The St. Louis Blues have just one game remaining in this year’s preseason and Jake Neighbours has made a case why he should be on the roster on opening night just a little over a week away on October 15. So far this preseason, Neighbours has four points (3g, 1a,) in five games.
Neighbours turned 20 in March, so the Blues are free to do with him as they please instead of automatically having to send him back to the Canadian Hockey League. If he doesn’t make the opening night roster he can go to Springfield and start the season there.
As was mentioned in an article written by Tom Timmermann for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier this week, if Neighbours isn’t able to crack the top three lines he’ll likely be assigned to Springfield instead of on the fourth line playing limited minutes or sitting in the press box as a healthy scratch.
While the Blues might not want Neighbours playing on the fourth line, he’s happy to take that role as it’s something he did with his junior team, the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Neighbours told the Post-Dispatch that;
“I think I have the capabilities to play a fourth-line role and kind of grind it out and be around the net, be hard to play against, be physical.”
Neighbours has previous experience in the NHL as last season, he played nine games for the Blues, the maximum number allowed before he would burn a year of his entry-level contract. In those nine games, Neighbours recorded one goal and one assist.
Once he returned to the Oil Kings after his stint with the Blues, Neighbours had 45 points in just 30 games played, pretty much proving that he was ready for the next level.
However, even if he makes the team out of camp there’s still the chance that he gets assigned to Springfield at any point during the season depending on his and the team’s needs and performance.
So while I think that Jake should start the season with the Blues I want to know what you think.
Should Jake Neighbours start the season in St. Louis or Springfield?