By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
"NOTE"-WORTHY PERFORMANCES IN OCTOBER 2015
The Blues have four rookies on the roster at present, led by big defenseman Colton Parayko (11 GP, 4-3-7, plus-7, 4 PM, 1 PP, 2 GW). Fellow blueliner Joel Edmundson (10 GP, 0-1-1, plus-1, 13 PM), and forwards Robbie Fabbri (5 GP, 1-0-1, plus-3, 0 PM, 1 GW) and Ty Rattie (3 GP, 0-2-2, plus-2, 2 PM), are also making contributions at the big-league level. But several players "down on the farm," and elsewhere in the system, are also chipping in:
♪♪♪♪♪ The Blues' five goaltending prospects (Jordan Binnington, Pheonix Copley, Ville Husso, Niklas Lundström, and Luke Opilka) have just one regulation loss between them through October.
Husso is a sterling 11-0-1-0 (1.64, 93.4%, 1 SO) in the Liiga, while Binnington is 3-0-0-1 (2.46, 88.5%, 0 SO) in the AHL and Opilka 7-0-2-0 (2.39, 91.5%, 1 SO) in the Ontario League. Copley (1-1-0-0, 3.50, 86.8%, 1 SO) was shelled for seven goals by Texas in his first start for the Wolves on Oct. 16, but came back to post the Wolves' first shutout of the year last Sunday vs. Charlotte.
Lundström has yet to see game action at any level this year, but remains on the Wolves' roster for now despite persistent rumours that he will be loaned out to a club back home in Sweden.
♪♪♪♪♪ Defense is the strength of the Blues' system, and prospect blueliners are having standout years at all levels for the organization.
2014 draft pick Jake Walman (7 GP, 7-5-12, plus-9, 10 PM, 2 PP, 2 GW) is having a banner sophomore year for the defending national champions Providence College, while 2015 pick Vince Dunn (14 GP, 4-8-12, plus-3, 12 PM, 1 PP, 1 GW) is leading the way on defense for the OHL's Niagara Ice Dogs.
In the AHL, rookies Jordan Schmaltz (6 GP, 0-3-3, plus-1, 0 PM) and Tommy Vannelli (4 GP, 0-1-1, plus-2, 8 PM) are making the adjustment to the pro game nicely, and contributing to the Wolves' early success.
♪♪♪♪♪ Prospect forwards are also doing well in the early going; the Blues have forward prospects scoring at a point-per-game pace or better in multiple leagues.
In the AHL, Magnus Pääjärvi (6 GP, 4-3-7, plus-6, 0 PM, 1 PP, 1 GW) and Ivan Barbashev (6 GP, 2-4-6, even, 0 PM) have helped the Wolves get off to a 4-1-0-1 start; in the QMJHL, 2014 pick Samuel Blais is a Top 20 scorer with an 8-15-23 scoring line (minus-2, 15 PM, 4 PP, 1 GW) in 14 games; and out in the wild, wild West, Swift Current's Glenn Gawdin (15 GP, 5-10-15, even, 18 PM, 1 PP) is centering the Broncos' top line between overage Jon Martin and 2015 first-round selection Jake DeBrusk.
THREE STAR SELECTIONS FOR THE WEEK ENDING 10-31-15
|*** FIRST Star ***||** SECOND Star **||* THIRD Star *|
|Jake WALMAN||Ville HUSSO||Vince DUNN|
|Providence (HEA)||HIFK Helsinki (Liiga)||Niagara (OHL)|
|** 2 games played this week||** 2 games played this week||** 2 games played this week|
|** 4 G, 2 A, plus-5||** 120 mins, 2 GA, 57 SA||** 0 G, 4 A, plus-3|
|** 4 PM, 1 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW||** 1.00, 95.8%, 2-0-0-0, 1 SO||** 0 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW|
|.||2 games played this week|
|.||2 G, 0 A, plus-2, 0 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW|
|.||Quad City (ECHL)|
|.||4 games played this week|
|.||2 G, 3 A, minus-1, 8 PM, 1 PP, 1 SH, 0 GW|
THREE STAR POINT STANDINGS FOR THE WEEK ENDING 10-31-15
Players receive four points for being named First Star, three points for Second Star, two points for Third Star, and one point for Honorable Mention. The top ten prospects in the Three Star point standings for this week are as follows:
|.||Samuel BLAIS||Victoriaville (QMJHL)||1||2||0||0||10|
|.||Glenn GAWDIN||Swift Current (WHL)||2||0||0||0||8|
|.||Jake WALMAN||Providence (HEA)||1||0||1||1||7|
|.||Ty RATTIE||* Chicago (AHL)||0||1||1||0||5|
|.||Ville HUSSO||HIFK Helsinki (Liiga)||0||1||0||0||3|
|.||Colton PARAYKO||St. Louis (NHL)||0||0||1||1||3|
|.||Vince DUNN||Niagara (OHL)||0||0||1||0||2|
|.||Luke OPILKA||Kitchener (OHL)||0||0||0||2||2|
|.||Magnus PÄÄJÄRVI||Chicago (AHL)||0||0||0||2||2|
|.||Jordan BINNINGTON||Chicago (AHL)||0||0||0||1||1|
|.||Zach POCHIRO||Quad City (ECHL)||0||0||0||1||1|
* Rattie was chosen twice for the "Fab Five" while with the Wolves; he has not had a "Note"-worthy performance -- yet -- in the NHL.