After the whirlwind that was the Columbus Blue Jackets offseason activity that saw Johnny Gaudreau sign as a free agent and star winger Patrik Laine signing a 4-year extension the team said goodbye to Oliver Bjorkstrand in order to fit Laine’s deal under the salary cap. I mentioned last week that by trading Bjorkstrand it opens the door for Krill Marchenko if he has a strong training camp. So what exactly do the Blue Jackets have in Marchenko? A lot of good, let’s take a look.
Marchenko is currently ranked the Columbus Blue Jackets #5 prospect. One year ago he was the top prospect but then Kent Johnson, Cole Sillinger were drafted and Corson Ceulemans had a massive season at the University of Wisconsin and Yegor Chinakhov got better in Columbus as the season moved along. So Marchenko did not take a step back the Blue Jackets organization got better as a whole.
As for Krill Marchenko, there is a lot to like about his game and what he is able to bring to the ice. Marchenko is strong and sturdy with outstanding hands. He is not a playmaker like a Gaudreau but he is a goal scorer, much like the one the team just traded away (Bjorkstrand.)
While Marchenko is 6′ 3″ he does not always use his body to his advantage. Being effective in the corners and willing to jump in are positives. Marchenko is a work in progress defensively and he has worked hard to clean up.
The necessary evil that was the Oliver Bjorkstrand trade has opened the door for Marchenko who at the same point of their careers is a bit more polished that Bjorstrand was.
One aspect of his game is that Krill Marchenko can play left and right wing. Marchenko has top end skill to be a top six player in the NHL. So again, if he comes to Columbus and has a solid training camp he should break camp with the Blue Jackets.
Let me know your thoughts on Krill Marchenko.