Columbus Blue Jackets News and 2021-22 Season Recap Press Conference from General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen

Jarmo Kekäläinen (courtesy Blue Jackets Communications)
Jarmo Kekalainen CBJ GM 2021-22 Season Wrapup Press Conference May 2022.mp3

CURRENT BLUE JACKETS NEWS

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS SIGN 2018 SECOND ROUND PICK KIRILL MARCHENKO TO TWO-YEAR ENTRY LEVEL CONTRACT
Forward totaled 34-30-64 in 114 career games with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk and SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed winger Kirill Marchenko (pronounced mahr-CHEHN-koh) to a two-year, entry level contract, General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.  The forward was selected by the Blue Jackets in the second round, 49th overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft.

Marchenko, 21, has registered 34 goals and 30 assists for 64 points with 33 penalty minutes, seven power play goals, five-game-winning goals, 235 shots on goal and a cumulative +31 plus/minus rating in 114 career games with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk and SKA St. Petersburg since making his debut in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League in 2017-18.  He has added 6-3-9 with six penalty minutes and a +2 plus/minus rating in 18 career KHL postseason appearances.

A native of Barnaul, Russia, Marchenko posted 12-8-20 with 13 penalty minutes, four power play goals, 90 shots on goal and was +5, while averaging 11:42 of ice time in 39 appearances with SKA in 2021-22.  He ranked fourth in the league among players 21-years-old or younger in goals and fifth in points.  In 2020-21, he notched 15-13-28, 14 PIM and was +11 in 41 regular season contests and added 3-1-4 in 14 postseason games with SKA.

The 6-2, 181-pound forward collected 12-6-18 and 10 PIM in 39 career appearances with SKA-Neva St. Petersburg in Russia’s second professional league (VHL) from 2018-22, including posting 1-2-3 in two regular season appearances and 6-2-8 in 12 playoff contests this past season.  He has also recorded 34-38-72 and 43 PIM in 82 career outings with Mamonty Yugry and SKA in Russia’s junior league (MHL) from 2017-21.

Marchenko has represented Russia at several international tournaments.  He helped his team win a bronze medal in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships and a silver medal at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships.  He also skated in the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championships.

FULL KIRILL MARCHENKO STATS

Kirill Marchenko (courtesy Blue Jackets Communications)

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS TO SELECT SIXTH AND 12TH OVERALL AT 2022 UPPER DECK NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE DRAFT
Montreal holds first overall pick and New Jersey will select second overall following tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery

COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Columbus Blue Jackets will hold the sixth and 12th overall picks at the 2022 Upper Deck National Hockey League Draft to be held from July 7-8 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.  The club’s draft positions were determined by tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery.  The Montreal Canadiens won the initial drawing and will have the first overall pick, while the New Jersey Devils won the subsequent drawing and moved from fifth to second overall.

The final results of tonight’s draft lottery: 1 – Montreal Canadiens; 2 – New Jersey Devils; 3 – Arizona Coyotes; 4 – Seattle Kraken; 5 – Philadelphia Flyers; 6 – COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (From Chicago); 7 – Ottawa Senators; 8 – Detroit Red Wings; 9 – Buffalo Sabres; 10 – Anaheim Ducks; 11 – San Jose Sharks; 12 – COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS; 13 – New York Islanders; 14 – Winnipeg Jets; 15 – Vancouver Canucks; 16 – Buffalo Sabres (from Vegas).  The remaining draft positions will be determined at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Blue Jackets currently hold seven picks in the 2022 NHL Draft, including two first-round selections. The club acquired a conditional first-round pick as part of the trade that sent defenseman Seth Jones to Chicago on July 23, 2021.  The pick transferred to Columbus this year as it was not the first or second overall pick, giving the Blue Jackets the sixth and 12th overall picks in this year’s draft.  Columbus also holds its own picks in rounds two and four, along with Tampa Bay’s third-round selection, Toronto’s fourth-round pick and Anaheim’s seventh-round selection.

The NHL Draft Lottery is a weighted lottery system that determines the order of selection for the first 16 picks of the Draft.  Clubs that did not qualify for this season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs participated in the lottery.  In March 2021, the NHL announced changes to the Draft Lottery format.  Beginning last year, the NHL Draft Lottery assigned the top two slots in the first round of the NHL Draft – a change from prior years, when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the top three selections.  Two draws were held with the first drawing determining the club selecting first overall and the second drawing determining the team selecting second.  As of this year, a team only could move up 10 selections if it won one of the draws.

Under this system, the Blue Jackets had the fifth-most regular season points and a 2.5 pct. chance of winning the first lottery.  The percentage chance of being selected in the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery was as follows: Montreal (18.5 pct.), Arizona (13.5 pct.), Seattle (11.5 pct.), Philadelphia (9.5 pct.), New Jersey (8.5 pct.), Chicago (7.5 pct.), Ottawa (6.5 pct.), Detroit (6.0 pct.), Buffalo (5.0 pct.), Anaheim (3.5 pct.), San Jose (3.0 pct.), COLUMBUS (2.5 pct.), New York Islanders (2.0 pct.), Winnipeg (1.5 pct.), Vancouver (0.5 pct.) and Vegas (0.5 pct.).

BLUE JACKETS DRAFT LOTTERY HISTORY

2000      Lost expansion team coin flip with Minnesota (No. 3 pick) to earn No. 4 overall pick in 2000 Entry Draft.

2001      Entered in No. 8 position and earned No. 8 pick.  Atlanta (No. 3) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2002      Entered in No. 2 position and earned No. 3 pick.  Florida (No. 3) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.*

2003      Entered in No. 3 position and earned No. 4 pick.  Florida (No. 4) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2004      Entered in No. 4 position and earned No. 4 pick.  Washington (No. 3) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2005      No Drawing due to cancellation of 2004-05 season.

2006      Entered in No. 6 position and earned No. 6 pick.  St. Louis (No. 1) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2007      Entered in No. 7 position and earned No. 7 pick. Chicago (No. 5) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2008      Entered in No. 6 position and earned No. 6 pick. Tampa Bay (No. 1) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2009      Not eligible for Drawing. NY Islanders (No. 1) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2010      Entered in No. 4 position and earned No. 4 pick.  Edmonton (No. 1) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2011      Entered in No. 7 position and earned No. 8 pick.  New Jersey (No. 8) won Drawing and No. 4 overall pick.

2012      Entered in No. 1 position and earned No. 2 pick.  Edmonton (No. 2) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2013      Entered in No. 14 position and earned No. 14 pick.  Colorado (No. 2) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2014      Not eligible for Drawing. Florida (No. 2) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2015      Entered in No. 8 position and earned No. 8 pick.  Edmonton (No. 3) won Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2016      Entered in No. 4 position and earned No. 3 pick.  Toronto (No. 1) won First Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2017      Not eligible for Drawing.  New Jersey (No. 5) won First Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2018      Not eligible for Drawing.  Buffalo (No. 1) won First Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2019      Not eligible for Drawing.  New Jersey (No. 3) won First Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2020      Not eligible for Drawing.  New York Rangers won Second Phase and No. 1 overall pick.

2021      Entered in No. 5 position and earned No. 5 pick.  Buffalo (No. 1) won First Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

2022      Entered in No. 12 position and earned No. 12 pick.  Montreal (No. 1) won First Drawing and No. 1 overall pick.

               ^Entered in No. 6 position (Chicago) and earned No. 6 pick.

(*pick acquired by Columbus, which selected Rick Nash No. 1 overall)

(^conditional pick acquired by Columbus in trade with Chicago on July 23, 2021)

‐ CBJ ‐

Full and partial season tickets for the Blue Jackets’ 2022-23 campaign are currently available for purchase.  Information on all ticketing options can be obtained by calling (800) NHL‐COLS or by visiting BlueJackets.com.

MAY 12, 2022

NINE MEMBERS OF THE COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS ORGANIZATION SET TO COMPETE AT 2022 IIHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN FINLAND
Blue Jackets to represent six countries in tournament held from May 13-29

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The 2022 IIHF World Championships get underway in Helsinki and Tampere, Finland on Friday, May 13 with eight members of the Columbus Blue Jackets organization set to participate in the tournament.  Director of Player Development Rick Nash along with F Kent Johnson and F Cole Sillinger will represent Canada at the event, while D Nick Blankenburg and D Andrew Peeke will compete for the United States.  Also participating at the tournament are F Emil Bemstrom (Sweden), D Dean Kukan (Switzerland), G Elvis Merzlikins (Latvia) and F Alexandre Texier (France).

Nash is serving as Hockey Canada’s assistant general manager at the 2022 edition of the World Championships.  The Brampton, Ontario native is participating in his first tournament in a management role after appearing in numerous events for the country as a player.  He skated in three Olympic Games (2006, 2010-gold, 2014-gold), four IIHF World Championships (2005-silver, 2007-gold, 2008-silver, 2011) and the 2002 IIHF World Junior Championships for Canada.

Johnson, 19, has made his international debut for Canada this year, playing in both the 2022 Winter Olympics and 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships.  The 6-1, 168-pound native of Port Moody, British Columbia made his NHL debut this past season, collecting three assists, two penalty minutes and was +2 in nine appearances with the Blue Jackets.   Selected fifth overall at the 2021 NHL Draft, he racked up 17-47-64 and a cumulative +41 plus/minus rating in 58 outings over two seasons at the University of Michigan from 2020-22, including 8-29-37 in 32 games this season.

Sillinger, 18, is making his Canada men’s debut after suiting up for Canada White U17 team at the 2020 U17 World Hockey Challenge.  The Blue Jackets’ second first-round pick, 12th overall, at the 2021 NHL Draft posted the third-most goals (tied) and seventh-most points by a rookie in a single season in franchise history with 16-15-31 in 79 appearances in 2021-22.  The 6-2, 203-pound forward was born in Columbus, Ohio but grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Blankenburg, 23, is making his international debut for the United States.  The Washington, Michigan native was signed by the Blue Jackets to an entry level contract on April 8 and recorded 1-2-3 in seven contests, including making his NHL debut on April 13 vs. Montreal.  He played four seasons at the University of Michigan from 2018-22 and finished with 25-43-68 and 62 penalty minutes in 133 games.  The 5-9, 174-pound blueliner served as the team’s captain and set career highs with 14-15-29 in 38 appearances in 2021-22.

Peeke, 24, helped Team USA win a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships.  He has totaled 3-18-21 and 68 penalty minutes in 115 career NHL contests since being selected by the club in the second round, 34th overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft.  A native of Boca Raton, Florida, the 6-3, 196-pound blueliner set career highs with 2-13-15 and 60 PIM and registered the second-most blocked shots in club history with 169 while playing in all 82 games this season.

Bemstrom, 22, represented Sweden at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships and 2017 IIHF U18 World Championships.  The Nykoping, Sweden native, who was selected by Columbus in the fourth round, 117th overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft, has registered 19-17-36 and 12 PIM in 117 career NHL games.  The 6-0, 193-pound winger collected 6-5-11 in 41 appearances with the Blue Jackets and added 2-0-2 in four outings with the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters in 2021-22.  

Kukan, 28, has suited up for Switzerland at the IIHF World Championships in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 (silver) as well as the 2012 and 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships.  Originally signed by the Blue Jackets to an entry level contract in 2015, the Volketswil, Switzerland native has recorded 5-25-30 in 153 career games since making his NHL debut in 2015-16.  The 6-2, 190-pound defenseman set career highs with 3-8-11 and 16 PIM in 41 appearances this season. 

Merzlikins, 28, has represented Latvia at numerous international tournaments, including four consecutive IIHF World Championships from 2016-2019.  The Riga, Latvia native, who was Columbus’ third round pick, 76th overall, at the 2014 NHL Draft, has posted a 48-44-20 record with a 2.88 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and nine shutouts in 120 career games.  The 6-3, 183-pound netminder set career highs in games played and wins this season, finishing with a 27-23-7 record, 3.22 GAA, .907 SV% and two shutouts in 59 contests.

Texier, 22, has played for France in various international competition, including the 2018 and 2019 IIHF World Championships as well as the 2017 (bronze) and 2018 IIHF World Junior Division 1A Championships.  A native of Grenoble, France, the club’s second round selection, 45th overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft, has totaled 22-27-49 and 44 PIM in 123 career outings since making his League debut at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.  The 6-1, 186-pound forward set career highs in goals and points with 11-9-20 and 12 PIM in 36 contests in 2021-22.

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