The Columbus Blue Jackets have the No. 8 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, but general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said he is interested in picking sooner Friday night.
"I've talked to every other team ahead of us to see if there's a chance [of a trade], what the chance might be, and what it would take," Kekalainen said Thursday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., according to the Blue Jackets website. "I think we're in a good situation with what we have. We have a lot of forwards on our reserve list right now too. It's an exciting time for us."
The first round of the draft will be held at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports); rounds 2-7 will be Saturday (10 a.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports).
Kekalainen, who has been the general manager of the Blue Jackets since February 2013, appears to anticipate making a move either before or during the draft.
"It seems to always heat up and the frequency of phone calls gets a little higher the closer you get to the draft," he said. "We're about 24 hours away, a little more than that, and it's starting to get there. We've been up since 7:00 this morning trying to figure out what we need to do, and how we need to get it done.
???There could be something done before [Friday], too. But I think the optimal situation would be, in our case, we see [who is] available at [No. 8] and then get to 5 or 6 and see if it's there anymore or if we have to move to 6 to get him. But at the end of the day, 6 might not be available at that time anymore."
The Edmonton Oilers have the No 1 pick. The Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers round out the top seven, prior to the Blue Jackets' first selection at No. 8.
Columbus has six of the first 69 picks in the draft, and it could use that flexibility to trade up. But Kekalainen also isn't against keeping the picks to add young talent.
"It's to stockpile young assets, and if we give up too many of those to move up a few spots, we might get top quality but it takes away from the depth of the organization," he said.