Monsters get captain Gaunce back from Columbus

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have assigned forward Brendan Gaunce to the Cleveland Monsters in advance of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Gaunce, the Monsters’ captain, registered 19 goals and 20 assists in 46 appearances for Cleveland during the regular season. He also tallied two goals and two assists in 24 NHL games with the Blue Jackets.

Gaunce was recalled by Columbus on Mar. 12 and finished the season in the NHL. His last game action came on Apr. 11 at Florida.

The 10th-year pro from Sudbury, Ont., has totaled 108 goals and 125 assists for 233 points in 343 career AHL games with Cleveland, Providence and Utica. He reached the Calder Cup Finals as a rookie with Utica in 2015, notching nine points in 21 playoff games that spring.

Originally a first-round choice (26th overall) by Vancouver in the 2012 NHL Draft, Gaunce has played 177 games in the NHL with the Blue Jackets, Bruins and Canucks, compiling 13 goals and 15 assists.

Cleveland visits Hershey for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday evening.