Mark Letestu to Blue Jackets in Three-Team Deal.
The Edmonton Oilers traded center Mark Letestu to the Nashville Predators for forward Pontus Aberg. The Predators then dealt Letestu to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fourth-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers part with a center in Letestu who no longer fit into their future plans. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer. They wanted to get faster on the wing and Aberg should help in that regard. He struggled with consistency in Nashville but perhaps he’ll blossom skating alongside Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Letestu returns to Columbus, where he spent nearly four seasons from 2011-12 to 2014-15. He’s a versatile veteran checking line forward who can skate at center or on the wing. The Blue Jackets needed some help at center and the 33-year-old Letestu should be a decent fit, though he won’t do much to bolster their scoring.
This is the second three-team deal involving the Predators this season, having acquired Kyle Turris from Ottawa last November in the deal that saw the Colorado Avalanche ship Matt Duchene to the Senators. It’s an interesting move, shipping out Aberg and his $650K cap hit but also bringing in a fourth-round pick. Perhaps general manager David Poile is setting the stage for a bigger move before Monday’s 3 pm ET trade deadline. It’s well known he’s in the market for a top-six winger. Stay tuned.