Former Halifax Mooseheads star Jakub Voracek is quietly playing the best hockey of his young NHL career.

The 20-year-old right-winger has been scorching hot for the Columbus Blue Jackets lately, with eight goals, 13 assists and a plus-9 rating in his past 17 games to put him on the verge of a 50-point sophomore campaign.

The turnaround coincides with the Blue Jackets’ firing of Ken Hitchcock as head coach on Feb. 3.

“It’s confidence,” Voracek told “We’re playing more minutes now (under interim coach Claude Noel) and we’re having fun. Everybody likes to score. It makes everybody happy. I’m no different. For me, it’s a lot happier now than earlier this season.”

The six-foot-one, 213-pound native of Kladno, Czech Republic, has 16 goals and 33 assists for 49 points in 75 games this season. He had 38 points in 80 games as a rookie after being drafted seventh overall in 2007.

Voracek played the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons with the Mooseheads, recording 187 points in 112 games to sit ninth on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. His points-per-game rate of 1.66 sits third behind Ramzi Abid and Ladislav Nagy.