Blue Jackets defenseman David Jiricek unhappy with current role
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A trade request may be coming from a top-10 draft pick from 2022

Published January 29, 2024 at 8:56
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

The Columbus Blue Jackets drafted David Jiricek with the 6th overall pick in the 2022 draft. The highly touted defensive prospect went on to make his NHL debut last season for Columbus playing in 4 games. It was expected that he would take on a much larger role with the club this season and he has to an extent, skating in 36 games.

However, as Columbus sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Jiricek has found himself in the press box as a healthy scratch, having not played since January 9th against the Winnipeg Jets. Over the weekend, Jiricek sat down with The Athletic's Aaron Portzline and ripped into the Blue Jackets about how they have handled his development and playing time.

"I played good hockey in the NHL. I'm an NHL player right now. That's my opinion, that I should be in the NHL right now. I see guys from the same draft, like Simon Nemec and Korchinski they get a chance on the power play. They play a ton of minutes in the NHL. Those are different teams, so different situations, but I can compare with them. I just want a chance to play like that," said Jiricek.

In speaking with Portzline, Jiricek said he disagreed with the Blue Jackets' assessment of his play and did not think he deserved to be a healthy scratch the past three weeks before being sent down to the AHL.


"They told me the last game was not good enough for me. I told them I don't think so, but that's your opinionI was out of the lineup after that. A whole month now, it feels like I haven't played."

Portzline noted in his story that there was concern from Blue Jackets management that Jiricek would refuse to report to their AHL affiliate in Cleveland, but Jiricek actually enjoys his time there. He just does not think he should be there at this point.

"The guys here in Cleveland are awesome. The coaches are awesome. It's fun to be here now, because there's a lot of winning. There's a good energy. But still this is not what I want, right?"

With a handful of players reportedly on the trade block in Columbus, including Ivan Provorov, who the Blue Jackets acquired this past off-season, Jiricek could get the opportunity he is looking for in the coming weeks. If he does not, though, it could lead to another player requesting a trade out of Columbus.

The 6'4, 200 pound, right-shot defenseman has played in 40 career NHL games where he has registered 1 goal and 9 points while averaging 15:07 of ice-time per game. At times early on this season, Jiricek appeared to be one of the better defenseman on the roster in Columbus. This whole thing is puzzling.

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January 29   |   296 answers
A trade request may be coming from a top-10 draft pick from 2022

Will Jiricek request a trade from Columbus?

Definitely22877 %
No, he hasn't proven himself enough to demand one6823 %
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