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Let’s see what Jake Walman can do

Walman’s potential can be more than expected.

NHL: New York Rangers at St. Louis Blues Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports

In April of last year, I wrote a player profile about St. Louis Blues defenseman Jake Walman for Game Time. At the time, Walman was the new kid on the block, just like I was the latest St. Louisan in the city. I still feel like a St. Louisan, despite no longer being a full-time resident.

Walman’s first NHL goal happened at the right place at the right time. The Blues snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 3-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights at the Enterprise Center on April 7, 2021. The home crowd was rocking and rolling.

Who wouldn’t like it when their favorite NHL team defeats the Golden Knights? The 2021-22 Golden Knights aren’t the same team when they made the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals and lost to the Washington Capitals in five games. The Golden Knights are third in the Pacific Division as of March 10, 2022 — so give them credit where it’s due.

Walman finished the 2020-21 NHL season with two points (one goal, one assist), a -7 rating, and 47 shots in 24 games. Fast forward to 2021-22, and he has steadily improved with six points (three goals, three assists), a +3 rating, and 25 shots in 31 games as of March 10, 2022. Walman’s progress has come despite not receiving much ice time.

Even before Walman scored his third goal of the season at 7:07 of the second period against the New York Rangers, I wanted to see more of what he can do on the ice. And I was delighted when I saw that he drew into the Blues’ lineup to give them seven defensemen for the home game on March 10, 2022.

In my opinion, Walman is an underrated defenseman. I believe he should play alongside fellow defenseman Niko Mikkola on the Blues’ third defensive pair. I think they’d make a solid defensive pair. They’re two young players that attract attention. After all, Walman’s skating is arguably his best ability, while Mikkola’s reach is great.