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Prospect Report: Four Blue Jackets picks headed to World Juniors camps

Marchenko, Voronkov, Berni join Foudy in getting the call

by Jeffrey Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

One week ago, we noted that Blue Jackets 2018 first-round draft pick Liam Foudy is on the camp roster for Team Canada's entrant into this year's World Junior Championships, set for the end of the month. 

Since then, three more CBJ prospects have been named to camp rosters, while another name remains in contention. 

The two Blue Jackets picks currently playing in the KHL, Kirill Marchenko and Dmitri Voronkov, were tabbed by their home country of Russia for contention for the tournament, which will be held in the Czech Republic. 

Marchenko had a big week, as the 19-year-old 2018 second-round pick was named the KHL Rookie of the Month after finishing with three goals and three assists for SKA St. Petersburg. He entered the month as a little-used forward who sometimes spent entire games on the bench, but the youngster earned more and more ice time in November and was a key part of some wins for SKA.  

Marchenko also signed a new contract with his Russian club that will keep him with SKA through the 2021-22 season. Previously, his deal was set to expire at the conclusion of this season.  

It's not ideal news for Blue Jackets fans who has wanted to see the youngster who is settling into KHL hockey, but it's a similar track followed by Vladislav Gavrikov, who joined the Blue Jackets late last year at 23 years old after completing a two-year deal with SKA. 

As for Voronkov, he just returned from a month-long injury layoff with Ak Bars Kazan, which has dominated the Kharlamov Division of the league this year. Voronkov averages 7:46 per night, and the 19-year-old who was taken in the fourth round of last year's draft has a goal and three assists in 16 games.  

Also on the Russian camp roster is Egor Sokolov, the big forward who joined the CBJ in Traverse City and training camp each of the past two years despite remaining unsigned. Sokolov, 19, has been unstoppable this year for Cape Breton of the QMJHL, posting a 24-27-51 line in 30 games.  

Defenseman Tim Berni also has been selected for consideration for Switzerland's team, which is no surprise considering he's played at the World Juniors each of the past two seasons. The 19-year-old Berni, a 2018 sixth-round pick, has a 4-4-8 line this year with the ZSC Lions at the top level of his home country.  

Among other CBJ prospects when it comes to the World Juniors, 2018 third-round pick Marcus Karlberg did not make Sweden's initial roster but spots remain, and he could be in contention for the final roster. Karlberg recently made his SHL debut for Leksands and currently has 17 points in 16 games with the team's junior squad.  

Monsters update 

The top farm team of the Blue Jackets, the AHL's Cleveland Monsters, completed a week that included one victory as well as some good injury news during a three-game road swing through Canada.  

Trey Fix-Wolansky, a seventh-round pick in the 2018 draft who dominated the WHL last year and has impressed early in his pro career, returned from injury over the weekend. Fix-Wolansky had a goal in the first four games of the season, then went on the shelf for the lengthy injury layoff.  

Tweet from @monstershockey: 🎥 "I'm confident in my abilities and confident in myself to be able come back and be a contributor to this team."-@Wally9191 pic.twitter.com/eoTvvpebun

He wasn't back Wednesday, though, as Cleveland lost a 3-2 game at Laval. Markus Hannikainen had a pair of goals and Nathan Gerbe had two assists, but the Monsters never led. Matiss Kivlenieks got the start in net and gave up three goals on 30 shots.  

Fix-Wolansky returned on Friday and it was a good night for the Monsters, who tripped to Belleville and downed the Senators by a 6-2 score. It was Cleveland's day from the very beginning, as the Monsters led 2-0 after one period and extended the lead to 6-1 with four straight goals in a 6:23 early in the third period.  

Dillon Simpson (1-2-3), Justin Scott (1-1-2), Gabriel Carlsson (1-1-2) and Jakob Lilja (0-2-2) each had multipoint games while Gerbe, Stefan Matteau and Michael Prapavessis also scored goals. The tallies were the first of the year for both Carlsson and Prapavessis. Veini Vehvilainen finished with 17 saves.  

The B-Sens got their revenge on Saturday night, though, earning a 7-1 victory. Hannikainen had the lone goal with assists to Gerbe and Kevin Stenlund, giving Stenlund an eight-game point streak. Kivlenieks finished with 25 saves. 

Gerbe leads the Monsters with a 6-15-21 line thus far, while Adam Cledening (5-9-14) and Ryan MacInnis (3-11-14) are next in scoring. Stenlund's streak has pushed him to 4-9-13 this season. Vehvilainen's 2.12 goals-against average sits fourth in the league.  

Cleveland finishes its road swing Tuesday with a return trip to Laval before hosting Wilkes-Barre Scranton on Friday and Saturday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The Saturday night game will be on SportsTime Ohio.  

On the injury front, while Fix-Wolansky returned, forward Zac Dalpe and defenseman Ryan Collins remain out.  

A festival of goals 

Friday night in Columbus offered a unique experience for those follows of the Blue Jackets. 

Those who headed to Ohio State's campus got to see not just two CBJ draft picks playing against one another when the Buckeyes hosted Minnesota, they got to see both of them score goals.  

For Golden Gophers defenseman Robbie Stucker, the goal was the first of the sophomore's collegiate career. The 2017 seventh-round pick's blueline blast came in his 37th collegiate game.  

Tweet from @GopherHockey: .@Rob_Stucks3 with an absolute LASER. 😱 pic.twitter.com/n0YofxhNuy

Not to be outdone, 2017 sixth-round pick Carson Meyer later added a game-tying tally with 7:02 to go in the Buckeyes' eventual overtime win. The Powell, Ohio, native now has a 5-6-11 line in his senior season through 15 games. 

Tweet from @OhioStateMHKY: Ege ������ Fidler ������ Meyer 🚨Carson Meyer's goal tied the game in the third period. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/ZMdWlmhumV

Hjorth stands out 

We've written quite a bit this year about Blue Jackets prospects Foudy and Tyler Angle, draft picks who have been consistent scorers in the OHL this year. 

But we can't forget about 2019 fourth-round pick Eric Hjorth, a Swedish defenseman who is having a great debut season in the OHL with Sarnia. Hjorth scored in back-to-back games over the weekend, giving the 18-year-old seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points in 29 games for this season. 

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