If you were heading to tonight’s game explicitly to catch a glimpse of star Blues prospect Zachary Bolduc, sorry to disappoint: Bolduc’s one of five players sent back to their juniors/the AHL yesterday. Bolduc was returned to the Quebec Remparts for more development; the Blues have been cautious to not rush prospects when it isn’t needed, and it’s certainly not needed in this case. Bolduc will benefit from a bit more seasoning in juniors and will be in a great position for next season’s camp.
Nathan Todd, Steven Santini Luke Witkowski, Will Bitten, and goaltender Vadim Zherenko were assigned to the AHL affiliate Springfield Thunderbirds. Zherenko has had some decent work this pre-season, and defenseman Santini could well be tops of the Blues’ call-up list once the season starts, depending on what Scott Perunovich’s injury situation looks like.
Tonight’s lineup against the Wild, then is more veteran heavy - and for those who aren’t NHL roster shoe-ins, significantly more competitive.
#stlblues updated lineup for Tuesday’s preseason game vs. #mnwild…— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) October 3, 2022
F: Acciari, Highmore, Kyrou, Leivo, Neighbours, O'Reilly, Pitlick, Saad, Schenn, Thomas, Walker, Buchnevich.
D: Faulk, Kessel, Krug, Leddy, Mikkola, Parayko.
G: Binnington, Hofer
Good to see Tyler Pitlick continuing to hang around and ratchet up the pressure on some of the young guys. The defense is NHL caliber with Matthew Kessel getting a prime opportunity to prove he can hang with the big boys. His strong showing at camp and during pre-season has been turning heads, so him being the only non-roster regular out there tonight on D isn’t a mistake.
Jake Neighbours as well, especially now that Bolduc is back in Quebec, has a golden opportunity teed up for himself tonight to continue to make his case that he should be on the opening night roster.