Preds make a power move for a top line center
Finding a top line center has always eluded this franchise for whatever reason. They’ve never had trouble stacking high quality defensemen and having outstanding goaltending (Thank you Pekka Rinne), but having elite talent at the center position has been a struggle.
That’s why in early January of 2016 the trade for Ryan Johansen was so massive. The Predators were trading one-for-one Seth Jones to the Blue Jackets for Johansen to hopefully fix their issues at center.
Trading away your former 4th-overall pick from just three years prior is a bold move, especially considering Jones was actually pretty solid in his first two seasons by playing 159 games and logging 52 points.
However, getting Johansen who had just put up 71 points in the prior season for Columbus was huge at the time. And Johansen brought instant results to the Predators as they formed the formidable “JoFA Line” with Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg, and would make an uexpected run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017.
As for Jones, he also went on to be beneficial to Columbus for a few seasons, including a fourth-place finish in the Norris Trophy voting in 2018. A win-win for both teams in this trade, but I give the slight edge to the Predators because Johansen is still producing top-six minutes for the Predators currently in 2022.