Play the kids. The Columbus Blue Jacket’s season hasn’t gone anywhere near according to plan, so it’s time to see what they have in another youngster. Kirill Marchenko has been recalled from the AHL after just 16 games in North America.
Marchenko, 22, was the 49th overall selection in the 2018 draft, with an understanding that he wouldn’t be coming over for several years. Finally, after spending the last several seasons in the KHL, the young forward signed his entry-level contract last spring and made the trip to play with the Cleveland Monsters this year.
The AHL has proven to be no challenge for the young forward, as Marchenko has eight goals and 19 points in 16 games for Cleveland, though there are still some inconsistencies in his game. He is on a five-game point streak and should soon get a chance to show what he can do in the NHL.
Interestingly, it is Trey Fix-Wolansky who has been sent back to make room, after his own four-game stint with the Blue Jackets. Fix-Wolansky is the Monsters’ leading scorer with 22 points in 14 games, but standing just 5’7″ offers a very different skill set than the 6’3″ Russian.
The Blue Jackets have a back-to-back coming up tomorrow and Wednesday, where they will face the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. Now sitting just 8-13-2, with several key injuries, it has turned into something of an evaluation season for the Columbus front office, instead of a competitive one.