A brutal season for the Columbus Blue Jackets culminated in worse news for fans as star defenseman Seth Jones reportedly informed the team that he does not intend to sign an extension when his contract ends after the 2021-22 NHL season. So, rather than risk losing Jones for nothing at the end of next season, the Jackets will almost certainly look to deal him. The odds of Jones leaving the Blue Jackets by trade are quite high.
The Blue Jackets finished last in the Central Division and only three teams in the league had worse records, while Jones had his lowest points per game total (.50) since he was traded to Columbus in the 2015-16 season.
Jones’ underlying numbers were also worse than his career average. He posted a second-percentile wins above replacement percentage (WAR%) and his team had a 45.52 expected goals for percentage (xGF%) at even strength with him on the ice. That xGF% ranked him 144th out of 171 defensemen who played more than 500 minutes this season.
And while those stats don’t necessarily increase the likelihood that he will be traded, it could affect which teams might be interested in acquiring him.
For more hockey betting content, head over to our NHL page.
Check out Seth Jones odds in the chart below:
Seth Jones odds: Where will Jones play next season?
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+140|
|Detroit Red Wings||+500|
Odds as of June 8 at Bovada
Seth Jones prop bet: Where will Jones be traded?
Columbus Blue Jackets (+140)
At +140, the implied odds of Jones staying put in Columbus are at 41.67 percent according to Odds Shark’s odds calculator. Oddsmakers believe that there is almost a 60 percent chance that Jones gets traded and we believe it could be even higher than that.
With Jones making his intentions clear, and public, he has essentially given the green light for a trade. Otherwise, he could have stayed quiet, played out the final year of his deal and walked into free agency. He has prepped the team and fan base for a departure sooner than that.
Now the Blue Jackets need a dance partner. Jones has a no-trade clause in his contract that allows him to make a list of 10 teams he cannot be traded to – limiting the field to 21 potential landing spots (including Seattle).
Among those teams, it is possible a team would like to acquire Jones as a rental. But the Blue Jackets obviously would prefer not to get the kind of return a rental would fetch – meaning they will need to find a trade partner who intends to sign Jones to an extension.
While the landing spots are somewhat limited, Columbus only needs one interested team to make a deal. We see a trade as being far more likely than Columbus holding on to the player and letting him walk for nothing.
Philadelphia Flyers (+275)
Philly defenseman Matt Niskanen’s sudden retirement last year left a sizable hole in the Flyers’ back end and that contributed to an NHL-worst 3.52 goals against per game compared to the seventh-fewest goals against per game the season prior.
The Flyers were one of the league’s most disappointing teams and there is plenty of speculation that a big shakeup could be on the way. The Flyers have several good young forwards and only a couple of players (Claude Giroux and Kevin Hayes) with no-move clauses.
The underlying numbers show Jones may not be able to help the defensive woes all on his own, but those numbers are not always a priority for team like the Flyers that is under pressure to rebound from a down season. This is a logical destination.
Edmonton Oilers (+275)
Like the Flyers were, the Oilers could be left with a big hole on defense with both Tyson Barrie and Adam Larsson set to hit the open market this offseason. Edmonton is in more of a win-now mode than the Flyers might be, and losing one or both of Larsson and Barrie could really ramp up general manager Ken Holland’s sense of urgency to find a big-name replacement.
Edmonton would likely have to give up a top defensive prospect or two, but Jones might fit the team’s timeline better anyway. Jones’ brother, Caleb, is already on the Oilers roster – making Edmonton a potentially attractive destination for Seth.
Long Shot: Los Angeles Kings
Though Los Angeles is not on this list, the Athletic’s Aaron Portzline, who covers the Blue Jackets, reported that the Kings are the supposed front-runners to land Jones. It seems it is only a matter of time before the Kings end up in Bovada’s list.
You can see why the Kings are a logical destination: they have a cupboard stocked with prospects and draft picks and can easily put together an attractive package. The only question is whether the Kings want to give up a boat load so early into their rebuild process. We had the same doubts when wondering whether they would be interested in Jack Eichel.
Portzline also listed the Blackhawks and Canadiens as teams that could be interested. Look for them to pop up in Seth Jones prop bets.
Best Bet: Philadelphia Flyers
Without the L.A. Kings or other teams being on the list, the Flyers are the best bet in Seth Jones odds. Philadelphia can put together a package of picks and prospects, and will likely be the most desperate team on the list to make a major shakeup on the back end.
The idea of pairing Jones with fellow defenseman Ivan Provorov would be very enticing for Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher. For now, we like the Flyers as the best bet in the Seth Jones odds market.
Doc's Picks Service
Need more winning picks? Get $60 worth of premium member picks from Doc’s Sports – a recognized leader and trusted name in sports handicapping since 1971.