How highly did the Blue Jackets value defenseman Ryan Murray before taking him with the No. 2 overall pick in Friday's first round of the NHL Draft? Enough to turn down an eye-opening offer from the New York Islanders, who, according to numerous NHL sources, offered all of their picks -- one in each round -- for the right to move up from No. 4 to No. 2 for Murray.
That's right, for the Jackets' No. 2 pick, the Islanders offered pick Nos. 4, 34, 65, 103, 125, 155 and 185. The bounty would have given the Jackets the following picks: 4, 31, 34, 62, 65, 95, 103, 125, 152, 155, 182 and 185. And if that weren't enough, the Jackets could have had the Kings' No. 30 if they wanted it.
Next week's development camp would have required two sheets of ice.
Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson offered a "no comment" when reached by The Dispatch late Sunday. After Friday's first round, he did mention a "very attractive" trade offer the Blue Jackets declined before selection Murray, a precocious prospect whom many think could play in the NHL this season.
The Islanders, unable to move up for Murray, drafted highly-touted defenseman Griffin Reinhart with the No. 4 pick. But they didn't stop there. The Islanders spent all seven of their picks on defensemen.
-- Aaron Portzline
I would've taken that in a heartbeat. With the sheer quantity of defensive prospects in the first round (high first round no less) I would think you'd still get a very high quality player at #4 and with the opportunity to double up the whole rest of the draft? I seriously don't know how you say no to that. Whatever loss you take from dropping two spots you pick up in un-told # of prospects who pan out for effectively doubling your odds of having a productive draft.