The Jackets came into this season with the understanding that this would be a retool year for them. With a core that didn't look like they could compete along with a deep draft, the Jackets were expected to sink to the bottom. However, the Jackets have once again played to their strength and have been playing as one cohesive unit. Everyone contributes and has responsibilites at both ends of the ice. They are currently only 2 points behind their dvision leader and hold 3 games in hand on them, and 2 points behind 2nd place in the divisionwith 2 games in hand on them. With that in mind the Jackets made the decision to add a couple of upgrades to their core. 

Upgrade 1

Mackenzie Weegar was brought in by trading Connor Murphy, a 2nd, a 4th and 500k. The Jackets also got Tyler Pitlick in this deal. Weegar is an excellent two-way d-man who already has a pivotal role on the top powerplay and penalty killing units. He has helped take some of the pressure off of Forsling and Pulock and will look to continue to do so.

 

Upgrade 2 

Varlamov's ratings were getting lower and lower as the season progressed, and it was hard to imagine he'd keep up the pace in the sim, so the Jacketstraded him, a 3rd and Talyn Boyko for Freddie Andersen. He has elite core ratings and is a definitive upgrade. His DU is cause for concern so his starts will be regulated, but he should be a strong backbone for the Jackets.

 

Upgrade 3

The Jackets offence and powerplay were starting to sputter, so by trading Max Jones, a 4th and 6th and Reese Johnson the Jackets brought in Ryan Hartman. He will be playing top 5v5 minutes and onthe top powerplay as the Jackets look to spark their offence. He shoudl fit nicely on a line with Jack Eichel.

All of these trades have 1 thing in common, no big time assets now or in the future were given up. Some solid pieces fo sure, but the Jackets feel that none of them were critical pieces for the club. The best part of all this? Even with all the upgrades the Jackets still have 3 million dollars in cap space that will only continue to grow as the season progresses, so we may see further upgrades to the Blue Jackets core.