COLUMBUS — It’s hard to recall and bigger now-or-never gamble than the one the Columbus Blue Jackets are making this season.They’ve pushed all of their chips into the pot, trading away five of their six picks in the first three rounds of the next two drafts in order to stock their roster with potential unrestricted free agents who could walk away for nothing in the summer.Not only did the Jackets elect to keep their own impending UFAs, Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky, who are both likely to walk away this summer, but they doubled down at the trade deadline, shipping out more draft picks and assets for Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel, who are also eligible to become UFAs this summer.All this on a team that has never won a series in its history and as of right now is still fighting to even make the playoffs.Unless they win it all, which seems very unlikely given that the Tampa Bay Lightning will be standing in their way at some point, or most of those four high profile UFAs decide to re-sign, it could have a devastating impact for years to come.“I think we know the position we’re in right now, that people are kind of watching us after the deals,” said head coach John Tortotella. “It’s a little bit of different pressure on our team.”It’s A LOT of different pressure on that team. General manager Jarmo Kelalainen is taking a massive risk with this strategy, but with attendance sagging and the market in need of a boost, they’ve decided to worry about next year, next year.“We’re kind of supposed to win,” said Tortorella. “Because of so much scrutiny on the deadline and what our management team did, it’s like we’re supposed to.”They will still have some young quality pieces in Pierre-Luc Dubois, Seth Jones and Ryan Murray, which only makes you wonder why they are taking what almost looks like a panicked course of action. Keeping the picks and prospects they traded away for Duchene and Dzingel, and bringing in more for Panarin and Bobrovsky might have set them up better for the long-term future.Mortgaging the future for a Cup run now is always risky, but if they manage to come together and deliver on those expectations with at least a long playoff run, maybe things will work themselves out in the summer.“We’re supposed to have fun with this when you’re in a race like this,” said Tortorella. “I just want us to be happy that we’re under this type of pressure, not have it be a burden. This is the fun part, when the games mean something.”The fact they are 1-2 since the trade deadline, having lost 5-2 to a Pittsburgh team they are fighting with over the last playoff spot, and 4-0 to Edmonton only amps up the tension.Sometimes, it takes a little while for teams to adjust after significant change. Columbus went 0-3 after last year’s trade deadline, then went undefeated in 10 games, so maybe it will all come together for them soon.Or not.No pressure.NOT TO BESaturday marked a reunion between the Oilers and two players who could have been coming their way in a couple of recent high-profile drafts — Dubois and defenceman Ryan Murray.Those were the players either on the board or expected to be on the board when Edmonton drafted first overall in 2012 and fourth overall in 2016.In 2012, the Oilers went with high scoring winger Nail Yakupov at No.1, leaving Murray for the Jackets at No. 2. And four years later, thought they might be getting Dubois until the Jackets surprised everyone by passing on Jesse Puljujarvi and taking the Quebec League star instead.So far, Columbus is winning on both fronts, with Yakupov playing in the KHL after failing to live up to his potential in Edmonton, Colorado and St. Louis, while Puljujarvi, who now needs hip surgery, is rotting on the vine in Edmonton.Murray has been oft-injured, only playing more than 66 games once in the last five seasons and he is out again (indefinitely, they say) after an upper-body injury against Tampa Bay last week. This was his best season by far, though, as he already set career-highs with 28 assists and 29 points in 56 games.Dubois is centring the Blue Jackets top line and has 102 points in 146 career games, including 54 in 63 games this year. He is the sixth-leading scorer to come out of the 2016 draft behind Auston Matthews (191), Patrik Laine (176), Matt Tkachuk (158), Alex DeBrincat (116) and Clayton Keller (108).Puljujarvi has 37 points in 139 games.E-mail: email@example.comOn Twitter: @Rob_TychkowskiLatest Oil Spills podcast: Oilers play it safe on trade deadline dayThe Edmonton Oilers did not make a deal at the NHL’s trade deadline. Derek Van Diest and Jim Matheson talk about why that may be, and whether making a trade before the deadline is really worth it.Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Google Play or Soundcloud. You can also listen via the player below.