St. Louis Blues Recall Dmitrij Jaskin, Jordan Schmaltz from AHL Chicago

Oct 10, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; St Louis Blues forward Dmitrij Jaskin (23) in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Minnesota Wild beat the St Louis Blues 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; St Louis Blues forward Dmitrij Jaskin (23) in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Minnesota Wild beat the St Louis Blues 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues added reinforcements at forward and on defense in advance of Monday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

The St. Louis Blues made two moves on Sunday night, recalling forward Dmitrij Jaskin and defenseman Jordan Schmaltz from their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. Both transactions were made following a 3-2 shootout victory by the Wolves on Sunday afternoon.

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Jaskin rejoins the Blues just five days after being reassigned to Chicago. In three games with the Wolves, Jaskin had one goal and one assist. As they seek to replace the offensive production of forward Alexander Steen, who was placed on IR Sunday after suffering an upper-body injury that will keep him out for at least a month, the Blues will presumably be hoping that Jaskin can bounce back to the form that allowed him to score 13 goals and add 5 assists in 54 games during 2014-15.

The 22-year-old Schmaltz is the latest Blues first-rounder to make it to the NHL, as he was selected 25th overall out of the University of North Dakota in 2012. Schmaltz, who is in the midst of his first professional season, got off to a rough start with the Wolves but has significantly ascended as of late. He’s tied for fifth on the team with 26 points (three goals, 23 assists), and he’s improved his plus-minus rating in recent weeks from a double-digit negative rating to a minus-2, having earned a plus-5 rating over his past five games. He was the only remaining Wolves player who had played in all 52 of the team’s games this season, a streak that now figures to end as long as he stays with the Blues through at least Tuesday.

Schmaltz will be the sixth different defenseman to spend time with both the NHL and AHL clubs this year. He follows Joel Edmundson, who began the season on the NHL roster but was briefly sent down to regain his confidence, as well as Petteri Lindbohm, Andre Benoit, Chris Butler, and Peter Harrold. Harrold, who did not play in any games during a 10-day stint with the Blues, was sent down earlier in the day, and he’ll apparently be directly replaced by Schmaltz.

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The Schmaltz and Jaskin promotions comprised the Blues’ third set of transactions on Sunday. Goalie Jake Allen was activated from IR in the morning, with Harrold and goalie Jordan Binnington being reassigned to Chicago. Later in the day, Steen was placed on injured reserve.

It will be interesting to see how Sunday’s promotions affect the lineup for Monday’s game against the San Jose Sharks. Traditionally, when young and inexperienced players have been given to Hitchcock, he’s inserted them into the lineup right away to keep them active. That might not necessarily be the case with Jaskin, who had been a healthy scratch in four straight games prior to his demotion, but considering that he was sent down to get playing time and rebuild his confidence, one would think that he’d go back into the lineup quickly.

It’s worth noting that the Blues picked up a dominant 7-3 victory over San Jose on January 3 of last year while using seven defensemen and 11 forwards. While Ken Hitchcock has stated that there’s too much in-game adjustment required in order to make the seven-defenseman arrangement work on a consistent basis, he might think about going back to it against San Jose, considering its previous success against them. That way, Schmaltz could get into the lineup without any of the team’s regular defensive pairs, which have been quite successful of late, having to be broken up. In that case, a fourth-liner like Scottie Upshall or Ryan Reaves (despite his tremendously good physical play as of late) would likely come out of the lineup.

Next: Blues Activate Jake Allen from IR, Send Two to Minors

There’s not a defenseman that really seems to be deserving of getting benched, as Joel Edmundson had five shots, two hits, and a plus-1 rating in 15:11 of ice time on Saturday, while Robert Bortuzzo had three shots and a plus-1 in 16:23 (including time on the penalty kill). Bortuzzo has tended to be the scapegoat when Hitchcock tries to get new defensemen integrated into the lineup this season, so especially considering his righthanded shot, he’d seem like the only possibility to come out of the lineup if Hitchcock inserts Schmaltz for a defenseman on Monday.