FEBRUARY 26, 2021
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have assigned goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks and defenseman Gavin Bayreuther to the Cleveland Monsters, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, and recalled goaltender Veini Vehvilainen from the Monsters, General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.
Kivlenieks, 24, went 1-1-2 with a 2.95 goals-against average (GAA) and .898 save percentage (SV%) in six games with the Blue Jackets in 2019-20, including a 31-save performance to beat the New York Rangers, 2-1, at Madison Square Garden in his NHL debut on Jan. 19, 2020. The 6-2, 183-pound goaltender also posted a 9-8-3 mark with a 2.96 GAA, .904 SV% and one shutout in 20 games with the Monsters last season. Signed by Columbus as a free agent on May 25, 2017, the Riga, Latvia native has gone 27-33-8 with a 3.23 GAA, .892 SV% and three shutouts in 77 career AHL games over the past three seasons.
Bayreuther, 26, was signed by the Blue Jackets as a free agent on Oct. 9, 2020 and added to the taxi squad on February 19. He has tallied 2-3-5, 10 penalty minutes and a +2 plus/minus rating in 19 career NHL games, all during the 2018-19 season with the Dallas Stars. He has added 22-69-91 and 82 penalty minutes in 200 career AHL games with the Monsters and Texas Stars, including two penalty minutes in two games with Cleveland this season. The Canaan, New Hampshire native played four seasons at St. Lawrence University (ECAC) from 2013-17, registering 35-76-111 with 92 penalty minutes and a +24 plus/minus rating in 142 career games.
Vehvilainen, 24, has gone 10-19-4 with a 2.77 GAA, .901 SV% and three shutouts in 34 career AHL games with Cleveland, including an 0-1-0 mark, 3.05 GAA and .875 SV% in one appearance this season. He made 24 saves in a 3-2 loss at Rockford on February 23 in his season debut. Selected by Columbus in the sixth round, 185th overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft, the Jyvaskyla, Finland native has gone 67-37-24 with a 2.00 GAA, .923 SV% and 14 shutouts in 132 career Liiga games with TYP, Sport and Karpat. He began this season on loan to JYP and went 3-7-3 with a 3.18 GAA, .896 SV% and one shutout in 13 outings.
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