By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
PROSPECT PROMOTIONS / DEMOTIONS:
01-24-12 -- D Ian Cole assigned to Peoria (AHL) by St. Louis (NHL). (LINK).
01-25-12 -- F Chris Porter assigned to Peoria (AHL) on two-game conditioning assignment by St. Louis (NHL). (LINK).
None to report this week.
PLAYERS ON SICK CALL:
01-21-12 -- F's Tyler Shattock and Stefan Della Rovere (Peoria/AHL) out indefinitely with upper body injuries. (LINK).
01-09-12 -- F Jay Barriball and D Jake Gannon (Peoria/AHL) remain on IR with concussions. (LINK).
01-08-12 -- C Jori Lehtrera (Sibir Novosibirsk/KHL) out for the season with a broken leg. (LINK).
PLAYERS RETURNED TO DUTY:
01-23-12 -- F Ryan Tesink (Saint John/QMJHL) returned from knee injury after missing eight weeks.
01-24-12 -- F's Stefan Della Rovere and Philip McRae (Peoria/AHL) returned from upper body injury.
PLAYERS ON SUSPENSION:
None to report this week.
AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:
In the last couple of weeks, Game Time readers have scooped me twice with Vladimir Tarasenko videos. While we think it's great that folks are paying more attention to the Blues' prospects -- and we like to think here at Prospect HQ West that our coverage has significantly raised awareness of the Blues' prospects -- we're experiencing a shortage of fresh prospect video to feature here.
So, we have a request... we do not want to put the kibosh on Fan Shots, and we encourage all Game Time readers to post whatever prospect videos they can find, if they are so inclined. Please, please, however, also drop us an e-mail (email@example.com) with links to whatever videos you find. That way, if you don't post them, we can.
And now, as the headline reads, for something completely different. This week, instead of reposting a video that many of you have already seen (or can see by clicking HERE and following the link), we're going to post some of our random observations and opinions on various Blues' prospects. This differs from the normal presentation of "straight" news, and hopefully will stimulate some discussion on these prospects.
ITEM: Paul Karpowich. The Blues' seventh-round pick (185th overall) has been carrying the Clarkson University Golden Knights on his 6' 2, 185-pound back all season long... and the weight may finally be wearing him down.
Karpowich has started 26 of Clarkson's 28 games this year, and has garnered all of their points (all 12 wins and all five ties) in a 12-11-5 season; fellow senior Richie LeVeau and Islanders' draftee Cody Rosen have played a total of two games between them, both losses, and the pair has a combined GAA/save percentage of 5.04/84.1%.
Karpowich also has all five of Clarkson's shutouts this year, but has not posted one since the week ending Dec. 3, 2011. In calendar year 2012, Karpowich has played six games, and his goals-against average has gone up from 1.98 on New Year's Day to 2.21 now, while his save percentage has shrunk by ten percentage points (93.8% to the current 92.8%).
Those are still the best GAA and save percentage of any goalie in the system, outside the NHL, and Karpwoich's ability to carry a mediocre team all season and post great individual numbers bides well for his immediate future in Peoria after Clarkson's season ends. "Jake The Snake" Allen has faltered in his second pro season, and with a trade of Peoria starter Ben Bishop looming, Karpowich may well be the guy to ride in on a white horse -- as a Golden Knight should -- and carry the Rivermen into the AHL playoffs.
ITEM: Brock Beukeboom. When the Blues traded Eric Brewer at last year's trade deadline, many of the same fans who were hollering for Brewer's scalp and demanding a trade were also kvetching about the return the Blues got for him. "A prospect and a third-round pick," they cried, "is not enough in return for your team captain, and for a guy that you traded Chris Pronger to get."
It's beginning to look like those fans were right.
The third-round pick that the Blues got from Tampa in exchange for Brewer, was used to select goaltender Jordan Binnington from the Ontario league. Binnington had just come off of a solid performance in the Memorial Cup at last year's draft, but has struggled this year.
The prospect the Blues got was big defenseman Brock Beukeboom, also an OHL player and the son of ex-NHL defenseman Jeff Beukeboom. At first glance, the acquisition of Beukeboom seemed like a real positive for the Blues; he has decent size at 6' 1, 200-plus pounds, and is a right-hand shot. Currently, rookie David Shields is the only righty on the Peoria roster, and the only other right-hand shot in the prospect stable on defense is Finn Jani Hakanpää.
Beukeboom is also 20 years old as of April Fool's Day, and thus is age-eligible to turn pro and skate in the AHL next season. That is, if he can stay healthy.
In four seasons in the OHL, Beukeboom has played exactly one season (2009-10 with Sault Ste. Marie) injury-free. He missed time as a rookie in 2008-09, playing in only 55 games that year, and missed more time last season, appearing in just 44 games due to a concussion.
This season, Beukeboom has played just 29 of 47 games for the Niagara Ice Dogs, and has not played since Jan. 13. We at the GTPD are waiting for confirmation from the Ice Dogs, but it appears that Beukeboom has been injured -- again -- and there's no telling how long he'll be out.
When he plays, he's pretty good -- in his one full OHL season, he posted a 7-19-26 scoring line with 64 PM, and is 2-8-10 with a plus-12 and 18 PM in 29 games this year -- and the Blues can certainly use his size and right-hand shot on the Peoria blueline in the months and years to come. But the number of games he's missed in his junior career is a big concern.
St. Louis is home to the Blues, both the hockey club and that uniquely American style of music that draws on the sorrows and pain of everyday life.
In our debut feature last week, we posted a rock version of a tune originally co-written by Memphis Minnie McCoy. This week, we feature Minnie herself, singing as frankly about a "touchy" subject as a woman -- especially a black woman -- could in 1953.
Give it a listen, and then see if you can guess what Minnie's subject matter is in this blues classic.
FEATURES THIS WEEK:
Two steps forward, one step back. Details at 2:00 PM Central Time.
Defensemen are in the spotlight this week. Details at 3:00 PM Central Time.
The most complete Blues' prospect stats package anywhere on the 'Net. Details at 4:00 PM Central Time.