Heading into opening night, the Blues made their final round of roster cuts. Yesterday they sent Niko Mikkola, Mitch Reinke, and Andreas Borgman down to shore up the San Antonio Rampage’s defense. Reinke got an extended look over the pre-season, and more than likely will be near the top of the Blues’ injury call-up list this season.
Both goaltenders not named Allen and Binnington also were sent to the AHL. Ville Husso and Adam Wilcox will be the Rampage’s starting and back-up goaltenders. Husso will have to focus on bouncing back from a less than impressive season last year in which Jordan Binnington leapfrogged on the depth chart.
The forward list is interesting. Jordan Kyrou, still rehabbing his knee, was designated as an injured non-roster player. The forwards heading to San Antonio are Tanner Kaspick, Jordan Nolan, Ryan Olsen, Austin Poganski, Alexey Toropchenko, Nathan Walker, and Klim Kostin.
Kostin is a surprise. He had an excellent pre-season, with three goals and three assists in four games played. His penalty minutes were concerning, but overall, his play made him a top candidate to work his way into the Blues opening night roster.
Kostin has something that Mackenzie MacEachern doesn’t have: a two-way contract. MacEachern will be the Blues’ extra forward at $750,000 and might be in the opening night line-up. Kostin will be getting experience in the AHL for one more season; Kyrou presumably will be good to go shortly.
All in all, this is probably disappointing for Kostin, but a year’s worth of experience in the AHL is should be nothing but beneficial for his long term prospects and development.