Cleveland Monsters

Fantasy Summary

Dominant in prior levels and still very young, has time to develop in the AHL and potential to backup in the pros.


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August 2020 – Kivleniek’s development took some proper gains over the course of the 2019-20 campaign. Not only did his numbers stabilize, but he also enjoyed a promotion to the big club, which included a trip into the summer bubble in Toronto. He was only able to notch one win through six starts at the NHL level, yet, the fact that he saw action is a definite step in the right direction. Keep in mind, with a list of goaltenders standing in his way on the depth chart, his upside remains low. However, he continues to show the potential to become a very serviceable backup down the road. Dave Hall

January 2020 – The injuries continue to pile up for the Blue Jacket’s this year, this time trickling into the organizations goaltending pool. Luckily, with injury comes great opportunity, and that is exactly what Matiss Kivlenieks will look to take advantage of after being recalled by the big club. Assuming he gets a start during this stint (which he should), this will be the first NHL action of his career. With his contract expiring this summer, the opportunity to showcase his talents could not have come at a better time. However, he will need to put up much better numbers than he has down in the minors this season (3.04 GAA and a 0.894 save-percentage) in order to earn a new deal with the club going forward. Dave Hall

October 2019 – In the final year of his contract, the 6’2 net-minder is looking to show the Blue Jackets brass that he deserves a full-time spot in the depth charts. After back-to-back mediocre seasons, the Latvian backstop has shown some early progression to begin the 2019 season. In four games with Cleveland, he has gone 2-1-1 and sports a 2.89 goals against along with a .895 save percentage. The 23-year-old holds the team’s starting job between the pipes and will be the first to get a call should the big club need a helping hand. Dave Hall


May 2019 – Kivlenieks split the 2018-2019 campaign between Cleveland (AHL) and Kalamazoo (ECHL). In 14 AHL games, the 22-year-old posted a 3.71 GAA and .873 save percentage. In eight ECHL games, he showed much better with a 2.71 GAA and .923 save percentage. His contract expires after next season so he will have to show improvement in order to stay with the organization. Frank Pellegrini


January 2018 – Midway through the AHL campaign, Kivlenieks is still experiencing speed wobbles in his first pro year. It has been difficult in Cleveland, as the Monsters have registered the fewest goals in the league (80) and rank 19th among 30 teams in goals allowed with 120. In the midst of this minus-40 goal differential, Kivlenieks’ 3.32 goals against average stands 47th out of all 53 qualifying goalies. He also places 50th in save percentage at .884 while sporting a 5-11-2 record. Kevin Wickersham


November 2017 – CBJ’s Latvian netminder prospect hasn’t seen quite the success of his USHL play with AHL Cleveland yet this campaign. While his 6-7-1, 2.64, .894 line isn’t terrible, particularly in the often high-scoring league, it doesn’t yet compare to his other-worldly Player of the Year efforts in Sioux City. As he’s learning the pro ropes, he’s sharing time in the net with organizational prospect Brad Thiessen and has played in one less game than his Monster teammate. GIve the 20-year-old a bit of time, perhaps the whole campaign, to adjust to this level before changing your assessment of his pro potential. Kevin Wickersham 


September 2017 – Kivlenieks, and recent AHL Cleveland Monsters’ signee Ivan Kulbakov who finished second to Kivlenieks in goals-against average (1.93) with USHL Youngstown last year, will man the net for Columbus at the annual Traverse CIty NHL Prospects Tournament beginning September 8. It’s an interesting combination, as both were considered by many the best two netminders in the league last year, and the USHL alums will likely join forces in Cleveland. Kevin Wickersham 

July 2017 – Kivlenieks’ 2016-17 campaign was perhaps the USHL’s all-time greatest in net. At 20-years-old and a league rookie, he was named the USHL’s Player and Goaltender of the Year and to the First All-Star Team after leading the league in wins (with a 36-7-4-2 record), GAA (1.85), SV% (.935), tying for tops in shutouts with five, and ending second-best in total ice time (2,991 minutes). His year’s goals-against and save percentage were both second-best for a single campaign in USHL history. Playing 49 games in a 60-game USHL regular schedule, he led the Sioux City Musketeers to the Anderson Cup (USHL version of the Presidents Trophy) with a league-high 87 points. Kivlenieks finished with an 8-3-2 record, 2.08 GAA, .925 SV% and two shutouts in all 13 Musketeers’ postseason contests, and leading them to a deciding fifth game overtime loss to the league champ Chicago Steel. Was also named Best Goaltender at the 2015 and 2016 Division I Group A World Junior Championships leading Latvia to the bronze in 2015 with a 1.75 GAA and .928 SV% and the gold in 2016 finishing first in GAA (1.71) and SV% (.941). A Minnesota State-Mankato University commit, signed to a three-year entry-level deal with Columbus. Kevin Wickersham

Fantasy Upside 5.5
NHL Certainty 3.5
Country LAT
Position G
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth August 26, 1996
Height 6‘2”
Weight 190 lbs
Drafted No


 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2011-2012 Prizma/Pardaugava U15Latvia U1627 2.28 -|      
  Prizma/Pardaugava U18Latvia U185 4.64 -|      
  Prizma RigaLatvia1 9.52 -|      
  Latvia U16 (all)International-Jr4 - -|      
 2012-2013 Prizma/Pardaugava U18Latvia U1813 2.55 -|      
  Latvia U17EYOF3 3.06 .909|      
  Latvia U17 (all)International-Jr3 - -|      
  Latvia U18WJC-180 - -|      
  Latvia U18 (all)International-Jr0 - -|      
 2013-2014 Edina LakersMNJHL39 3.95 .908|Playoffs2 4.59 .911
  Latvia U18WJC-18 D1A4 2.37 .899|      
  Latvia U18 (all)International-Jr5 - -|      
 2014-2015 Minnesota MulletsMNJHL33 2.23 .930|Playoffs4 1.75 .950
  Coulee Region Chill NAHL1 4.05 .902|      
  Latvia U20WJC-20 D1A4 1.75 .928|      
  Latvia U20 (all)International-Jr6 - -|      
 2015-2016 Coulee Region Chill NAHL29 2.41 .925|Playoffs4 3.42 .893
  Latvia U20WJC-20 D1A4 1.71 .941|      
  Latvia U20 (all)International-Jr6 - -|      
 2016-2017 Sioux City MusketeersUSHL49 1.85 .932|Playoffs13 2.08 .925
 2017-2018 Cleveland MonstersAHL43 3.21 .891|      
  LatviaWC0 - -|      
  Latvia (all)International1 0.00 1.000|      
 2018-2019 Cleveland MonstersAHL14 3.71 .873|      
  Kalamazoo WingsECHL8 2.71 .923|      
 2019-2020 Columbus Blue JacketsNHL6 2.95 .898|      
  Cleveland MonstersAHL20 2.96 .904|      
 2020-2021 Columbus Blue JacketsNHL2 3.40 .901|      
  Cleveland MonstersAHL8 2.25 .929|      
  LatviaWC4 2.18 .922|      
  Latvia (all)International5 2.18 -|