This morning, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they have traded Vitali Abramov, Jonathan Davidsson, and two conditional 1st-round draft picks (2019/2020) in exchange for the Ottawa Senators’ top center Matt Duchene and Julius Bergman. While this isn’t necessarily Caps news, it is something to be aware of. Columbus is going all-in. We could potentially have a round-two with them and their newly acquired fire power.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) February 22, 2019
Formerly drafted by the Colorado Avalanche, Duchene blew up in his early years as an incredible playmaker. With other stars like their captain Gabriel Landeskog and the “fastest-skater-with-the-puck” Nathan MacKinnon taking over as the face of the Avs, they were pretty stacked at the time and pushed Duchene to the backseat. He eventually went through a rough patch with the club and decided to request a trade. He got what he wished for and was traded to Ottawa. The Senators have been a struggling team for quite a while now, especially this year, placing dead last in the Eastern Conference. In hopes of getting a hold of some young stars, they put Duchene up for grabs and the Blue Jackets were happy to scoop him up.
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Columbus has been a thorn in the Capitals’ side for the past few years and solidified the rivalry after mocking Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s bird celebration after their first 2018-2019 regular season win over the team. If these two clubs meet in the post-season, the Caps must be aware of Duchene’s talent he adds to Columbus’ scoring abilities. Fast skater, quick hands, and some incredible hand-eye coordination; definitely a player to watch out for.
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Columbus now has a pretty stacked center core. They have Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alexander Wennberg, Riley Nash, Boone Jenner (flex), Brandon Dubinsky, Lukas Sedlak, and now Matt Duchene. My guess is that Sedlak is scratched to fit Duchene in their lineup. Down the middle would be Dubois-Duchene-Wennberg-Dubinsky, Jenner is currently on the wing so he’ll probably stay put. They’re going to be a huge threat in the playoffs.