In the System: March 2023 Prospect Update

The only thing we can do at this point is look to the future

After a game like last night where things seem hopeless, we can thankfully take a look at the bright future the Jackets (hopefully) have with their prospects in the pipeline.

It’s been a few months since we last caught up with our future Jackets, so let’s take a quick look at how they’re doing as they approach the end of their seasons.

Jordan Dumais RW - Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
46-71-117 55GP
2022-23 PPG: 2.13
2021-22 PPG: 1.60

Dumais continues to torch the QMJHL for the Halifax Mooseheads, only being outscored by his potential future teammate, Connor Bedard. He is having one of the best seasons in the Q in the last 20 years, trailing NHL Stars like Alexander Radulov and Sidney Crosby. Halifax is heading towards the playoffs in the top spot and will look to make a Memorial Cup run, leaning heavily on their leading scorer along the way.

Dumais will put the Jackets in a tough spot next year, not being old enough to play in the AHL, and too good for juniors. Can he force management’s hand into keeping him in the NHL? And will the Jackets even have a spot for another teenager? Good problems to have I suppose.

Corson Ceulemans RHD - Wisconsin (NCAA)
8-15-23 33GP
2022-23 PPG: 0.70
2021-22 PPG: 0.65

Ceulemans Sophomore statline was very similar to his Freshman year at Wisconsin which saw him total 45 points in 67 games during his two-year career with the Badgers. He opted to sign his ELC with the Jackets yesterday, just one day after the University of Wisconsin fired head coach Tony Granato. The three-year entry level deal will begin next year, as he opted to sign a contract with the Cleveland Monsters for the rest of the year as they make a final playoff push, similar to the path Zach Werenski took to the NHL. Playoffs are becoming a long shot for the Monsters at this point, but it will be good experience nonetheless for the young blue liner, and Cleveland will surely welcome the injection of talent into their system.

Dmitri Voronkov C - Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)
18-13-31 54GP
2022-23 PPG: 0.57
2021-22 PPG: 0.32

Voronkov had his most successful season to date in the KHL, especially on the offensive end where he set career highs in goals, assists and points. He also won an impressive 56% of his faceoffs which is a skillset that will be most welcome with the Blue Jackets.

His team is currently in the midst of their first round playoff matchup that has seen the big Russian put up 3 points in the first 4 games of the series.

The word on the street is that he will be signing with the Blue Jackets at the conclusion of his season. He most likely won’t cross the pond until the summer as timing would be tight to get him into some games once his KHL season ends. Jackets fans have been eagerly awaiting his arrival for what seems like ages now.

Denton Mateychuk LHD - Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
6-49-55 57GP
2022-23 PPG: 0.96
2021-22 PPG: 0.98

Mateychuk’s offensive performance has tailed off a bit in the latter half of the season, but he’s still having a successful campaign as captain of the Moose Jae Warrior. He hasn’t scored a game in over 20 games, but nobody is worrying about that as he continues to produce for his team while improving upon his two-way play.

Mateychuk likens himself to a Charlie McAvoy type player, while many others see Cale Makar in his game. If he can find a happy medium between the two, the Blue Jackets have yet another blue chip defenseman coming up through the ranks.

He is most likely going to be another victim of the CHL/NHL agreement that limits where he can play next season, so don’t be surprised to see him back captaining Moose Jaw in the WHL.

Recently, the Jackets touched base with Mateychuk in a prospect report of their own.

Luca Del Bel Belluz C - Sarnia Sting (OHL)
36-36-72 58GP
2022-23 PPG: 1.24
2021-22 PPG: 1.12

Del Bel Belluz has continued the same trajectory for his season with Sarnia after being traded from Mississauga. Once he adjusted to his new team and linemates, LDBB began filling the net, including a stretch of 14 goals in 14 games. Sarnia is humming as they head towards the playoffs on a 8-0-2 run in their last ten games, with Del Bel Belluz being a big part of that success.

Stanislav Svozil LHD - Regina Pats (WHL)
10-62-72 47GP
2022-23 PPG: 1.53
2021-22 PPG: 0.69

Svozil picked up right where he left off after leaving the Pats for the World Juniors, where he put on an eye opening performance with Czechia. In fact, Svozil has even picked up his scoring pace, performing at over a 1.5ppg pace! An even wilder stat is that Svozil has 50(!) more points than the next highest scoring defenseman on his team. It doesn’t hurt that a lot of those points are thanks to the incredible skill of potential future CBJ teammate (I’m willing it into existence), Connor Bedard.

Svozil will infuse the Cleveland blue line with another dose of high-end skill next year along with Corson Ceulemans. Next year will be an exciting year for the Monsters!

Kirill Dolzhenkov RW - Krasnaya Armiya Moskva (MHL)
18-27-45 50GP
2022-23 PPG: 0.90
2021-22 PPG: 0.85

Dolzheknov continues to be an imposing force in the Russian junior league while trying to round out his game. He still looks like a long-term project based on his skating, but he’s got a few things that can’t be taught: size and skill. He was tied for the team lead in goals, and set career highs in every offensive category.

He got his first taste of KHL action, appearing in 5 games with CSKA Moskva. He didn’t tally on the scoresheet, unless you’re counting penalty minutes, but was no doubt good experience for him to see the next level and use it as a measuring stick to see where he is at and how much he needs to improve.

Hang in there Jackets fans, brighter days are undoubtedly ahead. As they say, it’s always darkest before dawn.

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