COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have reassigned defenseman Ilari Melart to the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Melart, 25, was loaned to the HC Ugra of the Kontinental Hockey League on December 17, 2013.
In 24 games played with Springfield earlier this season, Melart scored one goal and dished out two assists for three points in addition to 28 penalty minutes. He then recorded 1-4-5, 22 PIM and a +3 plus/minus rating in 15 games with Ugra, which was recently eliminated from Nadezhda Cup contention after failing to qualify for the Gagarin Cup playoffs.
A native of Helsinki, Finland, Melart was signed by Columbus as a free agent on May 24, 2013. He tallied 12-16-28 and 415 penalty minutes in 146 career games with HIFK in the Finnish Elite League from 2008-13. Last season, the 6-4, 229-pound blueliner recorded 7-11-18 and 80 PIM in 50 games with HIFK. He also represented Finland at the 2013 IIHF World Championships, finishing fourth at the event.
The Blue Jackets return to action on Tuesday when the Detroit Red Wings visit Columbus for an Eastern Conference battle. Game time from Nationwide Arena is 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will also be broadcast live on NBC Sports as well as the Blue Jackets Radio Network, including flagship station Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan in Columbus and online at BlueJackets.com.