Photo of Columbus player David Jiricek with Slafkovsky, Cooley and Nemec
Photo credit: Nhl/Getty images

A player drafted after Juraj Slafkovsky is extremely unhappy and could request a trade

Published February 9, 2024 at 8:05 PM
Times are tough for the Columbus Blue Jackets. In addition to losing the services of Patrick Laine, who entered the player assistance program, and Adam Fantilli, who was recently injured, the organization also has to manage complaints from its players.

Indeed, young defenseman David Jiricek has strongly criticized the team that drafted him 6th overall in the 2022 draft. The defenseman did not seem to appreciate being demoted to the American League for the fourth time this season, as he let Aaron Portzline from The Athletic know.

"I've played good hockey in the NHL. I am an NHL player right now. That's my opinion, I should be playing in the NHL right now."

"I see guys from the same draft, like Simon Nemec [in New Jersey] and [Kevin] Korchinski [in Chicago]. [...] They get their chance on the power play. They play a lot of minutes in the NHL. These are different teams, different situations, but I can compare myself to them. I just want the chance to play like them." - David Jiricek

The 20-year-old defenseman, who has only 40 NHL games experience, has accumulated 1 goal and 8 assists this season with the Jackets and only three assists in 4 games with the Cleveland Monsters in the AHL. If he wants to play on the power play, he will certainly have to prove that he is capable of producing above all else.

Asked about Jiricek, Columbus head coach Pascal Vincent said that sending the rookie to the AHL was to give him more playing time.

"I told him one of the things I like about him is his character," Vincent shared on Friday. "He wants to be in the NHL and I love that. I told him, 'Don't lose that. That's what we want from you.'"

"This part of his game also reflects the way he plays on the ice. He has confidence." - Pascal Vincent

The current Blue Jackets' blue line is at least congested with Zach Werenski, Erik Gudbranson, Ivan Provorov, Damon Severson, Jake Bean, Andrew Peeke, and Nick Blankenburg. Returning there could be difficult for the young Czech, especially if he has this attitude...

A few days ago, a rumor from Darren Dreger mentioned that general manager Jarmo Kekalainen was ready to listen to teams interested in some high earners, like Patrick Laine and Yvan Provorov.

Maybe a trade of the defenseman will benefit Jiricek? Unless it's Jiricek himself who leaves the ship...

February 9   |   617 answers
A player drafted after Juraj Slafkovsky is extremely unhappy and could request a trade

Would you trade Filip Mesar and a 1st round pick for Jiricek?

Yes21434.7 %
No40365.3 %
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