It has been rumored for a while, and now it's official: The Cleveland Monsters have the goaltender they needed.
20-year-old Ivan Kulbakov put pen to paper today on a one-year deal and will join the Monsters, where he is expected to pair with May signee Matiss Kivlenieks as well as veteran Brad Thiessen in a young but talented duo for the Columbus Blue Jackets' top farm team.
Kulbakov (6-0, 183) hails from Belarus and posted a record of 30-16-1 with five shutouts, a 1.93 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage in 52 appearances for the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms last season. Kulbakov capped the 2016-17 campaign among the USHL’s league-leaders in appearances (tie for first), wins (tie for second), shutouts (tie for first) and goals-against average (fourth). Kulbakov has additionally represented Belarus in international competition and logged time with HK Gomel in his native country.
His signing was first rumored in June but not official until today.
Cleveland also announced the signing of left-wing Bobby MacIntyre to a one-year deal. The 5-9, 182-pound Ontario native scored 28 goals with 52 assists for 80 points in 63 games last year for Sault Ste. Marie of the OHL.
Both players participated in the Blue Jackets’ summer development camp as free-agent invitees.