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Blue Jackets prospects notes: Vehviläinen headed to worlds

Finnish goaltender had excellent numbers this season

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

A collection of news and notes regarding Columbus Blue Jackets prospects.  

Vehviläinen headed to worlds: After nearly winning a championship with his Kärpät team in the Liiga and serving as the best goaltender in Finland's domestic league, Veini Vehviläinen will get to add to his international experience as he has been named to Finland's team for the upcoming world championships. 

A sixth-round pick in the 2018 draft by the Blue Jackets, the 22-year-old Vehviläinen is one of three goaltenders on the roster. It will be the first call-up to the full senior national team for the goaltender, who previously was Finland's starter in the 2016-17 World Junior Championship. He also was named to the all-star team at the 2015 U-18 World Championships.  

Vehviläinen is coming off a dominant season in the Liiga, where he backstopped a Kärpät that reached the championship series before losing in overtime in Game 7 of the championship series. Vehviläinen posted a 1.58 goals-against average and .933 save percentage while playing in 38 games during the regular season, then had a 1.47 GAA and .939 save percentage in 17 playoff games. 

The tournament begins Friday in Slovakia, with FInland set to begin play vs. Canada.  

Bemström honored: Another Blue Jackets prospect to have great success this year in Europe is Emil Bemström, the 19-year-old forward who led Sweden's SHL in goal scoring this year during the regular season. 

For that, Bemström on Sunday was named the league's Rookie of the Year. 

Playing for Djurgårdens IF, Bemström potted 23 goals and 35 points in 47 regular-season games to lead the SHL in tallies. He went on to add five goals and 10 points in 19 playoff games as Djurgårdens got to the SHL championship series before falling to Frölunda.  

Bemström also took part in the World Juniors this past season, and the 2017 fourth-round pick of the Blue Jackets had four goals in five games in the tournament. He also took part in the Beijer Hockey Games with the full national team in February, where he had three goals in three games.  

Monsters in a hole: The AHL affiliate of the Blue Jackets, the Cleveland Monsters, are on the brink of elimination in the Calder Cup Playoffs after suffering a 2-0 home defeat Sunday at the hands of Toronto. 

The Marlies now own a 3-0 lead in the series, meaning Cleveland will have to win four straight to advance out of the North Division final. Game 4 will be Tuesday in Cleveland. 

Two recent additions to the team are forwards Liam Foudy and Trey Fix-Wolansky, each of whom were chosen in the 2018 draft. Foudy, the team's first-round pick who played most of this season with London of the OHL, has played in all seven Monsters playoff games thus far and has two goals. Fix-Wolansky, a seventh-round pick who took Edmonton of the WHL to the league semifinals, is yet to score in his first two games.  

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