Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Oleg Yevenko (66) and St. Louis Blues right wing Cody Beach (72) fight during the first period of a preseason game.
Russell LaBounty/Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sport
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Oleg Yevenko to a one-year, two-way contract (NHL/AHL) for the 2015-16 season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced Thursday. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Yevenko, 24, appeared in two preseason games with the Blue Jackets, collecting seven penalty minutes and a +2 plus/minus rating before joining the Lake Erie Monsters, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, on September 26. He registered five assists with 51 penalty minutes in 36 games while serving as an alternate captain in his senior campaign at the University of Massachusetts (Hockey East) in 2014-15. He finished second in the conference and 11th among NCAA Division I skaters with 89 blocked shots. He also posted 14 penalty minutes in four AHL appearances with the Adirondack Flames.
"Oleg has worked extremely hard on and off the ice and he performed well at both the prospects tournament in Traverse City and at our main training camp," said Kekalainen. "He certainly has earned this contract and we look forward to seeing him develop his game even more throughout the upcoming season."
The Minsk, Belarus native tallied 1-9-10 with 211 penalty minutes and 182 blocked shots in 132 career games with UMass-Amherst from 2011-15. Academically, he was one of eight players in the conference to reach Distinguished Scholar status in 2014-15 after qualifying for the Hockey East All-Academic Team in each of his four seasons, including being named a Hockey East Top Scholar-Athlete in 2013-14. The 6-7, 235-pound defenseman notched 8-9-17 and 316 penalty minutes in two seasons with the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League from 2009-11.
Yevenko has recorded 0-4-4 and 14 penalty minutes in 21 appearances for Belarus in international competition. He represented Belarus at the 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Championships and also skated in the 2009 IIHF U18 World Junior Championships.