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June 15, 2012 | 10:47am ET
Jackets could move No.2 pick
TheFourthPeriod.com

According to the Ottawa Sun, Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson could be looking to trade the second-overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, as the pick has already garnered interest from around the league.

"We've certainly listened to people. We've had a couple of expressions of interest on the pick in terms of moving down," Howson told the Sun. "We wouldn't want to move too far down so we'll just see how it plays out next week. Traditionally, and if history repeats itself, teams get a little more serious about exchanging picks as we get closer to the draft on the draft floor."

Howson has openly admitted to be looking for ways to upgrade his team, especially after a dreadful 2011-12 season.

While the GM is open to dealing his top pick if the right offer is made, he is also aware that moving a high draft pick can be quite challenging.

"We'd be open to any suggestions," Howson added. "It's not an easy trade to trade out of the two slot, or one slot or three slot for that matter."

Howson may not find the right offer for his No. 2 pick, but he knows he needs to be adding talent to the franchise, most likely exploring the market to add forwards through trades, draft and free agency as his blueline looks to be the strongest part of his roster.

He could do so by trading captain Rick Nash, who revealed he wanted out of Columbus in January.

The Columbus Dispatch has reported that at least seven teams have had "significant" trade discussions with Howson about the 27-year-old forward during the past 10 days.

Three or four of these interested parties have reportedly already dug deeper to find out what the cost for Nash would be.

Teams who are known to hold interest in Nash are the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers, and Toronto Maple Leafs, who all expressed a desire to acquire Nash at the February trade deadline.

The Carolina Hurricanes have apparently jumped into the mix as a late entry in the Nash sweepstakes.

However, the Jackets have set high demands from the start and some GMs could find the price tag too costly.

The Dispatch expects Nash to get traded next Thursday or Friday as the first-round picks kick off in Pittsburgh. Nash could also be moved after the beginning of free agency on July 1.

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