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 Cleveland Monsters

Monsters Announce Pair of Roster Moves

March 23, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Cleveland Monsters News Release


CLEVELAND - The AHL's Cleveland Monsters, top affiliate of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, announced Saturday that the Blue Jackets assigned defenseman David Jiricek to the Monsters and added forward James Malatesta to the club's roster on emergency recall from Cleveland. In 36 appearances for Columbus this season, Jiricek supplied 1-8-9 with 20 penalty minutes and added 7-10-17 with 12 penalty minutes in 24 games with Cleveland. In 53 appearances for the Monsters this season, Malatesta posted 12-9-21 with a team-high 79 penalty minutes.

A 6'4", 206 lb. right-shooting native of Klatovy, Czechia, Jiricek, 20, was selected by the Blue Jackets in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. In 40 career NHL appearances, all for Columbus, spanning parts of two seasons from 2022-24, Jiricek registered 1-8-9 with 22 penalty minutes. In 79 appearances for the Monsters spanning parts of two seasons from 2022-24, Jiricek posted 13-42-55 with 48 penalty minutes and was selected to participate in the 2022-23 AHL All-Star Classic, although he did not play in the event. Jiricek was also named the AHL's Rookie of the Month for December 2022. In 67 appearances for HC Plzen of Czechia's Extraliga spanning parts of three seasons from 2019-22, Jiricek contributed 8-12-20 with 85 penalty minutes and a +14 rating.

Internationally, Jiricek represented Czechia at the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 IIHF U20 World Junior Championships, helping claim the Silver Medal at the 2022-23 event where he was named to the tournament's All-Star Team and recognized as the event's top defenseman. Jiricek also helped Czechia claim the Bronze Medal at the 2021-22 IIHF World Championship.

A 5'9", 197 lb. left-shooting native of Montreal, QC, Malatesta, 20, was selected by Columbus in the fifth round (133rd overall) of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Prior to his professional career, Malatesa contributed 98-89-187 with 154 penalty minutes and a +41 rating in 214 career QMJHL appearances for the Quebec Remparts spanning four seasons from 2019-23. In 2022-23, Malatesta helpec Quebec claim the QMJHL and Memorial Cup Championships and was named to the Memorial Cup All-Star Team. Last season, Malatesta also claimed the Stafford Smythe Trophy as Memorial Cup MVP and the Guy LaFleur Trophy as QMJHL Playoff MVP.


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