The Cleveland Monsters Roster Is Projected To Have A Blend Of Exciting Prospects And Veteran Leaders

By Dan Dukart on August 10, 2023 at 1:45 pm
Trey Fix-Wolansky celebrates with David Jiricek against the Philadelphia Flyers
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets may be the main event, but their AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, represents more than just an undercard. 

So while it's easy to focus on which Blue Jackets players and prospects are in the mix for a lineup spot, let's not forget about the pipeline. Per, the Monsters are projected to have an average age of 22.63 years, and the roster is littered with familiar names and potential future NHLers. Here's a quick primer on the expected roster and what it means for the big club.


The forward group is strong, led by 'veterans' Trey Fix-Wolansky, Brendan Gaunce, Tyler Angle, Josh Dunne, and Carson Meyer. All have played NHL games in the past, though none are likely to crack a (theoretically) healthy opening-day NHL lineup. 

After that group, there are a couple of interesting young players who are just launching their professional journey after impressive junior careers, like Luca Del Bel Belluz and James Malatesta. Both are worth monitoring. So, too, is Mikael Pyyhtia, 21, who had three goals in just seven games with the Monsters last season as a rookie. The elephant(s) in the room with the forward group revolve around players like Dmitri Voronkov, Cole Sillinger, and Yegor Chinakhov, to name a few players who could be on the bubble and are waivers exempt. 


Speaking of elephants, perhaps no player will swing the future fortunes of the Monsters as much as 2022 first-round pick David Jiricek. Of course, if he's ready to play in the NHL, he will. But it's a nice perk that the 19-year-old could seamlessly continue to develop just north on I-71 and build on an outstanding rookie season. 

With or without Jiricek, the Monsters' defense corps is intriguing. Jake Christiansen is still only 23. Corson Ceulemans and Stanislav Svozil, both just 20, got a taste of the AHL last season after their respective seasons ended and should continue to gain valuable experience this season. Samuel Knazko and Marcus Bjork are also worth keeping an eye out for, as they could possibly be NHL depth pieces. 


Jet Greaves (22) and Pavel Cajan (20) are expected to split time in Cleveland, though it's possible the organization adds an insurance policy to bring in a fifth goaltender to complement Elvis Merzlikins and Daniil Tarasov, who have both struggled to stay healthy.

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