The St. Louis Blues bolstered their organizational forward depth on Friday, signing former Colorado Avalanche forward Andrew Agozzino.
Though it certainly doesn’t carry as much magnitude as some of the other happenings that were announced on Friday, the St. Louis Blues did make one more move right at the outset of free agency, signing forward Andrew Agozzino to a one-year contract, via Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet.
Agozzino, an undersized winger who spent the past four seasons in the Colorado Avalanche organization, has quite a few ties to the Blues. He was a teammate of Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo with the OHL Niagara IceDogs, taking over for him as Niagara’s captain in 2009-10. Agozzino was invited to the Blues’ prospect camp in ’09, and he was given a tryout with their then-AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, near the end of the 09-10 season.
As an undrafted free agent, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Agozzino made it the hard way with Colorado, signing as an independent player with their AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, in 2012-13. After putting up fantastic numbers with them that year–20 goals, 32 assists, and a plus-16 rating in 76 games–he was offered a two-way contract by the NHL club in March.
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After two more seasons of sustained AHL production, including a banner 2014-15 campaign in which he scored 30 goals and added 34 assists in 74 games, Agozzino finally got to appear in an NHL game in 2014-15, collecting an assist in his only game up with the Avs. He became more of a regular fill-in this past season, picking up two assists in nine games with Colorado. In 41 games with Colorado’s new AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, Agozzino also had 12 goals and 17 assists, though he posted a disappointing minus-13 rating.
While Agozzino almost certainly won’t be a factor for the NHL club at the outset of the season, he’s a guy that can go down to the AHL and provide some depth in case injuries strike, as they have in a major way for several consecutive years now. He’s obviously unproven at the NHL level, but the 25-year-old seems like a player who would have at least a little bit of potential to provide some unexpected contributions in a top-nine forward role if need be.
The Blues have made a habit of plucking scrapheap talent from the Avalanche organization recently. Last summer, they signed forward Jordan Caron, who had finished the previous season in Colorado, to a two-way deal. Then, just last week, the Blues selected forward Conner Bleackley in the fifth round of the NHL Draft. Bleackley was the Avs’ first-round pick in 2014, but they did not offer him a contract, causing him to re-enter the draft.