MARCH 8, 2021
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated goaltender Elvis Merzlikins off Injured Reserve and assigned goaltender Veini Vehvilainen to the club’s taxi squad, General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.
Merzlikins, 26, has missed the past seven games with an upper body injury suffered on February 20 vs. Nashville. He has posted a 3-3-1 record with a 2.81 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and a shutout in nine games this season. He made his NHL debut in 2019-20, finishing with a 13-9-8 record, 2.35 GAA, .923 SV% and five shutouts in 33 appearances. The Riga, Latvia native was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team after finishing second-T in the League in shutouts and fifth in GAA and SV% (tied). The 6-3, 185-pound netminder was Columbus’ third-round pick, 76th overall, at the 2014 NHL Draft.
Vehvilainen, 24, made his NHL debut on Saturday at Dallas, stopping three of four shots on 10:40 of minutes played in relief of Joonas Korpisalo. He 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. 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. The 6-0, 181-pound goaltender 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.
The Blue Jackets return to action on Tuesday when they host the Florida Panthers. Puck drop from Nationwide Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio begins with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. All Blue Jackets games televised on FOX Sports Ohio will also be streamed live via FOX Sports GO. The game may also be heard on the Eldorado Scioto Downs Blue Jackets Radio Network, including 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, and online at BlueJackets.com.
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