COLUMBUS, OHIO – Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ American Hockey League affiliate, have signed former Jackets defenseman Jan Hejda to an AHL tryout contract, Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager and Monsters General Manager Bill Zito announced today.
Hejda, 37, has recorded 25 goals and 110 assists for 135 points and 317 penalty minutes in 627 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche. He collected 1-12-13 and 42 penalty minutes in 81 games with Colorado in 2014-15.
“Jan was looking for an opportunity to play and we’re excited to provide that and in the process add a proven, veteran defenseman to our young blueline in Lake Erie,” said Zito.
Signed by Columbus as a free agent on July 5, 2007, Hejda skated in 302 games as a Blue Jacket, collecting 11-56-67 with 163 penalty minutes and a +23 plus/minus rating from 2007-11. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in plus/minus and ranks 12th in games played. His best season with the club was 2008-09 as he posted career highs in assists, points and plus/minus rating with 3-18-21, 38 penalty minutes and +23 in 72 games to help the Blue Jackets earn their first berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Prague, Czech Republic native was the Buffalo Sabres’ fourth selection, 106th overall, in the 2003 NHL Draft. Internationally, Hejda skated for the Czech Republic at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. He also represented the Czech Republic at seven IIHF World Championships (2003-06; 2008, 2013, 2015), winning gold in 2005 and silver in 2006.
The Monsters Report: December 7
Malhotra signs PTO with Lake Erie