Monsters announce four roster movesApr 1, 2023
The Cleveland Monsters announced Saturday that the Blue Jackets added defenseman Marcus Bjork and forwards Joona Luoto and Justin Richards to the club’s roster on emergency recall from the Monsters and assigned forward Trey Fix-Wolansky to Cleveland.
In 28 appearances for the Blue Jackets this season, Bjork registered 3-8-11 with 24 penalty minutes and added 6-7-13 with 18 penalty minutes in 40 appearances for the Monsters. In 43 appearances Cleveland this season, Luoto supplied 14-11-25 with ten penalty minutes and a +2 rating while Richards contributed 10-25-35 with 50 penalty minutes and a +4 rating in 54 games played with the Monsters this year. Fix-Wolansky appeared in seven game for Columbus this season and added 26-41-67 with 34 penalty minutes in 53 appearances for Cleveland.
A 6’4”, 211 lb. right-shooting native of Umea, Sweden, Bjork, 25, registered 17-47-64 with 98 penalty minutes and a -23 rating in 204 appearances for Orebro HK, the Malmo Redhawks, and Brynas IF in Sweden’s SHL spanning four seasons from 2018-22. Prior to his professional career, Bjork logged 1-2-3 with six penalty minutes and a -1 rating in eight appearances for the USHL’s Omaha Lancers in 2016-17.
In 27 appearances for Tappara Tampere in Finland’s Liiga last season, Luoto posted 9-5-14 with 12 penalty minutes and a +8 rating and earned the Jari Kurri Award as Liiga’s Playoff MVP, helping Tappara claim the 2021-22 Liiga Championship. A 6’3”, 192 lb. left-shooting native of Tampere, Finland, Luoto, 24, tallied two penalty minutes and a -3 rating in 16 NHL appearances for the Winnipeg Jets in 2019-20 and added 2-6-8 with 22 penalty minutes and a -1 rating in 29 AHL appearances for the Manitoba Moose the same year.
In 175 Liiga appearances for Tappara and HIFK Helsinki spanning parts of five seasons from 2016-19 and 2020-22, Luoto contributed 35-26-61 with 66 penalty minutes and a +24 rating. Luoto additionally helped Tappara claim the 2018-19 Liiga Bronze Medal, 2017-18 Liiga Silver Medal, and the 2016-17 Liiga Championship. Luoto also represented Finland at the 2016-17 IIHF U20 World Junior Championship.
A 5’11”, 190 lb. right-shooting native of Orlando, FL, Richards, 24, supplied 0-1-1 with a +1 rating in one NHL appearance for the New York Rangers during the 2020-21 season. In 141 career AHL appearances spanning parts of three seasons from 2020-23 with the Hartford Wolf Pack and Cleveland, Richards contributed 20-40-60 with 83 penalty minutes.
Prior to his professional career, Richards helped the University of Minnesota-Duluth claim the 2017-18 and 2018-19 NCAA National Championships and the 2018-19 NCHC Tournament Championship, supplying 26-40-66 with 38 penalty minutes and a +40 rating in 120 career NCAA appearances spanning three seasons from 2017-20. Richards was named to the 2018-19 NCAA All-Tournament Team and the 2018-19 NCHC Second All-Star Team and was named the NCHC’s Best Defensive Forward in 2018-19 and 2019-20. In 2016-17, Richards logged 10-20-30 with 63 penalty minutes and a +2 rating in 59 appearances for the USHL’s Lincoln Stars.
A 5’7”, 186 lb. right-shooting native of Edmonton, AB, Fix-Wolansky, 23, was originally selected by Columbus in the seventh round (204th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and contributed 1-1-2 in 13 career NHL appearances for Columbus during portions of the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons. In 158 career AHL appearances, all for Cleveland, spanning parts of four seasons from 2019-23, Fix-Wolansky contributed 57-78-135 with 127 penalty minutes. Fix-Wolansky embarked on his professional career with the Monsters during the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs, supplying 1-1-2 in three games played.
Prior to his professional career, Fix-Wolansky notched 93-152-245 with 202 penalty minutes and a +5 rating in 2016 career WHL appearances for his hometown Edmonton Oil Kings spanning parts of three seasons from 2016-19. In 2018-19, Fix-Wolansky served as Edmonton’s captain and was named to the WHL (East) First All-Star Team.
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