St. Louis Blues Send Four Players to Alaska ECHL Affiliate


After originally assigning all of them to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL last weekend, the St. Louis Blues have now assigned four prospects to the Alaska Aces of the ECHL: goaltender Niklas Lundstrom and forwards Zach Pochiro, Jacob Doty, and Ryan Tesink.

For those who aren’t too familiar with the structure of the NHL’s developmental system, the AHL serves as the equivalent of baseball’s Triple-A and is the primary source from which teams call up players when injuries occur at the NHL level. The Blues are in a bit of a unique situation, as they don’t own the Wolves, their AHL affiliate. This means that the Wolves get to sign some of their own independent players and insert them into the lineup as they choose.

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As a result, the Blues only have a certain amount of control over what goes on with the Wolves. Last year, the Blues did not have an affiliate in the ECHL, which is much like baseball’s Double-A and is more of a developmental league. But this year, with more experienced veterans expected to play with Chicago, they renewed their agreement with Alaska, which had been the team’s ECHL affiliate for many years prior to a departure from that within the past few years.

Lundstrom, Doty, Pochiro, and Tesink will all be playing their first professional seasons in America. Doty, Tesink (both 21 years old), and Pochiro (20) all graduated from juniors after last season and are ready for their first attempt at a full pro season. The 21-year-old Lundstrom has decided to come over to the U.S. full-time after joining the Blues following the conclusion of his season in Sweden this past spring.

With this arrangement, the Blues can ensure that all these young players will get all the needed developmental time instead of possibly ending up as healthy scratches on a loaded Chicago team.