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CBJ Top 25 Under 25: Can Kirill Marchenko live up to expectations?

There’s been a lot of hype around the arrival of the Russian and the time for him to prove himself is now.

CSKA v SKA - Kontinental Hockey League Photo by Anna Sergeeva/ Getty Images

Thanks to everyone who voted for this year’s Top 25 Under 25 ranking. We had almost 100 submissions from Columbus Blue Jackets fans. Stay tuned as we enter the home stretch with the top 10 players. Now, 6th-ranked Kirill Marchenko.

#6 Kirill Marchenko


6th out of 40 eligible players
Writer Rank: 4
Reader Rank: 8
Highest placement: 1 (1 votes)
Most common placement: 6 (14 votes)
2021 Rank: 10


Birthdate: July 21, 2000
Birthplace: Barnaul, Russia
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 187 lbs.
Position: Right Wing
Shoots: Right
Acquired: Drafted 49th overall (2nd round) in the 2018 Entry Draft

2021-22 Season

Marchenko had a rough season in the KHL. He spent time up and down the lineup, in the press box, and even in Russia’s equivalent of the AHL. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for Russian players to experience less than favorable treatment when it’s a foregone conclusion they are heading to North America when the season is over. Luckily for Marchenko, that is all behind him now.

Despite the inconsistency of playing time, Kirill still managed 12 goals and 8 assists in 39 games with SKA St. Petersburg. That’s a .31 goals per game pace, only down slightly from the .37 pace in the prior season.

2022-23 Outlook

Fans will finally get to see Marchenko in a Blue Jackets sweater in the upcoming season. It’s hard to believe that he’s only 22 because it feels like we’ve been talking about him forever. The hype is warranted. Marchenko is a big, skilled forward that can adapt his game to what’s needed. He can be seen in highlights laying big hits, driving possession, sniping over a goalie’s shoulder, and deking his way to a breakaway goal.

It’s unclear what his ceiling is offensively or how long it’ll take him to acclimate to the North American game. It’s worth noting that SKA St. Petersburg actually plays on a North American sized rink, so he does have an advantage there over other players that come over from the KHL. Still, the pace and skill of the NHL will take some getting used to.

Where will Marchenko fit into the lineup? It’s hard to say. If he shows he’s ready to contribute, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him as high as the second line playing opposite Jakub Voracek. Marchenko’s knack for shooting could fit well next to a pass first line mate. Put Cole Sillinger in the middle and you add another underrated shooter to that line. If he struggles to get acquainted, he could very well see limited minutes on the third or fourth line. Worst case, he ends up in Cleveland.

What kind of production could we see in year one? Kirill’s points per game average over his 3 seasons in the KHL was .58. If he can manage that sort of pace in the NHL, that would put him at roughly 47 points over the course of an 82 game season. With the offensive talent he’ll be surrounded by, and the probable opportunity to play on the second power play unit, I don’t think that kind of production is out of the question.

The Marchenko era is beginning and you have every right to be excited.


Maybe he can help out in shootouts.

He’s dangerous with time and space too.