Monsters Announce Three Roster MovesJan 16, 2020
The AHL’s Cleveland Monsters, top affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, announced Thursday that the Blue Jackets recalled defenseman Adam Clendening and goatender Matiss Kivlenieks and assigned goaltender Veini Vehvilainen to the Monsters.
A 6’0”, 196 lb., right-handed native of Niagara Falls, NY, Clendening, 27, was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round (36th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and signed a two-year contract extension with Columbus on June 25, 2019. In 90 career NHL appearances for Columbus, Chicago, the Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Arizona Coyotes spanning parts of five seasons from 2014-19, Clendening supplied 4-20-24 with 42 penalty minutes and a +11 rating. In 35 appearances for the Monsters this year, Clendening contributed 6-23-19 with 38 penalty minutes and a +6 rating and in 332 career AHL appearances for the Rockford IceHogs, Utica Comets, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Tucson Roadrunners and the Monsters spanning parts of seven seasons from 2012-20, Clendening contributed 37-179-216 with 393 penalty minutes and a +55 rating. Clendening competed in the 2012-13 AHL All-Star Game and was named to the 2013-14 AHL First All-Star Team and the 2012-13 AHL Second All-Star Team.
Prior to his professional career, Clendening notched 9-50-59 with 144 penalty minutes and a +19 rating in 77 NCAA appearances for Boston University spanning two seasons from 2010-12 and added 4-13-17 with 44 penalty minutes and a +16 rating in 26 USHL appearances for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program during the 2009-10 season. Clendening additionally competed for Team USA at the 2012 IIHF U20 World Junior Championships.
A 6’2”, 180 lb. left-catching native of Riga, Latvia, Kivlenieks, 23, signed a three-year, two-way entry level contract with Columbus on May 25, 2017. In 16 appearances for Cleveland this year, Kivlenieks supplied a record of 7-7-2 with one shutout, a 3.04 GAA and a .896 S%. In 73 career AHL appearances, all for the Monsters, spanning parts of three seasons from 2017-20, Kivlenieks posted a record of 25-32-7 with three shutouts, a 3.26 GAA and a .889 S%. During the 2018-19 season, Kilvenieks logged a 5-3-0 record in a 2.71 GAA and a .923 S% in eight ECHL appearances for the Kalamazoo Wings.
Prior to his professional career, Kilvenieks went 36-7-2 with five shutouts, a 1.85 GAA and a .932 S% in 49 appearances for the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers during the 2016-17 campaign. That season, Kivlenieks claimed USHL Player and Goaltender of the Year honors, was named to the 2016-17 USHL First All-Star Team and helped Sioux City claim the 2017 Anderson Cup as USHL Regular-Season Champions while leading the league in wins (1st), shutouts (T1st), GAA (1st) and S% (1st).
A 6’1”, 183 lb. left-catching native of Jyväskylä, Finland, Vehvilainen, 22, was selected by Columbus in the sixth round (173rd overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and signed a two-year, two-way entry level contract with the Blue Jackets on June 4, 2019. In 19 appearances for the Monsters this season, Vehvilainen posted a record of 8-10-1 with two shutouts, a 2.22 goals-against average (GAA) and a .918 save percentage (S%).
Prior to his North American professional career, Vehvilainen supplied a record of 64-21-30 with 13 shutouts, a 1.83 GAA and a .926 S% in 199 Liiga appearances for JYP, SportsVaasa and Kärpät spanning parts of five seasons from 2014-19. A Liiga All-Star in 2018 and 2019, Vehvilainen claimed the 2018 and 2019 Urpo Ylönen Award as Liiga’s top goaltender and heped Kärpät claim the 2018 Liiga Championship and the 2019 Liiga Silver Medal. Vehvilainen helped Finland claim the Gold Medal at the 2019 IIHF World Championships and represented Finland at the 2016 and 2017 IIHF U20 World Junior Championships, helping Finland to Gold Medal honors at the 2016 tournament.
Cleveland also announced Thursday that the team released forward Dan DeSalvo and defenseman Brandon Anselmini from their tryout (PTO) contracts.