The St. Louis Blues’ Jake Walman is the new kid on the block, having just scored his first NHL goal on April 7 versus the Vegas Golden Knights at the Enterprise Center.
Walman’s first NHL goal couldn’t have come at a better time. The Blues were desperately looking to end a seven-game losing skid, and Wednesday’s 3-1 win was a game-changer. Blues goaltender and very own #50 Jordan Binnington stopped 50 shots, bringing the swagger back to St. Louis.
But there’s more to Walman than what meets the eyes.
Walman was drafted 82nd overall in the third round by the Blues in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Chicago Wolves, Binghamton Devils, and San Antonio Rampage before making his NHL debut.
Walman and fellow defenseman Vince Dunn crossed paths with the Wolves in 2016-17. Dunn left the juniors for his lone AHL season before entering the NHL. Walman committed to play college hockey at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island as a member of the Friars of Hockey East.
Here’s a summary of Walman’s college hockey career:
2014-15: 1 goal, 15 assists, 16 points, 44 penalty in minutes, 41 games played
2015-16: 13 goals, 15 assists, 28 points, 20 penalty in minutes, 27 games played
2016-17: 7 goals, 18 assists, 25 points, 42 penalty in minutes, 39 games played
Walman played junior hockey with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens of the OJHL. In 2013-14, he recorded seven goals, 26 assists, 33 points, and 87 penalty in minutes in 43 games played.
Walman was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and is of Jewish ancestry. However, he’s also American, thanks to his U.S.-born mother. He is all about family. Prior to last Wednesday’s game, he honored his late uncle Doug Wilkie, who died of cancer last April by writing “Uncle Doug” on his hockey stick. His first NHL goal was a special tribute to his uncle.
“This month is all about cancer awareness and I wrote his name on my stick before the game,” Walman told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “It’s the first ever game I’ve done it, so sent me some good luck.”
“It will be a ritual for sure.”
Like Binnington, Walman persevered. Walman made his NHL debut six weeks before his 24th birthday, filling in for an injured Colton Parayko. Parayko has since returned to the Blues’ lineup, but Walman has found a home in the Blues’ defense.
Walman picked up one assist, two blocked shots, and a plus-three rating in Friday’s 9-1 blowout over the Wild at the Enterprise Center. He now has points in back-to-back games.