Blue Jackets Sign Four to AHL Deals


Despite the chatter this NHL off season, the Columbus Blue Jackets have not been the most active team. The most noteable news regarding them is their American Hockey League affiliate switch, where they will transfer from the Springfield Falcons to the Lake Erie Monsters.

The Jackets signed four players to AHL contracts yesterday as they try to build up their new team in Erie. They signed Trent Vogelhuber, Oleg Yevenko, and Seth Ambroz to one year deals, while they signed former Falcons captain Ryan Craig for two years.

Craig was the heart of the Falcons, and he’ll be expected to take on the same role with the Monsters. At 33 years old, Craig is hardly a prospect but he brings some scoring umph, with 55 goals over the past three seasons with the Falcons. He’s big at 6’3 and 215 lbs so he can bring a physical touch to the Cleveland team as well.

Yevenko is a beast. The big defenseman out of Belarus is 6’7 and 230 lbs was signed out of UMass-Amherst by the Calgary Flames last season, and he played four games in the AHL with Adirondack last season. He’ll be getting set for his first pro season now with Lake Erie.

Ambroz has a bit of experience throughout the American hockey ranks. He played his college hockey with the Minnesota Golden Gophers and spent some time in the USHL with Omaha. According to, Ambroz had 95 points in his last two seasons with Omaha.

Lastly, Vogelhuber is actually a Columbus native. He played college hockey with Miami of Ohio before playing with Springfield for his entire American Hockey League career. He scored 16 points in 64 games last season, and is more of a grinder than a scorer.

Of these signings, Ambroz is probably the best prospect to see NHL time. Hockey’s Future had this to say about him:

"Ambroz has size and a nice shot, but needs to work on his awareness. He is a big body on the ice and can develop into a great power forward once he learns proper positioning in the crease. He scored a career-high 14 goals in his junior season at the University of Minnesota but his role at the pro level appears as if it will be that of a lower line, checking forward."

None of these are earth shattering signings for the Jackets, but their new AHL team is coming together nicely as they will have a direct in state pipeline to their prospects this season.

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