Trey Fix-Wolansky 5-7, 179 pounds
Cleveland Monsters (AHL)
7th round (#204 overall), 2018 NHL Draft
Playstyle comparisons: Brad Marchand, Matt Calvert, Nathan Gerbe
NHL upside: Bottom six forward
Professional debut: 2019
The ninth ranked prospect on our list plays a very similar style to our tenth ranked prospect, James Malatesta. Trey Fix-Wolansky is a prospect that could be written off by many, as he has been in the Blue Jackets’ system for a full three years. Unfortunately for Trey and the Blue Jackets, the timing of the COVID pandemic and some injury troubles, have slowed his progression to the NHL. But make no mistake about it, this is still a valuable prospect in the CBJ system, a player who could find his way into the lineup for good, perhaps as early as next season.
Fix-Wolansky was selected by the Blue Jackets with their final pick in the 2018 draft after posting an impressive 32 goal, 89 point season in 71 WHL (in fact, just 13 players were selected after Trey – none of whom have played a single NHL game). Following his selection by the Blue Jackets, he returned to the Edmonton Oil Kings in the fall of 2018 as their captain, where he would dominate the league with 37 goals and 102 points – tying current Tampa Bay Lightning player Brandon Hagel for fourth overall in scoring.
A deep run in the playoffs followed for the Oil Kings, where Trey posted another 6 goals and 14 points through 16 games. Upon elimination, Fix-Wolansky was immediately promoted up to the Cleveland Monsters (AHL), where he joined the team for three playoff games, posting his first two professional points (1g, 1a). Since that season, Trey has been limited to just 105 AHL games, though his output has been impressive with 31 goals and 68 points in that time. Trey also earned his first NHL call-up this season and skated in 6 games with the Blue Jackets, scoring his first NHL goal on February 8th.
A skilled player, Fix-Wolansky has a knack for scoring goals, and is an above average playmaker. Though small in stature, he is a bull on the ice, fearlessly battling in the corners and consistently being a difficult task for opposing teams to handle. This combination of skill and tenacity has made him a fan favorite at almost every stop, as well as a popular teammate and leader in the locker room. The one knock for Trey is that he has struggled to stay healthy, which is likely a direct result of his aggressive playstyle.
The question then becomes, where does he fit in with the big club? The Blue Jackets already have a logjam of forwards battling for ice time, including a variety of skilled wingers. But, Trey brings an element of energy and could be an excellent fit on the team’s checking line, alongside mainstays Eric Robinson and Sean Kuraly. While he is likely to start the season in the AHL, I think it’s only a matter of time before he earns a call-up … at which point, his energy may make him difficult to send back down.
While “TFW” doesn’t have the dynamic scoring upside that a lot of other CBJ prospects have, he is making a strong case for himself as an NHL player. This will be a key season for him, if he can stay healthy and productive, I think he can make the jump and force some difficult decisions for the Blue Jackets.