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Columbus Blue Jackets’ Small Guns Season In Review – Hockey Writers –

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ 2023-24 season did not turn out as they had hoped. Their 66-point 27-43-12 season placed them last in the Metropolitan Division and 29th overall. The team was unable to break their four-season drought, but this season showed some improvement compared to previous seasons.

Although they didn’t make it, many young guns continued to improve their skills as players. In this post, Here, we will review a few of these young players who want to be key pieces for the Blue Jackets in the future.

Kirill Marchenko

Kirill Marchenko, 23, who hails from Barnaul, Russia, continued to prove he deserves a spot on the roster this season, as he finished the season with a team-leading 23 goals and 19 assists in 42 games in 78 games. , breaking his goal record. Marchenko became familiar with setting new records, as he also set a new career in assists and previously broke the Blue Jackets’ record for most goals by a rookie.

When he led the team in goals, he still had streaks of disrespect. He started the first seven games without a goal and had an insane nine games between February and March. He was able to double his shooting percentage from his rookie season and was second only to Zach Werenski in shots. Therefore, if Marchenko wants to maintain his momentum from the last two seasons and continue to improve, he must make sure that he takes advantage of every opportunity that comes his way.

Dmitry Voronkov

Dmitri Voronkov, a 23-year-old winger from Angarsk, Russia, had a great rookie season, finishing his season with 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points in 75 games. He was fifth in the league in goals scored by a star. Voronkov also finished third in team scoring, behind only Marchenko and Boone Jenner.

Related: Prospect Dmitri Voronkov Becomes Blue Jacket Beast

Voronkov had a great season in terms of hitting and scoring. Next season he needs to work on his defense. Being a rookie, or just an average player, who can pass and shoot well is great, but being able to switch and play defense is also necessary to keep opposing teams from scoring.

Yegor Chinakhov

Yegor Chinakhov had his best season for the Blue Jackets, despite several injuries. The 23-year-old from Omsk, Russia, finished the season with 16 goals and 13 assists for 29 points in 53 games after signing a one-year contract worth $800,000 through April, 2023.

Yegor Chinakhov, Columbus Blue Jackets (Amy Irvin / Hockey Writers)

Of the many injuries Chinakhov suffered, one caused him to miss the start of the season. After being placed on injured reserve due to back problems in early October and missing two weeks, he was loaned to the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League. Chinakhov officially made his season debut for the Blue Jackets on November 4, 2023, when he played against the Washington Capitals.

Chinakhov suffered a season-ending lower back injury in March after exiting a game against the Ottawa Senators. Overall, he was able to show his offensive skills throughout the season, but unfortunately he was hit by the injury bug several times.

Kent Johnson

Kent Johnson spent most of his season with the Blue Jackets, but had a little time with the Monsters in November, 2023. The 21-year-old center from Port Moody, British Columbia had a shorter season than expected due to injuries, finishing with. six goals and 10 assists for 16 points in 42 games. His season ended when he played with the New York Rangers on Feb. 28 after tearing the labrum in his left shoulder. These injuries seem to be hitting the Blue Jackets as Werenski, Justin Danforth, and Jake Bean all suffered similar injuries during the 2022-23 season.

Right now, Johnson’s main goal is to stay healthy and recover. His recovery time looks to be nearing the start of next season, which could be difficult after a summer full of recovery from a serious injury. After he regains his strength, his next goal is to play offensive hockey with confidence, which we know he can do.

Cole Sillinger

2023-24 was a great season for Cole Sillinger. The 21-year-old center from Regina, Saskatchewan set the season high in points after finishing the season with 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points in 77 games. This season was a rebound season for Sillinger after a disappointing sophomore campaign in which he recorded just 11 points in 64 games.

Sillinger’s main focus for the upcoming season is to keep that momentum going. That drive, along with the NHL experience, he was able to gain at a young age will help with his continued growth as a player and as part of a team.

Adam Fantilli

Adam Fantilli didn’t have the rookie season he expected. The 19-year-old center from Nobleton, Ontario, was able to play just over half of his first season before suffering a serious injury. On Jan. 28, Fantilli injured his calf after a check from Seattle Kraken winger Jared McCann. Initially, he was supposed to stay for eight weeks, but he ended up not playing for the whole season.

Right now, Fantilli needs to focus on his recovery, whatever that means for him. Once he’s back on the ice, he just needs to continue building his skills and experience in the NHL. Recovery time and continued practice is all Fantilli needs right now as he learns the ropes of the NHL.

The Blue Jackets have an incredibly large roster full of talented young players looking to make their mark. Time will tell how the careers of these young guns will go, as they gain more experience playing in the league, but it will be really interesting to see as it unfolds before our eyes.

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