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Monsters Sign Veteran NHL Defenseman Jan Hejda to PTO Contract

CLEVELAND – In advance of a two-game weekend homestand vs. the Chicago Wolves at The Q, Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters signed veteran NHL defenseman Jan Hejda to a professional tryout contract (PTO), the team announced Monday. A Prague, Czech Republic native, Hejda was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the fourth round of the 2003 NHL Draft with the 106th overall pick.

A 6’3”, 209 lb. left-handed shooter, Hejda, 37, has 25 goals, 135 points and 317 penalty minutes to his credit in 627 career NHL games played spanning parts of nine seasons from 2006 to 2015 with the Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche. In five career AHL appearances for the Hamilton Bulldogs during the 2006-07 season, Hejda registered three assists, 21 penalty minutes and a +6 rating.

Prior to his North American career, Hejda spent parts of nine seasons playing professionally in the Czech Republic and Russia from 1997 to 2006 and represented the Czech Republic in seven IIHF World Championships and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The Monsters also announced Monday that right wing Derek DeBlois was released from his 25-game PTO contract.

Next up for the Monsters, it’s a Friday home tilt vs. Chicago with full coverage underway from The Q at 7:00 pm.

Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.

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