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31 in 31

Top prospects for Columbus Blue Jackets

Foudy, Peeke each expected to make NHL roster this season

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, the top five prospects for the Columbus Blue Jackets, according to


[Blue Jackets 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Fantasy breakdown | Behind the numbers]


1. Liam Foudy, F 

How acquired: Selected with No. 18 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Columbus: 2 GP, 0-1-1; London (OHL): 45 GP, 28-40-68

Foudy (6-foot-2, 182 pounds) played well in two regular-season games as an emergency injury recall in February and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when the 20-year-old scored two points (one goal, one assist) in 10 games. With Gustav Nyquist requiring 5-6 months to recover from Nov. 3 surgery to repair a labral tear in his left shoulder, Columbus has an opening at left wing on its second line and Foudy is expected to compete for that spot.

"We were confident in him coming into the bubble with us and into the playoffs, that he could help us, and he did," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "And I'm confident he's going to take a couple steps forward in this offseason now that he's had time to blossom, extra time to mature physically, and he has, and that's encouraging to see."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: CBJ@TOR, Gm5: Foudy doubles lead with clutch goal


2. Yegor Chinakhov, F  

How acquired: Selected with No. 21 pick in 2020 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Omskie Yastreby (RUS-JR): 56 GP, 27-42-69

Chinakhov (6-0, 178) was the surprise of the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft after he wasn't picked in 2019. The Blue Jackets were impressed watching him play for Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League this season leading up to selecting him Oct. 6.

The 19-year-old right wing reaffirmed Columbus' belief by scoring three points (two goals, two assists) in three games for Russia at the Karjala Cup in Finland in November, and he is expected to play at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton.

"He's got great instincts and hockey sense and he can really shoot the puck any way you want him to shoot it: one-timer, wrist shot, slap shot, you name it," Kekalainen said. "He can really fire the puck and score goals, and that's something we're always looking for, something our team has been lacking, and I think he'll have a good career ahead of himself."

Projected NHL arrival: 2022-23


3. Kirill Marchenko, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 49 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: SKA St. Petersburg (KHL): 31 GP, 7-9-16; St. Petersburg (VHL): 14 GP, 9-3-12

The Blue Jackets view Marchenko (6-3, 187) as another potential elite scorer. The 20-year-old continues his development playing for St. Petersburg this season after making the jump to the KHL team midway through last season following a strong start with its second-tier team. 

Marchenko also stood out helping Russia finish second at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic, scoring six points (two goals, four assists) in seven games. The right wing is signed with St. Petersburg through the end of next season.

Projected NHL arrival: 2022-23


4. Andrew Peeke, D 

How acquired: Selected with No. 34 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Columbus: 22 GP, 1-2-3; Cleveland (AHL): 29 GP, 5-11-16

As a first-year pro last season following three years at the University of Notre Dame, Peeke (6-3, 194) was one of the Blue Jackets' final cuts in training camp and appeared comfortable playing regularly as an injury call-up. The 22-year-old did not play in the playoffs, when the Columbus defensemen were healthy, but is in line to begin this season on its third pair following the offseason trades of Ryan Murray (New Jersey Devils) and Markus Nutivaara (Florida Panthers).

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: CBJ@NJD: Peeke buries rebound for first NHL goal


5. Daniil Tarasov, G 

How acquired: Selected with No. 86 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Assat (Liiga): 41 GP, 11-17-9, 2.72 GAA, .899 SV%

The Blue Jackets are deep with goalie prospects with Tarasov, Matiss Kivlenieks and Veini Vehvilainen, who each played for Cleveland of the American Hockey League last season. Tarasov (6-4, 180) continues to grow into his frame on loan to Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL this season after being the No. 1 for Assat in Finland's top professional league last season.

The 21-year-old signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Columbus on May 4, 2019. It's a matter of when the Blue Jackets find room for him in North America.

Projected NHL arrival: 2022-23

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