Part two of this mini-series brings our attention to Team WHL featuring Blue Jackets prospect Trey Fix-Wolansky of the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Fix-Wolansky, who ranks second in the WHL in scoring, was given a large role to play on the Canadian team in the Canada-Russia Series. He started Game 1 on the second line and played on the first line in Game 2 alongside arguably the top prospect in the WHL in Cody Glass, and 2019 draft-eligible Nolan Foote.
In these games, there was plenty to like about Fix-Wolansky. He is a strong skater with really good hands. He can also rip a puck, making him a huge asset on the power play.
His shot might be his best tool. He can score goals like this:
He only has 15 goals this season compared to 37 assists, which is surprising given that shot. Perhaps part of the problem is that he doesn’t really have anyone in Edmonton to get him the puck. Playing with Team WHL, he had players who could get him the puck. He didn’t score against the Russians but he did pick up an assist and fired three shots in two games.
His tools were there, but overall, Fix-Wolansky didn’t have a very good showing in my opinion. In the two games I tracked his Corsi at 45%. His defensive game leaves a lot to be desired; for as skilled as he is, he didn’t make a ton of skilled plays with the puck. He deferred a lot to his line mates. I tracked him as having three controlled zone entries and two dump-ins. He had a lot of difficulties against a veteran Russian defense group.
One of the first shifts from Fix-Wolansky in Game 1 really set the tone for him. He was carrying the puck through the neutral zone, and was one-on-one with a defender (a situation he has no doubt seen many times in the WHL). He made a move he’s probably made hundreds of times, trying to dangle past the defensemen and start an odd-man rush. In the WHL, that move likely works, but the Russian defender easily poked the puck away and counter-attacked. Fix-Wolansky had difficulties adjusting his game to the higher level of competition.
Putting up big numbers in the WHL is great, but it’s that inability to raise your play and adjust that will keep him from being a top prospect in the organization. This is a big year for Fix-Wolansky to get the opportunity to play some games at a higher level. This series was a start. Next would be getting a chance at Canada’s World Junior camp and then leading his team into the playoffs. This will give him a chance to play against some better teams and better players and take what he’s learned from playing against the Russians.
Follow 1st Ohio Battery