Trey Fix-Wolansky May Have An Oppotunity To Stake His Claim As An NHLer As Blue Jackets Season Winds Down

By Dan Dukart on March 11, 2024 at 10:15 am
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Trey Fix-Wolansky
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Trey Fix-Wolansky looks to be the beneficiary of a trade deadline and injury report that has opened up a roster spot.

The 24-year-old, who is in his fifth season in the AHL, is a classic tweener. His 54 points in 51 AHL games this season put him tied for third in the league in scoring. And on a Monsters team that has championship aspirations, Fix-Wolansky is a key fixture. 

With injuries to players like Kent Johnson, Adam Fantilli, and the absence of Patrik Laine, and the trade deadline that saw the club move Jack Roslovic out of town, suddenly there are roster spots available. In Saturday's game against Nashville, Pascal Vincent elected to promote Yegor Chinakhov to the top line in Roslovic's absence and chose to keep together his effective third line of Alexandre Texier-Cole Sillinger-Alexander Nylander. That meant that Fix-Wolansky slotted in the de facto second line alongside Kirill Marchenko and Dmitri Voronkov.

In 17 career NHL games, Fix-Wolansky has tallied just 2-1-3 in 10:31 of average TOI. Listed at 5'7", 191 lbs, the winger lacks the size or speed to be an impactful bottom-six player in the NHL. But his lack of production at the NHL also precludes him from a coveted top-six spot. After all, there are only so many top-six spots in the NHL.

While the line struggled against Nashville, I am optimistic that Fix-Wolansky will have the ability to showcase himself higher in the lineup. He's the type of player that could still carve out an NHL career if he's able to improve his forechecking (which is already much improved from where he was as a junior player).  

Fix-Wolansky has a deceptive release and is adept at getting to the dangerous parts of the ice. The problem is that this ice is much more difficult to access in the NHL than the AHL. He's also a talented rush player, but, again, those opportunities are fleeting at the highest level.

With 18 games remaining in the NHL season, Fix-Wolansky could conceivably play more NHL games this spring than in his entire career, combined. I wouldn't mind seeing him play the majority of the games in different roles, to see if he's a player that could be included going forward. And if nothing else, he'll be better off for it as his Monsters team expects to go on a long playoff run in the AHL playoffs.

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