Organizational Roundup: Memorial Cup, IIHF World Championships, and AHL Dominance Highlight Recent Organizational Successes

By Dan Dukart on May 20, 2024 at 10:15 am
Denton Mateychuk skates in the preseason for the Columbus Blue Jackets
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets aren't making headlines for advancing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but many members of the organization - including current rostered players, AHL-affiliated players, and top prospects - are making headlines. 

Here's a brief roundup of recent events:

Cleveland Monsters On The Verge Of AHL Final Four

The Cleveland Monsters are officially on a roll. After dropping Game One in the opening round to the Belleville Senators, the club rattled off three straight wins to clinch a best-of-five series, and are up 2-0 in the next round against the Syracuse Crunch. With a win, they will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Goaltender Jet Greaves has been sensational, posting a shutout and giving up just one goal against through the two games in the second round. In six total games, he's posted a 1.39 GAA and a .951 SV%. Otherwise, it's been a 'by-committee' approach. Justin Pearson leads the club with 2-3-5 in six games.

Game Three of this best-of-five series is Wednesday night in Cleveland. 

Memorial Cup Bound

Denton Mateychuk impressed in training camp last season and picked up right where he left off, basically leaving no doubt that he's ready for professional hockey. The Moose Jaw Warriors captain won just about everything a player can win in 2023-24.

The 19-year-old defenseman posted a ridiculous 11-19-30 in 20 playoff games and will hope to continue that as he and the Warriors head to Saginaw, MI, to play in the annual Memorial Cup. Joining him among Blue Jackets prospects will be teammate Martin Rysavy, London Knights (OHL) forward Max McCue, and Saginaw Spirit (OHL) goaltender Nolan Lalonde. The four-team tournament begins Friday, May 24.

IIHF World Championship Successes

Nine members of the organization, including five players, are currently participating in the IIHF World Championship in Prague and Ostrava, Czechia.

In Sunday's 10-1 win over Kazakhstan, Team USA's Johnny Gaudreau set two Team USA records and is currently tied for second in the tournament in scoring with 3-8-11 in six games. 

Fellow Team USA teammate Zach Werenski has been solid, tallying 1-4-5 thus far, and the third member of the USA trio, Gavin Brindley, scored his first and only goal of the tournament in the win over Kazakhstan. Elvis Merzlikins is not seeing much success and currently ranks 20th of 20 in save percentage for a Latvia team that is fighting an uphill battle. In six games, Team Canada defenseman Damon Severson has been held off the scoresheet.  

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