Each week, BlueJackets.com will take a look at how the team's prospects did the week prior, including a breakdown of how the Cleveland Monsters performed as well as notable news and notes from around the world.
Cleveland won its first two games of the season over the weekend at Laval, downing the Rocket on Friday by a 3-2 score and then taking a 4-1 win in the series finale Saturday.
In the opener, Trey Fix-Wolansky got the winning goal with just 1:40 remaining, as the rookie skated into the slot and roofed a wicked backhander past Charlie Lindgren. It was the first-ever regular-season goal for Fix-Wolansky, who tallied 37 times a year ago for Edmonton of the WHL.
Calvin Thurkauf got the first goal of the year for Cleveland while Adam Clendening also scored. Matiss Kivlenieks got the start in net and made 27 saves and also assisted on Fix-Wolansky's winning goal. Defenseman Andrew Peeke also picked up his first professional point with an assist.
In the series finale, Zac Dalpe was the star, as the man who finished last year with 33 goals at the AHL level tallied his first two of the year in the 4-1 victory. Eric Robinson opened the scoring while Markus Hannikainen tallied an empty-net goal, while Veini Vehvilainen made 30 saves in his North American pro debut after being named the top goalie in Finland's top league the past two seasons.
Clendening also earned his 200th career AHL point with an assist, a pretty stout total considering the defenseman has played just 308 games at the level. Seven Monsters finished the weekend with two points: Dalpe had the two goals; Clendening, Robinson and Thurkauf each had 1-1-2 lines; and Marko Dano, Justin Scott and Kevin Stenlund each had 0-2-2 lines.
The Monsters now return for its first two home games of the season at the newly remodeled Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in downtown Cleveland. The Monsters host Syracuse for a pair of games Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.
• The two healthy Blue Jackets prospects in the Ontario Hockey League, each of whom was chosen in the 2019 draft, have gotten off to fast starts. Fourth-round pick Eric Hjorth has made a smooth transition from his native Sweden to the Sarnia Sting, as the 18-year-old defenseman has a goal and four assists for five points in his first five OHL games.
VIDEO: See Hjorth's first-ever OHL goal
Meanwhile, seventh-round pick Tyler Angle has been red-hot in his fourth season with Windsor, where he plays with CBJ draft pick Liam Foudy's brother Jean-Luc. Angle, 19, has a 5-3-8 line in seven games.
• Over in Russia, 2018 second-round pick Kirill Marchenko lit up his home country's second division to start the season. Playing with SKA-Neva in the VHL, the talented 19-year-old forward had six goals in the first eight games, earning him a chance to move up to the big club, SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. He's found playing time tough to come by, though, with SKA and has no points in three games.
• The Blue Jackets have four players at the NCAA level, with games beginning this past weekend. Kale Howarth (fifth round pick in 2017) and UConn began their season Saturday with a 3-3 tie against Sacred Heart, with Howarth opening his sophomore campaign strong with a goal.
Three other prospects will see their seasons kick off this upcoming weekend. Ohio State's Carson Meyer (sixth-round, 2017) begins his senior season with the Buckeyes in the IceBreaker Tournament in Toledo over the weekend, while fellow Big Ten player Robbie Stucker (seventh round, 2017) and Minnesota open the season at Colorado College. And junior goalie Peter Thome (sixth round, 2016) will begin his campaign at North Dakota with a pair of games vs. Canisius.