Report: Blue Jackets among teams interested in USHL goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks

By Sam Blazer on April 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm
Matiss Kivlenieks playing for the Sioux City Musketeers
Dan Hickling-Hickling Images

The work has already begun for the Columbus Blue Jackets this offseason.

The Blue Jackets are in on USHL goaltender and player of the year Matiss Kivlenieks as he continues to eye various offers. This was first reported by Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald last week.

Kivlenieks is currently committed to play for Minnesota State-Mankato in the NCAA. His situation is unique. He is 20 years old and can be signed as a free agent bypassing the NCAA and going straight to the AHL.

Kivlenieks played in 49 games last year and finished the season with a 36-7-4-2 record, a .932 save percentage and five shutouts. He led nearly every statistical category in the league including wins and save percentage.

If signed, Kivlenieks would be the second Latvian goaltender to join the Blue Jackets prospect pool, the other being Elvis Merzlikins who plays for HC Lugano in the NLA. Merzlikins will be representing Latvia at the IIHF World Championships (May 5-13).

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