Yesterday the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they had signed prospect Trey-Fix Wolansky to an entry level contract.
— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) March 15, 2019
Wolansky has been a stud in the Western Hockey League this season. His 64 assists are tied for second in the league and really highlight his standout playmaking and vision.
Oil Kings Trey Fix-Wolansky signs his ELC today with Columbus. Hes been a top player in the WHL this year with 101 points. Offensively gifted with elite puck skills and vision. Can do it all offensively score, pass, forecheck, possess. #BlueJackets
— Brayden Sullivan (@SullyDraftGeek) March 15, 2019
That playmaking is going to be Wolansky’s calling card into the NHL. Looking back at the history of high assist players in the WHL, players who rack up assists tend to go on to become NHL players.
Using eliteprospects fantastic leaderboard features, we can compare Wolansky’s play-making to that of his historical peers and get an indicator of what this means for his future as a professional. Limiting the search to players under the age of 20 to eliminate overaged players, there have been 31 different seasons (26 players, including Wolansky) since 2008-09 who have recorded at least 64 assists in a season.
16 of these of players went on to play at least one game in the NHL, including stars like Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mark Stone. Of those who didn’t you have Wolansky and Justin Almeida who are both currently still in the WHL. You have Cody Glass and Alexi Heponiemi who are top prospects for their respective NHL franchises. Five others are or were regulars in the American Hockey League. The only player who didn’t at least go on to have a career in the AHL was Trevor Cox. Cox played seven games in the ECHL before enrolling at the University of Alberta.
Given this it looks like Wolansky is very likely to at least have a decent AHL career. He’s not someone who is going to be a star but he has the upside of a player who could be a NHL regular in a third line scoring role. A similar type of role to what Oliver Bjorkstrand has on the current Blue Jackets. Not a bad outcome for a seventh round pick.
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