck-moving blueliners.
Last edited by Ohio Jones: 12-28-2011 at 03:21 PM.