COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In a way, Sunday's NHL Draft marks the start of a new era for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Now that the 2012-13 season is officially over, the Blue Jackets are headed for the Eastern Conference. And after a strong second half of last season that saw the club finishing just short of the playoffs, this weekend marks the first draft for the new leadership team of president John Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.
They're picking much later (No. 14 overall) in the first round than the Jackets have in recent years, but they enter the draft in a position of power -- and with plenty of options. The Jackets hold picks 14, 19 and 27 in the first round and the No. 44 overall pick just short of midway through the second.
In theory, anyway, having three first-round picks and four in the first 44 gives the Blue Jackets ammo to package multiple picks to either move up in the draft -- or trade one or more picks for an established veteran player.
"The talks are heating up...