Monsters Announce Roster Moves


Cleveland recalls Kulbakov, Savage from ECHL ranks, Blue Jackets loan Benoit to Bridgeport.


The Cleveland Monsters, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, announced Tuesday that the Monsters recalled goaltender Ivan Kulbakov from his loan to the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards and recalled defenseman Scott Savage from his loan to the ECHL’s Jacksonville IceMen. The Blue Jackets also announced Monday that the team loaned defenseman Andre Benoit to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the remainder of the season.

A 6’0”, 183 lb., left-handed net-minder, Kulbakov, 21, participated in both the Blue Jackets’ and Cleveland’s 2017 Training Camps and inked an AHL standard player contract (SPC) with the Monsters on June 30, 2017. In six appearances for the Monsters this season, Kulbakov posted a record of 0-4-0 with a 4.02 goals-against average and a .868 save percentage and added a record of 10-9-0 in 19 appearances this year for the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards with a 3.47 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage. In 52 appearances for the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms last season, Kulbakov supplied a record of 30-16-1 with five shutouts, a 1.93 goals-against average, and a .919 save percentage. Kulbakov capped the 2016-17 campaign among the USHL’s league-leaders in appearances (T1st), wins (T2nd), shutouts (T1st), goals-against average (4th) and save percentage (T7th). Kulbakov has additionally represented Belarus in international competition and logged time with HK Gomel in the Belarusian professional ranks.

A 6’1”, 192 lb., left-handed native of San Clemente, CA, Savage, 22, signed an AHL SPC with Cleveland on June 29, 2017 and supplied a -1 rating in three appearances for the Monsters last season. In 50 appearances for the ECHL’s Jacksonville IceMen this year, Savage posted 7-18-25 with 21 penalty minutes and a-13 rating. In 154 career NCAA appearances for Boston College spanning four collegiate seasons from 2013-17, Savage notched 10-61-71 with 56 penalty minutes and a +37 rating. In parts of two USHL seasons from 2011-13, Savage contributed 3-5-8 with 39 penalty minutes and a -2 rating in 52 appearances for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

A 5’11”, 192 lb., left-handed native of St. Albert, ON, Benoit, 33, posted 11-37-48 with 60 penalty minutes and a -20 rating in 181 career NHL appearances spanning parts of five seasons from 2010-16 for the Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, Buffalo Sabres and St. Louis Blues. In 52 appearances for the SHL’s Malmö Redhawks last season, Benoit supplied 6-18-24 with 22 penalty minutes and a -6 rating. In 422 career AHL appearances for the Hamilton Bulldogs, Binghamton Senators and Chicago Wolves spanning parts of seven seasons from 2005-18, Benoit tallied 52-159-211 with 293 penalty minutes and a +22 rating and posted 1-4-5 with 22 penalty minutes and a-1 rating in 31 appearances for the Monsters this season. A two-time Calder Cup Champion with the Hamilton Bulldogs (2007) and the Binghamton Senators (2011), Benoit has served as a captain or assistant captain in the AHL five times, was named to the 2010-11 AHL Second All-Star Team and appeared in the 2015-16 AHL All-Star Game.

Benoit has also played in several of the top European professional leagues, tallying 5-12-17 with 34 penalty minutes and a -1 rating in 53 KHL appearances for Spartak Moscow in 2011-12 and 10-34-44 with 56 penalty minutes and a -1 rating spanning parts of two SHL seasons with Södertälje SK in 2008-09 and Malmö in 2016-17. Benoit also contributed 12-26-38 with 96 penalty minutes and a +28 rating in 54 Liiga appearances for Tappara in 2007-08, helping the club to a Bronze Medal finish and leading all Liiga defensemen in assists. Prior to his professional career, Benoit tallied 99-200-299 with 330 penalty minutes and a +106 rating in 324 OHL appearances spanning five seasons from 2000-05 for the Kitchener Rangers. In 2002-03, Benoit led all OHL defensemen in goals and points and helped the Rangers claim the OHL and Memorial Cup Championships. In 2003-04, Benoit was named to the OHL Second All-Star Team and in 2004-05, Benoit led all OHL blue-liners in goals, assists and points and was named to the OHL’s First All-Star Team.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Tuesday road tilt vs. the Rockford IceHogs with full coverage, live from BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, IL, underway at 8:00 pm on Alt 99.1 and the Monsters Hockey Network.

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