The Columbus Blue Jackets have made another trade, this time with the Florida Panthers, receiving Cliff Pu for our Markus Nutivaara. (https://www.jacketscannon.com/2020/10/8/21508278/columbus-blue-jackets-trade-markus-nutivaara-to-florida-panthers-for-cliff-pu) This trade comes just a day before free agency opens up on October 9th. Selected 189th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft 7th round, he has always been a Blue Jacket, but at age 26 he will soon be a Panther’s Defender. His best season by far was in his 2017 – 2018 season with the Blue Jacket program, while on ice for a total 61 games, he scored 7 goals of his own and assisted on 16 more. The next season, 2018 – 2019 he played 19 more games for a total of 80, but scored 2 less goals, assisting on the same amount. In this most recent season, 2019 – 2020, and his final he only saw ice for 37 games, scoring 3 goals of his own and assisting on just 6. no doubt Nutivaara is a strong player, but his time dipped as other players rose to fame.
As for Pu, he was drafted by the Buffalo Sabers in the 2016 Entry Level NHL Draft, third round, 68th overall. Since then he has made his way around the Ontario Hockey League, American Hockey League, and East Coast Hockey League. He hasn’t seen action to note in the NHL itself, but has served his time well preparing in the minors. His most notable season came with the London Knights in the 2016 – 2017 season, where he scored 35 goals of his own and assisted on another 51, doing this ins just 63 games! In his following season of 2017 – 2018 he scored 16 goals and assisted with 29, only seeing ice in 36 games, also as a London Knight. Not long after this his numbers drop off, but being a Right Wing, if we put him in our mix we could se a great advantage to our newest trade prospect, his stats prove this.
With Nutivaara having a higher hit cap of $2.7 Million and 2 years remaining in contract, his potential to shine as a Defenseman elsewhere, with less competition for a defensive start, makes it logical for us not to keep and hold him back. Pu at just a $745,000 hit cap with only a year remaining in an ECL contract, in the Right Wing position, is another great trade to beef up our offence, and we can’t wait to see him dawn a CBJ Jersey!