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David Jiricek complains about his playing time in Columbus
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Things are really bad for the Columbus Blue Jackets. They have just two wins in their last eight games, Patrick Laine has just entered the player assistance program and, now, David Jiricek is complaining about his usage.

The defenseman selected sixth overall in the 2022 draft spoke to The Athletic‘s Aaron Portzline on Friday, after being sent back to the AHL for a fourth time this season.

He believes he played some good hockey during his last NHL stint and that he should have a place in the NHL. But that’s not all, he compares himself to other defensemen in his draft like Simon Nemec of the Devils and Kevin Korchinski of the Blackhawks, who get playing time on the power play.

Let’s set the record straight.

Jiricek has just one point in his last nine NHL games. If he’s going to get a chance to play significant minutes in the big leagues, he’s going to have to prove to Pascal Vincent that he’s capable of producing offensively.

So far, his NHL rookie season has fallen far short of expectations. I’ll let you judge for yourselves.

His defensive contribution isn’t terrible, but offensively, it’s a different story. Not sure he’ll be playing on the power play anytime soon with numbers like that.

On the other hand, you have to understand Jiricek’s frustration. At 20 years of age, he’s still very young and deserves to have many chances, especially given his young age. The Blue Jackets haven’t given him much of a chance to prove his abilities recently.

His last hockey game was on January 9, when Columbus lost 5-0 to the Jets. After that, he was out of the line-up for three straight games. He was recalled to the NHL last Sunday, only to be taken out of the lineup twice and sent back to the AHL another time.

After his last NHL game, he was told by club management that he hadn’t played well enough, to which he replied that he doesn’t share that opinion and that he’s enjoying his game right now.

So no, David Jiricek isn’t having the season he’d hoped for, but getting called back to spend his time in the press gallery and not getting a chance can be frustrating for many.

The Blue Jackets are currently congested on the blue line, having acquired Ivan Provorov and Damon Severson over the summer. However, the latest rumours point to a deal that would send Provorov elsewhere. This could be Jiricek’s chance to prove he belongs in the NHL.

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