The Blues are inching closer to setting their regular season roster.
The St. Louis Blues continued trimming their training camp roster early Thursday, assigning forwards Jacob Doty, MacKenzie MacEachern, and Justin Selman and goalie Ville Husso to the AHL Chicago Wolves. Forward Yan Stastny was also released from his professional tryout.
After the moves, the training camp roster stands at 48 players, though with defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester absent for the World Cup of Hockey, Robby Fabbri dinged up, and a few other minor-leaguers rehabbing from injuries with the NHL training staff, there were only 37 players who actually participated in practice on Thursday.
According to insiders Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Lou Korac of NHL.com, four veteran forwards also were not on the ice for Thursday’s practice: Andrew Agozzino, Jordan Caron, Alex Friesen, and Danny Kristo.
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It’s possible that these players are being put through waivers to be assigned to the AHL, and that’s why the Blues haven’t announced their demotions yet.
Caron was the only player among that group who saw NHL action with the Blues last season–he played in four games with no points and a minus-3 rating. Agozzino and Friesen got brief cups of coffee in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks, respectively, in 2015-16, while Kristo has spent three full seasons in the AHL.
Some semi-surprising names who remain in camp after Thursday’s cut include forwards Conner Bleackley and Samuel Blais. Bleackley, a former Avalanche first-rounder, was taken by the Blues in the fifth round this year and is expected to play at Chicago this season.
Blais, a sixth-rounder in 2014, has outperformed his draft position over the past two seasons, and he earned a contract with the Blues last fall. He’s still eligible to return to junior hockey this season, but since he’s lasted this long in camp now, it looks more likely by the day that he’ll be able to go pro and join the Wolves or the ECHL Missouri Mavericks this season.