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Prospect Report: Stenlund's point streak hits 10 games before recall

Liam Foudy makes Team Canada, while Daniil Tarasov's numbers are improving

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

Sunday, the Blue Jackets announced the recall of Kevin Stenlund to Columbus on an emergency basis along with fellow forward Marko Dano. 

And if there's one player who has been earning notice for his play at the AHL level, it has been Stenlund. 

The big Swede ran his point streak to 10 games with goals on Tuesday at Laval and Friday night at home vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. 

Though that streak came to an end when Cleveland dropped a home contest Saturday to the Penguins, the run of five goals and six assists over 10 games allowed his season stats to reach six goals and 16 points, the latter mark placing second on the team over his 27 games. 

For Monsters coach Mike Eaves, the key for Stenlund has come down to something simple. 

"I think it's just confidence," Eaves said. "He got off to an OK start and then he struggled, and we moved him to wing to try to stimulate some growth. I think he finally kind of just relaxed and his game came back to him and he's playing at a very high level. It's fun to watch him, (Nathan Gerbe) and (Markus Hannikainen) play together." 

Stenlund's goal was one of two scored by Cleveland on Tuesday night in Laval, but the Rocket rallied from an early 2-0 hole to take a 3-2 victory in a shootout. Stenlund and Gerbe scored in the first period before Laval tied the game with 3:48 to go. In the shootout, Dano and Stefan Matteau scored for Cleveland, but the Rocket won it in round seven when Dale Weise scored. Veini Vehvilainen got the start and stopped 28 shots.  

The end of a four-game road trip meant the Monsters headed back to Cleveland, and the return to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Friday night was a successful one as Matiss Kivlenieks blanked WBS by a 4-0 score. Kivlenieks made 23 saves, while Stenlund got the scoring going early with a 5-on-3 goal in the first period. Jakob Lilja added a pair of goals while Dano completed the scoring.  

Tweet from @monstershockey: 10. Straight. Games.

The Monsters then completed the weekend with a 3-1 loss on Saturday night in front of 11,567 fans as well as thousands of teddy bears. The team's annual Teddy Bear Toss game saw 8,672 bears thrown onto the ice when Dillon Simpson scored in the second period to make it a 2-1 game, but Cleveland couldn't get the tying goal. Vehvilainen made 26 saves on 28 shots before a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton empty-net goal. 

The Monsters are now 13-12-1-1 and occupy seventh place in the eight-team North Division. The team will go on another road trip this weekend, facing Milwaukee on Friday and Chicago on Saturday. 

Foudy named to World Juniors squad: When Liam Foudy reported to camp with Team Canada ahead of this year's World Junior Championships tournament, he didn't lack motivation. 

The 2018 first-round pick of the Blue Jackets was invited to camp last year but was one of the final cuts, so getting the chance to represent his home country in the prestigious U-20 tournament was a particular focus this time around.  

"It's every Canadian kid's dream to play in it and being that close to it last year hurt," Foudy told the London Free Press. "I just try to use it as motivation to make it this year." 

Mission accomplished. Foudy has qualified for the tournament, which begins Boxing Day in the Czech Republic. He should be a key part of the team as well after a dominant start to the OHL campaign with London that includes a 13-13-26 line in 20 games for the 19-year-old.  

While Foudy has been tearing up the OHL, so have two fellow CBJ draft picks. Tyler Angle has been off to a great start, and the 2019 seventh-round pick is coming off a weekend in which he had four goals in three games to give him 18 tallies as well as 17 assists in 28 games this year. He tallied twice on Sunday in a win vs. London and nearly had a third with a between-the-legs shot that hit the post. 

Tweet from @OHLHockey: Check out the moves on @angle89tyler 👀 The @BlueJacketsNHL pick notched 2������🚨 in @SpitsHockey���s 6-3 win and nearly added one more with this nifty between-the-legs shot

Meanwhile, Sarnia defenseman and fellow 2019 draft pick Eric Hjorth is red hot as well. He stretched his goal streak to three games in a row on Friday night vs. London with a laser of a shot in transition.  

In all this year, the fourth-round pick has an 8-13-21 line in 31 games, showing the same offensive upside that impressed this year in Traverse City.  

Tweet from @StingHockey: This is how you shoot a puck kids. Shooting lessons courtesy of @EricHjorth #SARvsLDN | #MoreThanAGame

Tarasov playing well: Daniil Tarasov has everything you'd want in a goaltending prospect, starting with size. 

Now, it's a matter of him getting experience, which is why the 20-year-old third-round pick in the 2017 draft from Russia is playing in Finland, gaining plenty of experience with Ässät in the nation's top league.  

On the season, Tarasov has a 2.48 goals-against average and .906 save percentage, with the numbers trending up of late. In his last eight appearances since the start of November, he has a save percentage of .930 and a goals-against of 2.03.  

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