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Quick Hits: Jarmo Kekalainen Pre-Draft

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen met with reporters prior to the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, which takes place tonight (starting at 7 p.m. ET) at BB&T Center. The Blue Jackets are scheduled to make their first pick at No. 8 overall.

The following is a summary of Kekalainen's comments:

Asked if anything has transpired recently that gives him optimism of making a deal:
“It’s going to heat up once we get the draft floor. We’ve had some conversations throughout the day, but nothing has changed. The price is pretty steep. Like I said yesterday, we’re not going to go crazy. We think we’re going to get a very good player at (No. 8), so it would be that player and additional picks to move up in the draft. It’s a pretty steep price.”

On if he’s less hopeful of moving up in the draft than he was yesterday:
“I don’t know. We’ll see if it’s real or if they just wanted to find out if somebody will overpay and want to move up. I don’t think we’re willing to overpay. We’re willing to do a fair deal, but in our minds, that hasn’t been put in front of us yet.”

On if he would be content to make the pick at No.8:
“Absolutely. I’ve said all along that 8, 34, 38, 58, 68 ad 69 that we have great opportunity to get some real good players into our depth chart in this draft.”

On trade talks with Arizona to potentially move up:
“I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of how we could accomplish that. I don’t want to overpay. We need these six picks; we acquired (the picks) thinking that this was going to be a great draft. And they have a lot of value for us. We can stock our depth chart with those picks. In order to give up those picks or some of those picks, we’ve got to know where we’re going.”

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