St. Louis Blues Assign Four Players to AHL Chicago Wolves


With all four players out of the lineup for the St. Louis Blues’ preseason finale tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks, the team trimmed down the training camp roster a bit more in advance of final cuts and assigned forwards Ivan Barbashev and Jeremy Welsh and defensemen Peter Harrold and Andre Benoit to the AHL Chicago Wolves. Forward Jordan Caron was also placed on waivers Thursday, meaning that he’ll likely head to Chicago in the likely event that he clears.

The 19-year-old Barbashev, the Blues’ second-round pick in 2014, stuck around in training camp longer than many would have anticipated. He played in just two games and registered no points with only two shots, but it was surely a nice learning experience for a player that the Blues have big plans for going forward. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Barbashev will likely take the entire 2015-16 season to develop in the AHL and adjust to the physical element of the pro game. It will be his first true experience as a professional, as he spent the last three seasons with his junior team, the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL. He joined the Wolves for last year’s postseason but didn’t see any game action. Barbashev seems to be deep down the Blues’ list of potential forward call-ups as things stand now, and his best-case scenario is probably to earn a late-season trial run, much like the one that Ty Rattie did as he played the final two games of the 2013-14 season.

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The 27-year-old Welsh definitely made a good impression during camp and could be positioning himself well for an in-season promotion. Welsh’s role at the NHL level is probably closer to a fourth-line grinder role like Steve Ott and Kyle Brodziak play, but he has had decent success as a scorer in the AHL (20 goals, 21 assists in 2014-15).

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The 32-year-old Harrold and 31-year-old Benoit will act as veteran insurance options, likely along with Chris Butler, at Chicago. Especially considering the possibility that rookies Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson could falter in their initial exposure to the NHL level, it’s highly possible that Harrold and Benoit could see at least some action with the Blues this season.

Harrold, Benoit, and Welsh went through the same waiver process that Caron is going through today, with all three of them going unclaimed. That means that they’ll be allowed to be recalled and play up to 10 games in the NHL without having to go through the waiver process again.

Next: Blues Faced with Many Tough Roster Decisions