By: Mallards Communications Staff
Photos: Cleveland Monsters

Defenseman Jacob Graves has been reassigned to the Quad City Mallards from the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters by the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets and goaltender Ivan Kulbakov has been loaned to the Mallards by the Monsters, the Mallards announced today.
Graves, 22, has yet to play for the Monsters this season. The 6-foot-2, 192-pound Barrie, Ontario, native scored once and added an assist in 19 games with Cleveland last season. Graves also picked up one assist in nine ECHL games with the Cincinnati Cyclones last year.

Graves turned professional after spending four and a half seasons in the Ontario Hockey League. Graves capped off his junior career by helping the London Knights win first the OHL’s J. Ross Robertson Cup championship and then the Memorial Cup- which is awarded to the major junior champions of Canada- in the spring of 2016. Graves scored one goal and notched 20 assists for 21 points and accumulated 104 penalty minutes in 69 games while splitting the 2015-16 season between the Knights and Oshawa Generals.

Graves produced three goals, 39 assists and 42 points along with 452 penalty minutes in 281 games over the course of an OHL career that saw him skate for the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors/Steelheads and Kingston Frontenacs in addition to the Knights and Generals.

Like Graves, Kulbakov, a 21-year old rookie, did not see any game action in Cleveland before joining the Mallards. The 6-foot, 183-pound product of Gomel, Belarus, shined in the junior ranks for the United States Hockey League’s Youngstown Phantoms last season. Kulbakov led the USHL in minutes played (3050), finished tied for the league lead in shutouts (5), finished second in goals against average (1.93), finished tied for second in wins by going 30-16-5 and finished tied for fifth in save percentage (.919).

Last season was Kulbakov’s first in North America. He played in his homeland for HK Gomel and Team Belarus U20 between 2012 and 2016. He also represented Belarus at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.

The Mallards will open their twenty-first season- and their fourth in the ECHL- Friday night at 7:05 p.m. against the Toledo Walleye at the TaxSlayer Center. Mallards 2017-18 season tickets are now available. Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings off the walk-up ticket price and receive a host of exclusive benefits. For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at 309-277-1364 or Single game tickets are also now on sale at the TaxSlayer Center box office, Ticketmaster toll free charge-by-phone (1-800-745-3000) and


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