1. Kent Johnson – Columbus Blue Jackets
While many Flames fans on social media have joked about a reunion with Johnny Gaudreau from the Columbus Blue Jackets, they’re certainly a team that Calgary should be dealing with and after his demotion to the AHL, their biggest target should be Kent Johnson.
There’s obviously something missing or something going wrong in Columbus, as Johnson has shown flashes of superstar potential in the NHL, but the 21-year-old is yet to put together sustained success at the NHL level. In 2022-23, he played in 79 games for the Blue Jackets, tallying a solid 16 goals and 40 points. With the right linemates, he has the potential to be a genuine top-six centre in the NHL.
While the Blue Jackets may not want to give him up this early, it’s clear that something just isn’t clicking with the organization, and if they wish to reunite Gaudreau with Elias Lindholm for a top line of Gaudreau-Lindholm-Laine, this would be the player Calgary should be targeting, as he could be a centrepiece of their rebuild for years to come.