Tommy Vannelli will join the Blues as Jordan Schmaltz heads back to the AHL for the rest of the postseason.
The St. Louis Blues made a roster move on Sunday morning, sending defenseman Jordan Schmaltz to the AHL Chicago Wolves and recalling d-man Tommy Vannelli, who spent the season in the ECHL but had been working out with the Wolves after his team’s season ended.
After being sent back to Chicago for the beginning of the Wolves’ playoff series earlier in the week, Schmaltz was up for a day as the Blues eliminated the Minnesota Wild on Saturday afternoon. Schmaltz, who served as a healthy scratch in the clincher, returned to the Wolves in time for Game 3 of their first-round playoff series with the Charlotte Checkers on Sunday.
Vannelli, the Blues’ first pick (second round, 47th overall) in the 2013 draft was once considered a top prospect but has seen his career torn apart by injuries. Vannelli missed over a year of game action while dealing with a concussion and then a series of other ailments, and when he returned in December of 2016, he was assigned to the ECHL’s Missouri Mavericks. Later in the season, he was transferred to the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL, and in 46 games combined between the two teams, he scored one goal, collected 18 assists, posted a minus-1 rating, and spent 21 minutes in the penalty box.
This move will give the Blues a chance to get an up-close look at Vannelli and determine whether he fits into their future plans at the NHL level. And with the Wolves down 2-1 in their five-game playoff series with the Checkers, it’s very possible that Schmaltz and a few other defensemen could be back with the Blues by the time they kick off their second-round series with the Nashville Predators on Wednesday.