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December 31-in-31: Columbus Blue Jackets

The 31-in-31 Offseason Series is an annual event here at DobberProspects! Every dayin December we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s prospect depth chart, riser & fallers, and top prospect ranking. 


Much like the rest of the league, the Blue Jackets have remained dormant over the past few weeks. Until there are concrete plans in place – which seem to be well in the works – teams have remained wary to commit to anything too hasty. As mentioned in my November installment, they were successful in attaining their number one priority – a top-six center, who could enhance their offensive production. Since then, a few names have been floating around Ohio, most notably Mike Hoffman and Mikael Granlund. However, unless they can ink either on friendly contracts or move some money around, both sound like a bit of a pipe-dream at the moment. 

In regards to in house moves, they have managed to lock everyone up, with the exception of the most important of the lot – Pierre-Luc Dubois. This is certainly one of the contributing factors for staying quiet, as they currently sit with nine-million (and change) in cap-space and a substantial portion of that will likely go their top-line pivot. Once that deal is behind them, the club should have a better idea of who they can and cannot chase. 

As far as prospects go, the Jackets enter the 2020-21 campaign with open slots and a general idea of who will slot into them. Thanks to an abundance of injury problems, the club saw an unsettling amount of new faces last season, which can be viewed as both a negative or a positive. Opportunity was certainly had for some, and a few rose above expectations, potentially changing the short term outlook of their hockey careers and solidifying NHL roles for 2020-21. 

Here is a look at what we can expect going forward. 

First, the graduating players. These are names that were given ample opportunity last season, and will certainly be a shoo-in for NHL deployment. They are likely to live out their sophomore campaigns and say farewell to their “prospect” labels. 

Elvis Merzlikins (G) – Despite a disappointing start to the season (0-4-4), Elvis took the league by storm, taking over the reins on New Year’s Eve and starting what would be a phenomenal 13-5-4 run.

It is without a doubt that the Latvian netminder finds himself with at least half of the games this season, and depending on how they go about working their tandem, could see more. He has solidified himself as a bonafide NHL goaltender and is set to see out the remainder of his prospect status this season. 

Emil Bemström (RW) – Coming off a dominant year (2018-19) in the SHL, which saw him sit tops in the league with 23 goals, expectations were rather high for his rookie season. Yes, his shot is elite, and he can use it in a variety of dangerous fashions. Yet, he ultimately struggles to deliver the all-around game, which is necessary should he want to play within the system ran in Columbus. 

He is fresh off a strong stint in Liiga, where he tallied eight goals and 17 points through 16 games, which will certainly deliver a solid dose of confidence heading into camp. He will need to learn to create room for himself with less ice to work with, and find stronger scoring areas, all the while bringing a stronger effort night-in and night-out. That is assuming he wants to see consistent top-six minutes, which I am sure he does.

Alexandre Texier (LW) – Riddled with inconsistent stretches and a (regular) season-ending injury, Texier’s rookie campaign was nothing to write home about. Although, during his return in the Edmonton Playoff bubble, we did start to see more consistent efforts and strength in his game. 

Despite a frightening lumbar fracture earlier in the year, his skating looked swift, as it normally does. As did his overall work ethic in all three zones. The French winger is poised to be granted some time on the club’s top-six, at least for an audition, in which case, we should see some sort of sophomore bounce-back. His overall upside may have taken a small hit as a result of his efforts last year, but he still has the potential to be a contributing middle-six forward.

Vladislav Gavrikov (D) – The towering Russian was one of the better stories in the 2019-20 campaign. While he came over a thoroughbred shutdown defender, destined for bottom-six duties, ended in him being considered for top-four deployment. He even showed off a pinch of offensive touch.

Gavrikov finished the year third in team points (18) among defenders, fifth in hits (79), and second in blocked shots (92). He has morphed into a strong multi-cat option for deeper fantasy leagues, and certainly one of the club’s top defenders, behind the obvious two-headed monster in Seth Jones and Zach Werenski.

As mentioned, the club saw a string of players etch their way into the NHL lineup, and for most, far earlier than expected. Some may have even translated their stints into potential full-time roles.

Liam Foudy (C/W) – Foudy currently sits as the club’s top prospect, at least among those eligible to play for the club immediately. The Scarborough native has been the definition of consistency throughout his career, and brings the perfect combination of poise, skill, heart, and most notably, speed. His style of play – endless work-ethic and two-way prowess – should blend in just fine with the playing style in which the Blue Jackets run. Given how the team enjoys running all four lines, meaning his spot within the lineup is somewhat of a moot point.

Even if he were to catch some time in the minor system, I do not foresee him hanging around for an extended timeframe. He is just too consistent.

Eric Robinson (LW) – Robinson was likely the biggest beneficiary of the long list of injuries within the top group. Without that list, the chances of him seeing time at the NHL in the near future were certainly slim. However, since given the opportunity, the 6-2 winger has shown that his size, blistering speed, and non-stop motor is perfect for a bottom-six role for John Tortorella’s Blue Jackets.

He was called up mid-season, and once he inserted himself into the lineup, he never looked back. Through 50 games, he chipped in 12 points, 60 SOG, 79 hits, 15 blocked shots, and a plus-10 rating. Not bad, considering he wasn’t supposed to be there, yet.  Fun fact: He scored both his first two NHL goals courtesy of Carey Price’s five-hole.

Andrew Peeke (D) – After a three year NCAA career, Peeke jumped into the pro ranks as an immediate top-four AHL defenceman. He wasted no time statically speaking, contributing 16 points as a rookie rearguard and by season’s end, was awarded an NHL call-up and bottom-pairing minutes.

Peeke is a strong two-way defender, who moves the puck well and is very poised – especially for a first-time pro. With a spot opening up on the right-side (via the Markus Nutivaara deal), Peeke has a good chance of sliding in and finding consistent minutes. He shows a multitude of fantasy implications, which was evident from his 21 blocks, 25 hits, and 23 SOG, all in just 22 matches. He is a young up-and-comer and has the potential to be a sound top-four defender.

Gabriel Carlsson (D) – Much like Peeke, Gabriel Carlsson should be a fringe defenceman for the club. Although, this has been a four-year run where he was believed to have a spot and has failed to solidify himself into the lineup on a full-time basis.

Unlike most of their defenders, Carlsson will be used strictly for defensive duties, as his offensive potential is scarce. Again, I would keep expectations realistic for the 23-year-old, as he seems to be trending downstream, at least in comparison to his 29th overall selection five years ago.

Kevin Stenlund (C) – Stendlund was sitting on the bubble to start the year, and was able to draw into the line-up by December. He has been a mainstay ever since. No, he will never be a top-line player, and he barely qualifies in a second-line role. However, he provides good depth on a club’s bottom-six and can chip in a variety of fashions.

His two-way capabilities are strong, while he delivers a sneaky and accurate shot that catches goaltenders by surprise. He can be placed in various roles and hold his own, making him a nice added piece to the group. With the additions of Mikko Koivu and Max Domi, he may fall just outside the 12-man rotation, but he should find himself in the mix from here on out.

The Blue Jackets do not have many standout prospects worthy of “superstar” praise. However, many of their youngsters took strong steps towards becoming NHL hopefuls last year.

Eric Robinson (LW) – As mentioned, Robinson’s stock rose dramatically. From an NHL hopeful to a likely bottom-pairing energy player in a matter of minutes. 

Dmitri Voronkov (C) – Blue Jackets’ 2019 fourth-rounder initially slipped under the radar as a strong suited prospect. However, as the year went on, it became evident that he was progressing at a quicker rate than expected, solidifying himself a role in the KHL as an 18-year-old kid – a task that is by no means easy to do. 

He put his name on the map at the national level during a very strong showing in last year’s WJC, where he took home a silver medal and sat fourth on the team with seven points. Flash forward to this season, and he finds himself occupying a second-line role, as well as a spot as a net-front presence on the club’s (Ak Bars Kazan) top power-play unit. 

He has the size, the quick hands in tight, and the long-term potential to be a strong complementary middle-six pivot (likely caps as a third-line center).

Kirill Marchenko (RW) – Marchenko is quickly becoming one of the organization’s most talked-about and fan-favorite prospects, despite him being at least two seasons away from seeing any time at the NHL level (signed an extension with SKA St.Petersburg). He put up a strong rookie campaign as a 19-year-old with SKA last year, posting 16 points (7G + 9A) which sat tops among U20 skaters league-wide. Little did we know, he was just getting started.

As of today, he has already produced 18 points (10G + 8A) points as a second-year sophomore and has consistently found himself among the club’s top-six forward group and powerplay unit.

Marchenko is a strong player, both offensively and with his defensive efforts. He has great hands, especially in tight, and has a solid frame to boot. He backchecks, pressures puck carries, and utilizes his linemates well – he is by no means a one-man show. For now, we must look from afar, but he certainly warrants the excitement felt by the organization’s fanbase.

Yegor Chinakhov (RW) –
You can be honest. Did you know who he was when General Manager, Jarmo Kekalainen, announced his name? If you didn’t, do not feel too bad, most didn’t and it is because of this which makes his storybook 2020-21 season so entertaining. The 19-year-old is making a name for himself at the moment, putting up a strong showing as a first-year rookie in the KHL. 

Suiting up for Avangard Omsk, Chinakhov is enjoying top-line deployment – both at even-strength and the man-advantage – while he sits third among U22 skaters in points, with eight goals and 15 points. 

There are definitely areas of his game that need tinkering, namely some of his defensive deficiencies. However, his offensive instincts are bar none, and he can shoot with elite velocity and pinpoint accuracy. If you have yet to catch him overseas, make sure to tune in to this year’s WJC, where he will suit up for Team Russia and is likely to one of the tournament’s top conversation pieces. 

Trey Fix-Wolansky (RW) –
Drafted in the seventh round in 2018, Fix-Wolansky’s trajectory was somewhat unknown. While he certainly held the numbers in junior to warrant excitement, his stature and overall ability to translate were slight areas of concern. He quickly put those qualms to rest.

Although he scored in his first pro game with the Cleveland Monsters, he struggled to find a rhythm in the first half, while he also missed a handful of games with an injury. Thanks to an assortment of movement throughout the entire organization (thanks to injuries), the undersized speedster was gifted with higher minutes and given the opportunity to thrive in a role that would allow him to explore his true offensive nature. He would finish strong, tallying 23 of his total 26 points from January on, and was considered one of the club’s top players by the season’s end.

He will need at least another year in the AHL to develop, yet, fans should be excited with what they see. He is a speed demon with a knack for driving the net and finding holes in defensive units. He leaves no fan disappointment in regards to the eye test.

Erik Hjorth (D) – The 2019-20 campaign served as the first year in which Eric Hjorth managed to stay healthy for its entirety. He has a history of nagging injury woes, which has stunted his overall growth tremendously.

Not only did we see him healthy, but we got glimpses of the offensive capabilities in which the Blue Jackets were looking for when they drafted him. While the tailed off in the second half, his first few months with the Sarnia Sting were impressive, as he produced 17 points in his first 21 matches. As a right-handed, offensive option, his spot within the depth chart sits higher than it likely should. If he can replicate his early play of last year, he could have a good shot at playing pro next season, albeit at the American League level.

Andrew Peeke (D) – Jumped into this pro career head first, and is swimming just fine in the deep end. As mentioned, he is likely to receive a heavier load this year, whether it be first-pairing duties in the American League or bottom-pairing at the top.

Vladislav Gavrikov (D) – Gritty, sturdy, and apparently offensively sound. Gavrikov is certainly trending up and has made himself relevant, both in real-time and in deep fantasy leagues.

For various reasons – some due to lack of consistent play, some the product of being pushed back thanks to new and improved versions – the club also had its share of prospects who failed to live up to their potential.

Matiss Kivlenieks (G) – Even though he made his official NHL debut last year, and spent a good chunk of the season serving backup duties in Columbus, Kivlenieks is slipping down the projected pipeline. With Daniil Tarasov heading to North America, and Vehvilainen looking (almost) ready to take on a more prominent role, his upside is slowly, but surely sliding down the drain. He is still certainly worthy of backup potential in the future but looks to be the odd man out in the long-term rotation.

Marcus Karlberg (RW) – Karlberg has been on a milk run through the Swedish tour in the past few seasons. Last year, he flip-flopped between a few clubs, all in the SHL, J20 SuperElit, and Allsvenskan leagues. While this year, he has now made the jump from the Allskvenskan (21 games), back to the SHL.

He is having a tough go finding solidified minutes, which looks to be taking a toll on his development. He certainly plays the pest role well and is a strong skater with a great motor, but he needs to find a permanent role in order to see his true upside out. Things are looking bleak for the 20-year-old Swede at the moment.

Daniil Tarasov (G) – Blue Jackets’ highly regarding goaltender prospect is expected to make his way to North America to take part in training camp. With the crease spoken for in Columbus, he will be fighting against Veini Vehvilainen and Matiss Kivlenieks for a role in the AHL, which he should win.

He is currently being loaned to Salavat Ufa (KHL) and is posting strong numbers as a backup option. Through five games, he sports a 4-3-1 record with two shutouts. He has been very good.

Mikael Pyyhtiä (LW), Yegor Chinakhov (RW), and Samuel Knazko (D) will all be looking to serve their country in this year’s WJC. Chinakhov (Russia) and Knazko (Slovakia) will both be shoo-ins, while Pyyhtia (Finland) will have his work cut out to see bottom-six deployment.

Paul Bittner (LW) – The 24-year-old signed a contract with the organization. However, it was an AHL contract, meaning his chance to see time in the NHL has come to an abrupt halt. With this in mind, he has been demoted from our list of prospects.

Maxime Fortier (RW) – Fortier has struggled to translate his successful Junior career to the pro ranks. Last season, he found himself at the bottom of the totem pole in the ECHL and is currently overseas playing in the ICEHL. As a result of this, he was not awarded a contract extension and has since been removed from our prospect chart.

Liam FoudyEmil Bemström
Mikael PyyhtiäDmitri VoronkovKirill Marchenko
Eric RobinsonKevin StenlundTrey Fix-Wolansky
Kale HowarthCalvin ThürkaufYegor Chinakhov
Tyler AngleMarcus Karlberg
Ryan MacInnisCliff Pu
Kole Sherwood
Erik Hjorth
Andrew Peeke
Robbie Stucker
Tim Berni
Daniil Tarasov
Elvis Merzlikins
Veini Vehviläinen
Peter Thome

This section is intended to paint a picture of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ prospects whose current trajectory projects them making the most positive fantasy impact at the time that they reach the NHL. Arrival date and NHL certainty have been taken into consideration. However, a player’s potential upside is the most important factor in determining this list. This list excludes “Graduating Prospects”.

  1. Liam Foudy (C)
  2. Kirill Marchenko (RW)
  3. Daniil Tarasov (G)
  4. Yegor Chinakhov (RW)
  5. Andrew Peeke (RD)
  6. Veini Vehviläinen (G)
  7. Trey Fix-Wolansky (RW)
  8. Kevin Stenlund (C)
  9. Gabriel Carlsson (LD)
  10. Jake Christiansen (LD)
  11. Dmitri Voronkov (C)
  12. Samuel Knazko (LD)
  13. Matiss Kivlenieks (G)
  14. Mikael Pyyhtiä (LW)
  15. Calvin Thürkauf (C)
  16. Erik Hjorth (RD)
  17. Tyler Angle (C)
  18. Eric Robinson (LW)
  19. Marcus Karlberg (RW)
  20. Kole Sherwood (RW)


Thanks for reading. Follow me out on Twitter @hall1289 for up-to-date Blue Jacket coverage and prospect news!

Sours: https://dobberprospects.com/2020/12/10/december-31-in-31-columbus-blue-jackets/

Thanks to everyone who voted for this year’s Top 25 Under 25 ranking. We had 102 submissions from Columbus Blue Jackets fans. We’ll be counting down the 25 highest voted players over the next five weeks. Up next: Kirill Marchenko

#10 Kirill Marchenko


10th out of 38 eligible players
Writer Rank: 7th
Reader Rank: 14th
Highest placement: 2nd (1 vote)
Most common placement: 7th (10 votes)
2019 rank: 16th


Birthdate: July 21, 2000
Birthplace: Barnaul, RUS
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 181 lbs
Position: Right wing / Left wing
Shoots: Right
Acquired: Drafted by the Blue Jackets in Round 2 (49th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

2020-21 Season Recap

Last season, Marchenko spent the season in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg. Marchenko played right wing, scored 15 goals to go along with 13 assists, good for 28 points with 14 penalty minutes in 41 games played. In the postseason, Marchenko scored three goals in 14 games (four total points). He certainly appears to be developing into the type of dynamic top six winger the Blue Jackets organization sorely needs.

2021-22 Season Outlook

Marchenko has one more season left on his KHL contract, keeping him with SKA St. Petersburgh through at least the 2021-22 season. Marchenko will continue developing his game in the KHL, the second best professional league on the planet, and is currently available to come to North America over next summer. Marchenko will continue to get a prominent role as one of the team’s top offensive options, and then it is up to Columbus to bring him over to the NHL.

Scouting Reports

Nice range and puck control.. accurate right-handed wristshot.. able to quickly turn to his right creating room for his forehand Draftin Europe

Top-six forward with fantasy boom potential. Big tall winger with deceptive abilities who creates plays while displaying brilliance in the offensive zone. With scoring chances aplenty, if he makes it over to North America watch out. Dobber Prospects

Sours: https://www.jacketscannon.com/2021/8/30/22619251/2021-cbj-top-25-under-25-kirill-marchenko-blue-jackets-russian-prospect-north-american-availability
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Welcome to the 2021 Top Shelf Prospects series. As we go through the Summer of 2021 LWOH will be featuring a team-by-team look at the top prospects in the NHL. You can find all the articles here.  Since we had an extensive NHL Draft preview, we will not be reviewing the players who were drafted in the 2021 draft, as there have been no games since then, and our reports on them will not have changed. Today, we look at the 2021 Columbus Blue Jackets Prospects.

What we will be doing is linking you to those articles, as well as taking a look at prospects that were acquired before this year’s draft; their progress, and their chances of making the 2021-22 roster of the NHL team in question. We will also bring you one sleeper pick – a player who was either drafted in the 4th-round or later, or was an undrafted free agent signing who we pick as our dark horse to make the NHL. For those wondering, the cut-off for what is or isn’t a prospect is typically about 50 NHL games played (including playoff games) or is 25 years old. These are not hard or fast rules though, and we may make some exceptions depending on the circumstances.

2021 Columbus Blue Jackets Prospects

Jackets Off-Season

The Blue Jackets suffered the most painful and tragic loss of the off-season, as goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks passed away following a Fourth of July accident. It would feel wrong to talk about this incident in hockey terms but also feels wrong not to mention it in the off-season review section. As such we mention it in its own paragraph and LWOS once again expresses our condolences to his family, friends, teammates, coaches, team staff, fans, and all who cared about him.


After a disappointing hockey season, the off-season has been full of change in Columbus. Long-time coach John Tortorella is moving to ESPN and has been replaced by Brad Larsen. Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson, two core members of the team have been traded, and follow on the heels of the early-season trade of Pierre-Luc Dubois, and the late-season trade of David Savard. That’s four players who would have been considered part of the core one year ago. It is time for a new era in Columbus. A new core must come from a prospect system that was able to add three first-round picks in the 2021 NHL Draft, as well as Stanislav Svozil in the third round, getting a fourth player LWOS graded as a first round talent.

2021 Draft Picks: Kent Johnson, Cole Sillinger, Corson Ceulemans, Stanislav Svozil, Guillaume Richard, Nikolai Makarov, James Malatesta, Ben Boyd, Martin Rysavy
Graduations: Alexandre Texier, Kevin Stenlund, Elvis Merzlikins


2021 Top Columbus Blue Jackets Prospect: Kent Johnson

The Blue Jackets drafted Johnson with the 5th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Johnson. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.


#2 Prospect: Cole Sillinger

The Blue Jackets drafted Sillinger with the 12th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Sillinger. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.


#3 Prospect: Kirill Marchenko

Right Wing/Left Wing — shoots Right
Born July 21st, 2000 — Barnaul, Russia
Height 6’3″ — Weight 187 lbs [191 cm/85 kg]
Drafted by Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2nd round, #49 overall at the 2018 NHL Draft

Marchenko, followed up an excellent rookie season in 2019-20, with a strong sophomore campaign with SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL. He put up 15 goals and 28 points in 41 games on one of the best teams in the KHL. However, Marchenko struggled in the playoffs with just three goals and four points in 14 games as SKA leaned heavily on their veterans.


Marchenko is a strong skater. He has very good top-end speed but could get a little quicker with his first step and acceleration. Marchenko has very good agility and strong edgework. He makes quick cuts and can weave in and out of traffic with ease. Marchenko is dangerous one-on-one with a defender, especially when working off the rush. He has improved his lower-body strength, helping him to be strong on pucks and fight through checks. However, he could still use a bit more weight and core muscle strength to improve these areas before coming to North America and playing a more physical game on smaller ice. He just recently turned 21, so its not unusual that he has started to fill out his frame, but there is continued room for improvment.

Offensive Game

Marchenko has good hands. He can make plays with the puck while moving at top speed. When defenders back off to protect against his speed and skill, he can take advantage of the passing lanes that are opened up, finding teammates with tape-to-tape passes. He is a creative player looking to get by defenders one-on-one and create plays that way as well. Marchenko is more a goal scorer than a playmaker. His shot is accurate and features a good release. He has also added power in the last two years, helping him to score off the rush and from further out. Like most players though, the majority of Marchenkos goals come from in close to the net and he is not afraid to get to those dirty areas of the ice.

Marchenko has good size and is learning to use it more effectively. He has gotten better at being aggressive and battling in the corners. There is still room to do even more, but he is getting there as he continues to get stronger. He has also improved his ability to establishing his position in front of the net without the puck. With the puck, Marchenko is willing to attack the dirty areas of the ice, cutting to the net, and trying to make plays in tight. While things have improved, he can be more consistent in forechecking the opposing team and creating pressure and turnovers in the offensive zone.

Defensive Game

Marchenko’s defensive game is also improving but still a bit of a work in progress. He sometimes seems to shy away from the physical aspects of the game. He is good at getting his stick into passing lanes and intercepting passes, or to poke check an opponent and take off in the other direction. When this works, he transitions quickly to offence. However, if it does not work, Marchenko can get caught out of position. He will need to learn how to pick his spots as he develops.


Not yet signed with the Blue Jackets, Marchenko is likely to be back in St. Petersburg this season. According to Elite Prospects, his contract with SKA runs out after the 2021-22 season. The Jackets will be focused on getting him to sign on with the team and come to North America for 2022. Once he gets to Columbus, he may be able to go straight into the NHL lineup. Even if he does need AHL time to adjust to the smaller ice, it surely won’t be a long stint in the minors.


#4 Prospect: Yegor Chinakhov

Right Wing — shoots Left
Born February 1st, 2001 — Omsk, Russia
Height 6’0″ — Weight 178 lbs [183 cm/81 kg]
Drafted by Columbus Blue Jackets in the 1st round, #21 overall, at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

Undrafted in 2019, the Blue Jackets shocked the hockey world when they took Chinakhov with a first-round pick in the 2020 Draft. He rewarded their faith in him, scoring 10 goals and 17 points in 32 games with Avangard Omsk in the KHL. Chinakhov also put up five goals and seven points in 21 games, helping Avangard to the Gagarin Cup. He also played for Russia at the World Juniors, scoring one goal in five games. Chinakhov also played for Russia at the European Hockey Tour, as the Russians took a very young team. He scored two goals and three points in three games.


Chinakhov’s skating is a work in progress and the weakest part of this game. His stride is very wide. This takes away from his power and acceleration. Chinakhov has some issues winning short races to loose pucks. His top-end speed is also below average. He uses his hockey sense to be in the right position and keep up with the play but could really use some work with a good skating coach.

Chinakhov also needs to improve his edgework and agility. This is something that should also improve with better skating technique. His wide stance makes it difficult to make tight turns, quick cuts, and good crossovers. That stance has one advantage though. Chinakhov’s balance is good due to that low centre of gravity. However, he still needs to add muscle to his frame, in order to get stronger and win more battles on the boards and in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Chinakhov is a pure sniper. His wrist shot is at an elite level. It is very powerful and extremely accurate. He also has good hands and his release is extremely quick. Chinakhov can vary the angle on that release, which also helps to fool goalies. In addition to his excellent wrist shot, Chinakhov has a very good snapshot, slap shot, and one-timer. He can even score on his backhand. He also does a good job of scoring in tight to the net with his soft hands. Chinakhov has a knack for finding open ice without the puck and putting himself into position to take a pass from a teammate and get a scoring chance. He is willing to shoot from anywhere in the offensive zone.

While he is very much a shoot-first player, Chinakhov also shows playmaking skills. He sees the ice well and can anticipate his linemates’ movements and hit them with a pass. He is able to feather passes through tight areas and passing lanes. Chinakhov can work on his puck control and stickhandling. Rather than carry the puck through the neutral zone, he seems to defer to teammates to generate zone entries.

Defensive Game

Chinakhov has proven to be useful in his own end of the rink but there are some areas that still need some improvement. His positioning is strong as he keeps himself between his man and the front of the net. He also uses his stick effectively, poke-checking opponents and cutting down passing lanes. Chinakhov is also willing to support the defence down low. However, he relies a bit too much on his stick sometimes. He needs to improve his physical game and willingness to take the body going forward.


Chinakhov signed his entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets following the end of the KHL season. He is headed to North America next season. Chinakhov might need time in the AHL, as he continues to work on his skating and adjust to the more physical game on the smaller North American Ice. The Blue Jackets hope to develop him into a game-breaking winger at the NHL level. He will need to be paired with a playmaker who can drive the play in order to unlock his true potential.


#5 Prospect: Liam Foudy

Centre — shoots Left
Born February 4th, 2000 — Scarborough, Ontario
Height 6’2″ — Weight 182 lbs [188 cm / 83 kg]
Drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 1st round, #18 overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft

It was a tale of two seasons for Liam Foudy. He looked good at the AHL level, putting up three goals and 16 points in 12 games with Cleveland. However, when he moved up to the NHL level, he struggled, with just four assists in 24 games with the Blue Jackets. He also won a gold medal with Team Canada at the World Championships, but was used in a bottom-line role and had just two assists in 10 games.


Foudy is an elite skater. He is incredibly fast, and reaches top speed quickly, with very good acceleration. Foudy’s ability to change speeds is a weapon in one-on-one situations. He can beat defenders to the outside and cut to the net. As they back off to defend him, it opens up passing and shooting lanes. Foudy also has excellent edgework and agility. He can change directions on a dime. When he was in junior, Foudy showed off a powerful stride and good balance. He was strong on the puck and won battles along the boards and in front of the net. Now that he’s moved up to the pro game, he is not nearly as effective in this area. However, at just 21-years-old, Foudy has time to grow into his frame and improve this aspect of his game.

Offensive Game

Foudy has a decent arsenal of shots. His wrist shot is good and has a decent release. It continues to improve each season and should continue to get better as he adds more upper body strength. His snapshot is also very effective at the junior level, but he struggled to score with it against professional goalies. Foudy scores most of his goals in tight to the net. He has the speed to generate breakaways but seems to lack something right now. In junior his soft hands allowed him to beat goaltenders in that situation. However, he must continue to improve against the increased competition he now faces.

Foudy has worked harder to get to the net without the puck this past season. While he has always been willing to take the puck to the net, he needs to add muscle to do it effectively against pros. This will help him to take the physical pounding needed to create offence without the puck. As mentioned, in junior, Foudy was strong on the cycle as he protects the puck well, and has good balance. With time this should improve.

He has good stickhandling ability. Foudy is willing to try to weave past a defender or make a quick move to open up a passing lane. Once a play is available he has the skill to make passes through tight areas. Foudy needs to find consistency. In the AHL, he has games where he is dominant. He can be dangerous on every shift, and look like the best player on the ice. He also has games where he is near invisible and does not create much. This is another area he could work on.

Defensive Game

Foudy’s speed helps him in the defensive end. He can create turnovers and quickly transition to offence. He has worked on being more physical and supporting the defence down low on the backcheck but will need to get stronger to keep doing so at the next level. Foudy also needs to work on his faceoffs if he is going to play centre at the next level.


Foudy showed that he was not NHL ready last season. However, he still is just 21 years old and has a lot of high-end skills including his skating, stickhandling and passing abilities. The Blue Jackets should continue to work with Foudy to develop the areas of his game that are lacking. If they do, he can still be a top-six player and a big contributor to the teams’ future.


#6 Prospect: Daniil Tarasov

Goaltender — shoots Left – catches Left
Born March 27th, 1999 — Novokuznetsk, Russia
Height 6’5″ — Weight 185 lbs [196 cm/84 kg]
Drafted by Columbus Blue Jackets in the 3rd round, #86 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft

Tarasov played 16 games for Salavat Yulaev in the KHL, putting up a 2.07 goals-against-average and .925 save percentage. He also spent time with Toros Neftekamsk in the VHL, putting up a 2.16 goals-against-average and .909 save percentage in five games. Tarasov finished his season with Cleveland, putting up a 3.16 goals-against-average and .896 save percentage in six games.

Skating and Talent Analysis

At 6-foot-5, Tarasov has excellent size. He takes up a ton of net and gives shooters little room to shoot at. He takes advantage of this by getting far out of his net to cut down angles. With his strong backwards movement, he is able to get back to his net and avoid being deked when cutting down those angles. He also has a strong lateral push and gets side-to-side quickly. Tarasov is also very athletic. When he does get caught out of position he can recover quickly and make highlight-reel saves. When down in his butterfly, Tarasov’s long and powerful legs take away the bottom of the net effectively.

Tarasov has improved his rebound control but still needs a bit more work. This is a common issue of many young goaltenders though and could be something that improves with time. He has also improved his glove hand last year. Like many tall goaltenders, his five-hole can often be an issue. These are all little things that can be improved with work and good coaching. Considering that Tarasov is still just 22-years-old and that goaltenders typically take longer than other positions, he still has time to continue iron out these wrinkles in his game.

Mental Makeup

Tarasov does a good job of staying cool and composed in his net. When he gives up rebounds, he continues to fight his way back into position to make the next save. He never gives up on a play. His cool, calm demeanour shines through even when under heavy pressure. When a goal does go in, Tarasov does a good job of preparing to make the next save.


Tarasov should be the number one goalie in Cleveland, getting big minutes and adjusting to the new angles he will see on a smaller ice surface. He is also likely to be the first goalie called up if the Blue Jackets face any kind of injury issues in the net. He could compete for a backup job in the 2022-23 season.


#7 Prospect: Corson Ceulemans

The Blue Jackets drafted Ceulemans with the 25th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Ceulemans. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.


#8 Prospect; Stanislav Svozil

The Blue Jackets drafted Svozil with the 69th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Svozil. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.


#9 Prospect: Dmitri Voronkov

Left Wing/Centre — Shoots Left
Born September 10th, 2000 — Angarsk, Russia
Height 6’4″ — Weight 190 [192 cm/86 kg]
Drafted by Columbus Blue Jackets in the 4th round, #114 overall, at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft

Voronkov had a decent season in the KHL, putting up seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points in 53 games for AK Bars Kazan. He really turned it on in the playoffs though, scoring six goals and 10 points in 15 games. This strong play continued into the Men’s World Championships. Voronkov scored two goals and six points in eight tournament games.


Voronkov is a decent skater but there are still some areas where he can improve. His first few steps are a bit choppy. However, once he gets going his acceleration is above average and his top-end speed is more than good enough to allow him to keep up with the play. While he will never be considered a speedster, he also is not slow. Voronkov has good agility and edgework. He can make a quick cut to get past a defender and find open space. He is also strong on his skates, with good balance and the ability to fight through checks on the boards and in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Voronkov plays a power forward’s game. He gets to the dirty areas of the ice, both with and without the puck. Voronkov drives the net and creates havoc in front of the opponent’s goalie. He has the hands and skills to score in tight, with quick hands and the ability to elevate the puck into tight spaces. Voronkov also has the hand-eye coordination to pounce on rebounds and get deflections. He also has a good shot and decent release to score from further out.

Voronkov is a decent passer as well. He finds the open man and keeps the puck moving in the cycle game. He loves to work the give and go, making a short pass to a teammate and then finding open ice. Voronkov usually maintains possession with a short and simple play, but can occasionally try something a bit more creative to generate a scoring chance. He is also good on the forecheck, getting in quickly and pressuring opponents into turnovers and mistakes.

Defensive Game

Voronkov is also a good defensive player. He is willing to use his size and bring his physical game to all three zones. He will support the defence down low and help to contain the cycle game. Voronkov is also willing to provide backpressure against the rush. His positioning is solid and his long stick cuts down passing lanes. When a turnover is created, Voronkov is effective at transitioning the puck up the ice and creating offence.


According to Elite Prospects, Voronkov is signed in the KHL through the end of the 2022-23 season. If he can continue to develop, the Blue Jackets will be eager to bring him over at that time. Given the amount of time, he will have spent playing pro hockey in the KHL, it is likely that he could go straight into the NHL lineup at that point.


#10 Prospect: Andrew Peeke

Defence — shoots Right
Born March 17th, 1998 — Parkland, Florida
Height 6’3″ — Weight 200 lbs [191 cm / 91 kg]
Drafted by Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2nd round, #34 overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft

Peeke split time between Columbus and Cleveland last season. In 11 games with the Blue Jackets, he had three assists. He also had four assists in seven games with the Monsters in the AHL.


Peeke is a decent, but not great skater. He has good straight-line speed. He also has a quick first step and decent acceleration. This is true in both directions and helps him to play a two-way game. He needs a bit of work on his edgework and agility, however. He can sometimes struggle to contain quick forwards who force him to move laterally. Peeke is strong on his skates. He battles well in front of the net and along the boards, as well as being strong on the puck.

Offensive Game

While Peeke is known for his defensive game, there is a bit of offensive ability in him as well. He makes a good first pass out of the zone and starts the transition. He can also be effective at keeping the puck moving at the offensive blueline. Peeke is not one to lead the rush but he does get back in his own zone, retrieve loose pucks and skate them out of danger. He has worked to improve his wrist shot and slap shot. While they used to be a bit of a liability, they are now above average.

Defensive Game

Peeke has excellent size and uses it to play a strong defensive game. He is willing to be physical along the boards and in front of the net. Peeke can also throw big hits, and punish forwards who attack his side of the ice with their head down. He shows good positioning, as well as the willingness to block shots. Peeke uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes and is strong on the penalty kill.


Peeke is now 23-years-old and it is time for him to make his mark and compete for a job as a regular on the Blue Jackets team. With the club losing two right-handed defencemen in Seth Jones and David Savard, there is an opportunity to compete for a spot there. However, the lack of offensive upside may mean that Peeke tops out as a third pairing defender.


Sleeper Prospect: Trey Fix-Wolansky

Right Wing — shoots Right
Born May 26th, 1999 — Edmonton, Alberta
Height 5’7″ — Weight 188 lbs [170 cm/85 kg]
Drafted by Columbus Blue Jackets in the 7th round, #204 overall at the 2018 NHL Draft

Injuries have been an issue for Fix-Wolansky. He showed signs of finally breaking through and had four goals and nine points in nine games with Cleveland before tearing his ACL in March. It was a promising start to the season and a big jump in terms of points per game from the 26 points in 43 games he put up in 2019-20.


Fix-Wolansky is an undersized winger with excellent skating skills. His first step and his acceleration are very good and he reaches his top-end speed very quickly. That top-end speed is very good and helps him to be dangerous on the rush. A low centre of gravity helps Fix-Wolansky to be strong on the puck and good at digging for loose pucks along the boards and in front of the net. His edgework and agility are also very good and allow him to manoeuvre through traffic both with and without the puck.

Offensive Game

Despite his lack of size, Fix-Wolansky is willing to play a gritty game. He gets to the dirty areas of the ice both with and without the puck. He has good hand-eye coordination and is able to tip-in pucks and bang in rebounds. From further out, Fix-Wolansky can finish plays with an accurate wrist shot and good release. He manages to find the soft spots in the defence without the puck, setting himself up for a one-timer.

Fix-Wolansky protects the puck well and his quick hands help him to make plays while moving at top speed. Fix-Wolansky is also able to make plays with the puck in traffic. He sees the ice well and can find seams to put a pass through and set up a scoring chance. His quick hands help him to change angles and create those seams to set up scoring chances. He can play a variety of roles on the power-play including controlling the play on the half-boards.

Defensive Game

Fix-Wolansky’s lack of size becomes a liability in the defensive zone. He is willing to help out on the backcheck but has trouble containing bigger opponents in the cycle game. He also has problems clearing the front of the net. Fix-Wolansky reads the play well though and has strong positioning to cut down passing lanes.


It is unclear if Fix-Wolansky will be ready for the start of training camp in September. Even if he isn’t, that is okay, what is most important is that when he returns to the ice, he is able to stay healthy. Fix-Wolansky has the potential to play a middle-six NHL role and some powerplay time if he continues to develop. However, that can only happen if he stays on the ice. Expect him to start his season with Cleveland. He could be a contender to join the Blue Jackets later in the season.


Further 2021 Columbus Blue Jackets Prospects in System

The Blue Jackets system was gutted following the 2018-19 season as the team went all-in on trades for established talent and won a playoff round for the first time in team history. The Jackets have done a great job of starting to replenish the system and there are some high-end talents as seen above. However, building depth takes time, and the Blue Jackets will need that before having a large pool. That said, there are some intriguing long-shots worth keeping an eye on.

The Jackets have Jake Christiansen, Tim Berni, Samuel Knazko, Eric Hjorth, and Nikolai Makarov as names to watch amongst their defence prospects. Gabriel Carlsson also still qualifies as a prospect under our criteria. They also have forwards Josh Dunne, Tyler Angle, Carson Meyer, Mikael Pyyhtia, and Marcus Karlberg as players to watch in the system.


2021 Columbus Blue Jackets Prospects Main Photo via:

Sours: https://lastwordonsports.com/hockey/2021/08/14/2021-columbus-blue-jackets-prospects/

Top prospects for Columbus Blue Jackets


[Blue Jackets 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Fantasy breakdown | Behind the numbers]


1. Liam Foudy, F 

How acquired: Selected with No. 18 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Columbus: 2 GP, 0-1-1; London (OHL): 45 GP, 28-40-68

Foudy (6-foot-2, 182 pounds) played well in two regular-season games as an emergency injury recall in February and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when the 20-year-old scored two points (one goal, one assist) in 10 games. With Gustav Nyquist requiring 5-6 months to recover from Nov. 3 surgery to repair a labral tear in his left shoulder, Columbus has an opening at left wing on its second line and Foudy is expected to compete for that spot.

"We were confident in him coming into the bubble with us and into the playoffs, that he could help us, and he did," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "And I'm confident he's going to take a couple steps forward in this offseason now that he's had time to blossom, extra time to mature physically, and he has, and that's encouraging to see."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: [email protected], Gm5: Foudy doubles lead with clutch goal


2. Yegor Chinakhov, F  

How acquired: Selected with No. 21 pick in 2020 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Omskie Yastreby (RUS-JR): 56 GP, 27-42-69

Chinakhov (6-0, 178) was the surprise of the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft after he wasn't picked in 2019. The Blue Jackets were impressed watching him play for Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League this season leading up to selecting him Oct. 6.

The 19-year-old right wing reaffirmed Columbus' belief by scoring three points (two goals, two assists) in three games for Russia at the Karjala Cup in Finland in November, and he is expected to play at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton.

"He's got great instincts and hockey sense and he can really shoot the puck any way you want him to shoot it: one-timer, wrist shot, slap shot, you name it," Kekalainen said. "He can really fire the puck and score goals, and that's something we're always looking for, something our team has been lacking, and I think he'll have a good career ahead of himself."

Projected NHL arrival: 2022-23


3. Kirill Marchenko, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 49 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: SKA St. Petersburg (KHL): 31 GP, 7-9-16; St. Petersburg (VHL): 14 GP, 9-3-12

The Blue Jackets view Marchenko (6-3, 187) as another potential elite scorer. The 20-year-old continues his development playing for St. Petersburg this season after making the jump to the KHL team midway through last season following a strong start with its second-tier team. 

Marchenko also stood out helping Russia finish second at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic, scoring six points (two goals, four assists) in seven games. The right wing is signed with St. Petersburg through the end of next season.

Projected NHL arrival: 2022-23


4. Andrew Peeke, D 

How acquired: Selected with No. 34 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Columbus: 22 GP, 1-2-3; Cleveland (AHL): 29 GP, 5-11-16

As a first-year pro last season following three years at the University of Notre Dame, Peeke (6-3, 194) was one of the Blue Jackets' final cuts in training camp and appeared comfortable playing regularly as an injury call-up. The 22-year-old did not play in the playoffs, when the Columbus defensemen were healthy, but is in line to begin this season on its third pair following the offseason trades of Ryan Murray (New Jersey Devils) and Markus Nutivaara (Florida Panthers).

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: [email protected]: Peeke buries rebound for first NHL goal


5. Daniil Tarasov, G 

How acquired: Selected with No. 86 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Assat (Liiga): 41 GP, 11-17-9, 2.72 GAA, .899 SV%

The Blue Jackets are deep with goalie prospects with Tarasov, Matiss Kivlenieks and Veini Vehvilainen, who each played for Cleveland of the American Hockey League last season. Tarasov (6-4, 180) continues to grow into his frame on loan to Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL this season after being the No. 1 for Assat in Finland's top professional league last season.

The 21-year-old signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Columbus on May 4, 2019. It's a matter of when the Blue Jackets find room for him in North America.

Projected NHL arrival: 2022-23

View MoreSours: https://www.nhl.com/news/columbus-blue-jackets-prospect-watch/c-319681772

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Who Are The Canucks Top 10 Prospects?

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