Idle Spec: WWGD? What would you trade for the 8th pick?

General manager Scott Howson has a window of opportunity. The conventional wisdom is he is offering the No. 8, perhaps in a package, in exchange for immediate help. They need it. How many legitimate top-six forwards do the Blue Jackets have at this point? Two or three?

>>Columbus Dispatch, your favorite source for Columbus hockey news

This is far from the first time I've seen this scuttlebutt. So it got me mulling a topic that many of you will find meaningless -- counterproductive, even -- but some of us will find fun as a thought exercise. Not that the Islanders are in the business of giving up established prime-era or young players for draft picks, but since everyone is hot on the draft at the moment, let's have at it anyway: Suppose the #8 pick is available. What would you do if you're Columbus? What would Garth Snow do if for some reason he wanted that pick?

Who would you offer? What would be your purpose? (i.e. to get two top 10 picks, or to try to move up/move down?) And if they really expect an established top six forward, are the Jackets crazy? Perhaps most importantly, is there anything you'd offer that you think Columbus would actually be interested in?

A few more references after the jump:

[By the way, if you read the full article in which this bit comes from, SBN's Blue Jackets blog The Cannon has a response.]

Recent NHL 8th Overall Picks

2010 - Alexander Burmistrov (Atlanta)
2009 - Scott Glennie (Dallas)
2008 - Mikkel Boedker (Phoenix)
2007 - Zach Hamill (Boston)
2006 - Peter Mueller (Phoenix)
2005 - Devin Setoguchi (San Jose)
2004 - Alexandre Picard (Columbus)
2003 - Braydon Coburn (Atlanta)
2002 - Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Minnesota)

There are some really nice players there -- but none who were certainties without concern or stop-and-start development. Meanwhile, there are lots of potentially exciting players in this month's top 10 draft-eligible prospects. There always are -- when they're 18.

(But hey! We could be talking about adding a Couturier and a Hamilton here! Or a Hamilton and a Bartschi here! A Zabinejad and a ... you get the idea.)

Still, when I look at that list, all I can think of is: Who would give up a real top-six forward for odds like that? There's honestly not an Islanders forward I would offer (that I think Columbus would accept) for that pick. I know the Isles have question marks in some of their future or developing forwards, but this would be dealing one current question mark for another five years down the road.

So I'm thinking, given the conditions, there's no way a true lottery team is a match. Columbus is probably hoping for a cap-maxed team (Philadelphia?) to bite, or else their chances of getting an established quality forward are slim.. Which maybe brings us full circle to, "Why did you just post this, you time-wasting bastard?"

But if June is for anything, it's for fantasy GM'ing the draft. Maybe there's a more elaborate combo up your sleeve. The floor is open. Get creative, have at it -- or tell me to get back to work.

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