The Ottawa Senators have traded Matt Duchene to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a first round draft pick and two prospects. The Blue Jackets will also receive defensemen Julius Bergman in the deal. Duchene will have a quick turnaround as Ottawa is playing Columbus Friday night and he is expected to make his debut versus his former team. The 28-year-old center has recorded 27 goals and 31 assists in 50 games during the 2018-2019 season. Columbus will be Duchene’s third team in two years as he was traded, to Ottawa, during the early part of the 2017-2018 season. The Blue Jackets, who have yet to win a playoff series in franchise history, are currently sitting one point back of the second wild card spot, and only two points back of the third spot in the Metropolitan division, with two games less played than those teams in front of them.
The Senators receive forward Vitalii Abramov, who was the 65th overall pick in the 2016 draft, along with forward Jonathan Davidsson who was drafted 170th overall in the 2017 draft. Ottawa currently has the worst record in the league and have really be in turmoil all year. Back in October, Duchene was a part of the group of seven Senator players who were recorded criticizing the team and assistant coaches. He is expected to be the first of many Senator players traded before Monday’s deadline.
The Blue Jackets are in an interesting position as they have a solid team, but cannot seem to put it all together. They were thought of as a mystery team this deadline with left winger Artemi Panarin and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky both expected to leave during free agency this summer. This move shows that they are serious about finally winning a playoff series and, with the talent they have, it would be no surprise for them to climb into the playoffs and upset a team or two.