Last summer, the Columbus Blue Jackets made a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks to acquire forward Artemi Panarin, but now he may be on his way out. Elliotte Friedman recently took to Twitter, saying that Panarin will not be talking contract extension with the Blue Jackets right now. He has one more season on his contract before becoming a free agent next summer, so trade options could be explored.

Could this mean that the Jackets might decide to trade Panarin? If the Jackets don't get him to talk about a contract extension, it may be in their best interest to trade him for value before he potentially walks away in free agency.

With the way he has produced, it seems likely that Panarin wants to test the market when he becomes a free agent to make as much as possible. He will be making $6 million this upcoming season after making the same amount last season.

Panarin's value

Ever since coming to the NHL in 2015-2016, Panarin has been very productive as a scorer with good agility and puck-handling skills. In three NHL seasons he has scored 88 goals and 233 points in 243 games. Last year he tallied a career-high 82 points in his first year as a Blue Jacket.

In his rookie season he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as he was recognized for his talent early on. He is currently 26 years old and in the prime of his career, which makes him a very valuable asset.

When he was traded to Chicago last year, the return was solid two-way player Brandon Saad, prospect goalie Anton Forsberg and a fifth-round pick.

The Blackhawks also included prospect Tyler Motte and a sixth-round pick in the deal. Trading Panarin could net Columbus several assets in return should a trade materialize.

Odds of a trade happening

The Athletic's Columbus Blue Jackets beat writer Aaron Portzline quoted Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen on Twitter regarding the rumors.

Kekalainen said that they want to extend Panarin, but they will do what they feel is best for their team in the end. It certainly appears that he is not denying the possibility of them trading Panarin, but there is still a possibility that he could sign an extension.

Right now, only time will tell. Meanwhile, the NHL Draft is coming up, which is a time for a lot of trades to be made. Then again, it also depends on Panarin and his desire to talk about a contract extension, as well as what he wants for his future. What Panarin does will ultimately determine how the Blue Jackets proceed moving forward.