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Monsters Announce Three Roster Moves

February 26, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Cleveland Monsters News Release

CLEVELAND - The AHL's Cleveland Monsters, top affiliate of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, announced Friday that the Blue Jackets recalled goaltender Veini Vehvilainen, reassigned defenseman Gavin Bayreuther to Cleveland from Columbus' taxi squad, and assigned goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks to the Monsters. In one appearance for Cleveland this season, Vehvilainen posted a record of 0-1-0 with a 3.05 goals-against average (GAA) and a .875 save percentage (S%). In two appearances for the Monsters this season, Bayreuther supplied two penalty minutes and a -2 rating. In six appearances for the Blue Jackets last season, the first NHL action of his career, Kivlenieks went 1-1-0 with a 2.95 GAA and .898 S%. Kivlenieks also contributed a record of 9-8-3 in 20 appearances for Cleveland last season with one shutout, a 2.96 GAA and .904 S%.

A 6'0", 181 lb. left-catching native of Jyväskylä, Finland, Vehvilainen, 24, was originally selected by the Blue Jackets in the sixth round (173rd overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. In 34 career AHL appearances, all for Cleveland, spanning the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, Vehvilainen went 10-19-5 with three shutouts, a 2.77 GAA and a .901 S%. In 132 career Liiga appearances spanning parts of six seasons from 2014-19 and 2020-21 for JYP, Sport, and Kärpät, Vehvilainen went 67-37-24 with 14 shutouts, a 2.00 GAA and a .923 S%. Vehvilainen helped Kärpät claim the 2018 Liiga Championship and the 2019 Liiga Silver Medal and claimed the 2017-18 and 2018-19 Urpo Ylönen Awards as Liiga's top goaltender. Internationally, Vehvilainen represented Finland in the 2016 and 2017 IIHF U20 World Junior Championships, helping Finland claim Gold Medal honors in 2016. Vehvilainen also helped Finland claim Gold at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.

A 6'1", 194 lb. left-shooting native of Concord, NH, Bayreuther, 26, posted 2-3-5 with ten penalty minutes and a +2 rating in 19 NHL appearances for the Dallas Stars during the 2018-19 season. In 200 career AHL appearances for the Texas Stars and Cleveland spanning parts of five seasons from 2016-21, Bayreuther contributed 22-69-91 with 82 penalty minutes and a -1 rating. Prior to his professional career, Bayreuther supplied 35-76-111 with 92 penalty minutes and a +24 rating in 142 NCAA appearances for St. Lawrence University spanning four seasons from 2014-17. During the 2012-13 season, Bayreuther additionally notched 9-24-33 with 43 penalty minutes and a +8 rating in 60 appearances for the USHL's Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Fargo Force.

A 6'2", 178 lb. left-catching native of Riga, Latvia, Kivlenieks, 24, supplied a record of 27-33-8 with three shutouts, a 3.23 GAA and .892 S% in 77 career AHL appearances, all for the Monsters, spanning parts of three seasons from 2017-20. During the 2018-19 season, Kivlenieks went 5-3-0 with a 2.71 GAA and .923 S% in eight appearances for the ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings. Prior to his professional career, Kivlenieks posted a record of 36-7-2 with five shutouts, a 1.85 GAA and .932 S% in 49 appearances for the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers during the 2016-17 season, helping Sioux City claim the 2017 Anderson Cup as USHL Regular Season Champions. Kivlenieks also claimed 2017 USHL Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year honors, was named to the 2016-17 USHL First All-Star Team, and represented Latvia at the 2018 IIHF World Championships.

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