Hockey

Trey Fix-Wolansky Makes NHL Debut

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On Tuesday night, Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Trey Fix-Wolansky made his NHL debut nearly four years after being drafted by the Blue Jackets in 2018 and also scored his first NHL goal with his mom and dad in the stands looking on.  

I remember watching Fix-Wolansky when he was with the Edmonton Oil Kings, he was one of my favorite players. Besides being pretty easy on the eyes, I also liked his name, as I’m sure that most of you can agree, he has a unique last name and you don’t really hear the first name Trey much. 

(Fun fact, The origin of the first name Trey is English and it means “Three.”) 

Being in the United States, I didn’t really have the opportunity to watch many Canadian Hockey League games but I’d watch the weekly game on NHL Network that was usually on Saturday afternoons. I actually wasn’t even sure if he was still playing or not. 

Well, he is definitely still playing and playing great for that matter.  

Fix-Wolansky is a native of Edmonton, Alberta, and growing up there, he played for the CAC Canadians U15 and U18 AAA programs of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League. As a 15-year-old, Fix-Wolansky was chosen to represent CAC Lehigh Cement at the 2014 AMBHL All-Star Game

Fix-Wolansky finished his AMBHL career the following year in 2015 and joined the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, a league that has produced players such as Colton Parayko and Cale Makar. As a 16-year-old, Fix-Wolansky registered 31 points (16 goals and 15 assists ) and was subsequently named to the AJHL’s North Division All-Rookie Team

Fix-Wolansky was originally selected by the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League in the Bantam Draft but had his playing rights traded to the Oil Kings shortly thereafter in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft. Upon becoming a member of the Oil Kings, Fix-Wolansky promptly signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement, which is a document that outlines the benefits that a player will receive and the responsibilities of the player and team while the player is in the WHL. 

On September 26, 2014, Fix-Wolansky made history by scoring the first-ever goal in the newly built Rogers Place and was named the game’s first star. 

In his first five games with the Oil Kings, Fix-Wolansky recorded five points (3g, 3a). As a result of his impressive play in his first few games, Fix- Wolansky was named to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau‘s November “Players to watch” list leading up to 2017’s NHL Entry Draft. 

Fix-Wolansky’s play and stats continued to improve as the season progressed and in February 2017, Fix-Wolansky recorded his first career hat trick in a disappointing 7-4 loss to the Medicine Hat Tigers then not long after, he scored his 21st goal of the season breaking the Oil Kings franchise record for the most goals by a rookie that was previously set by Curtis Lazar, who is currently playing for the Boston Bruins

Fix-Wolansky finished the 2016-17 season as the Oil Kings ranking second on the team in scoring with 54 points in 70 games played and was named the Oil Kings Rookie of the Year, an award that was presented to him by Oilers and NHL legends Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Lowe following the season.  

 Fix-Wolansky also received an invite to attend the Edmonton Oilers annual rookie camp in Penticton, B.C., and take part in the Young Stars Tournament. 

Entering his sophomore season with the Oil Kings, Fix-Wolansky was expected to take on a bigger leadership role on the team. He said in an interview with The Edmonton Journal at the time that; 

“I think even last year, even though I was a younger guy, I still kind of tried to lead by example. There are still some guys that are younger than me, so obviously, it’s important to kind of help bring them in and stuff like that. I think this year, it’s just going to be much of the same and helping the younger guys improve day in and day out, and hopefully, build off that.”

Fix-Wolansky opened his second season as an Oil King with three assists against the Red Deer Rebels and started the season on an eight-game point streak and only continued to get better after the Christmas break and finished the season with 89 points. 

In June 2018, Fix-Wolansky was drafted 204th overall by the Blue Jackets.

Prior to the start of the 2018-19 WHL season, Fix-Wolansky was named as the 12th captain in the history of the modern Oil Kings franchise but missed the start of the pre-season while he was away at Blue Jackets training camp. But once he returned to the team he went on a tear recording 45 points through the first 22 games of the season and 57 points through his first 30 games. 

In December 2018, Fix-Wolansky scored the 75th goal in his WHL career and registered his 200th career point. 

His strong play out of the gate for the Oil Kings earned Fix-Wolansky a spot on Team WHL for the CIBC Canada Russia Series games in Kamloops and Langley, British Columbia. However, when Hockey Canada announced their roster for their National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp ahead of the 2019 World Juniors, Fix-Wolansky’s name wasn’t on that list. 

Instead of allowing the World Junior to bring him down, he used it as motivation and registered 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points from November 21 to December 28.

Fix-Wolansky finished the season with an impressive 102 points ranking fourth in the WHL while also setting a new single-season assists record with 65, breaking the old record of 63 set by Dylan Wruck in 2012-13. 

Fix-Wolansky would be rewarded for his stellar season in the form of a three-year entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets that he signed on March 15, 2019, just in time for the American Hockey League playoffs. 

After making a run to the Eastern Conference Finals with the Oil Kings which ended in them being eliminated in six games ironically by the Prince Albert Raiders, the team that originally owned Fix-Wolansky’s rights before trading him to Edmonton, he immediately joined the Blue Jackets AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, for their second-round Calder Cup Playoffs matchup with the Toronto Marlies.

Fix-Wolansky made his AHL debut in Game 2 of the series and had his first two points, a goal followed by an assist in Game 4. 

Fix-Wolansky began the 2019-20 season in the AHL but was sidelined by a groin injury for nearly two months after playing in just four games for the Monsters. Once he returned from his injury he immediately registered six points. However, he would be shut down again, this time by the pandemic as the AHL shut down in early March like pretty much everything else around the world, but he didn’t let it stop him as he went back to Edmonton and participated in 4-on-4 summer skates with NHL, AHL, and college players. 

After returning to the ice for the 2020-21 season, Fix-Wolansky came out of the gates with seven points in five games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in a game against the Grand Rapids Griffins in late March 2021. He had surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and was expected to need six months of recovery time. 

Despite his struggles with various injuries, Fix-Wolansky has managed to record 25 goals in 74 AHL games before being called up on Monday.

Fix-Wolansky made his NHL debut the following day with his mom and dad, who jumped on a flight out of Edmonton at 7 a.m. local time after receiving the news that their son would be making his NHL debut, in the stands cheering him on and scored his first NHL goal in the third period on a pass from Jack Roslovic

Despite only standing 5’7″ and weighing in at 179 pounds, Fix-Wolansky has proven that he belongs in the NHL.

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