Sunday, September 16, 2018


Kyrou making his mark; Yeo likes Sunday scrimmage; MacEachern, 
Nolan trying to earn their keep; Sergeev, Blues terminate contract

ST. LOUIS -- Robert Thomas is doing his part to make sure that the Blues coaching staff is paying attention to his play during training camp.

So is Jordan Kyrou.

Kyrou, reigning Ontario Hockey League regular season MVP and second round pick by the Blues in the 2016 NHL Draft, started out on Friday skating on a line with Zach Sanford and Ivan Barbashev but was moved Sunday to during the team's second scrimmage to skate with Robby Fabbri and Thomas, a 2017 first-round pick.

"Jordan was having a good skate, I thought he played real well today," Yeo said. "Not a whole lot was happening with that line before, we make a little switch, give Jordan a little life and I thought it actually helped out both lines to be honest with you. It gave one line a little more speed and a little more skill and the other line, I thought they picked up their play and played a little more to their strengths after we did that."

Kyrou, 20, had 290 points (99 goals, 191 assists) in four seasons playing in the OHL but is one of the bubble players trying to make the roster out of camp; he was tied for fourth at Traverse City with six points (five goals, one assist) in four games.

* Yeo more pleased with Sunday scrimmage -- Yeo was disappointed with the scrimmage Saturday and felt that the pace and physicality could have been on a higher level during Group A's 4-0 win. On Sunday, a 2-1 overtime win by Group A on David Perron's 3-on-3 goal, Yeo said the players got the message.

"It was better today, better from vets, better from guys today looked like they were trying to make our team," Yeo said. "It's one day. Guys are now going to get an opportunity to play exhibition games, another practice tomorrow and we'll move into the exhibition games, then obviously every day that you're out here, whether it's in a rep or a drill or a shift in a game, you've got a chance to prove yourself and you've got to take advantage of it."

* MacEachern trying to make his mark -- Forward Mackenzie MacEachern is cut from the same draft class as Blues 2012 first-round pick Jordan Schmaltz.

MacEachern, a third-round pick that same year, and Schmaltz are both trying to battle their way through the barriers of making an NHL roster, or in MacEachern's case, at least give the coaches something to think about.

He scored the tying goal in the scrimmage on Sunday, giving him two goals in as many games, and it was a beauty; one in which coaches appreciate.

MacEachern was skating back from his offensive zone and backchecking before stripping Sanford of the puck before turning and wiring a shot from the high slot past Ville Husso.

"That's kind of my strong suit too is my skating, being able to get out and make plays like that," MacEachern said. "I think it's definitely good I got to showcase that somewhat. Hopefully I can continue that going forward."

Those are the kinds of play that coaches look for, the small subtle plays that may go unnoticed to some but not others.

"The first game he scored a goal with two seconds left; it was really irrelevant and I didn't think it was a real strong game from him," Yeo said. "I thought today was much better. He scored a goal, but that's the kind of goal he's going to score. Work ethic, competitive, played a much more solid, much more noticeable game today."

MacEachern, 24, spent the past two seasons with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League; he had shoulder surgery in February that cut his season down to 46 games and 10 points (four goals, six assists).

Playing for the Wolves last season was somewhat difficult knowing the Wolves were the affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, but the Michigan State product from Troy, Mich. made the most of it and is looking to do so here with the Blues, and if that means going to San Antonio of the AHL, then that's where he'll be.

"Last season was interesting with the dynamics, being in Chicago with the split team, but I tried to make the most of it, tried to keep a positive attitude, learn from it, and I'm excited to get things going here with our own AHL team and our coaching staff here," MacEachern said. "... Just to make strides from last year's camp. I thought I had a good camp last year and obviously I was sidelined early with an injury. Just kind of build off that and get my confidence back."

* Nolan trying to earn keep -- Veteran Jordan Nolan, who signed a one-year, two-way contract ($650,000/$250,000) on July 5 after spending last season with the Buffalo Sabres, was sitting by his phone waiting for the right call.

He was hoping for more opportunities, but when the Blues came calling, Nolan, 29, said it was too good to pass up, even if it meant having to prove himself all over again.

"It was definitely one of the few calls I got," Nolan said of the Blues. "I got the call and I got excited. I liked some of the moves they made this summer. Looking at the history of this team, I remember playing against them when I was in L.A. They've always been known for being big, strong, physical, compete hard. I took a look in the mirror and thought that if I work hard and have a great summer of training, I can come here and earn a spot. I think I can be a great fit. I'm just doing my best right now.

"I got to where I was from working hard and if that meant signing a two-way and working hard again and getting to where I need to be, then that's what I have to deal with. But I'm pretty thankful for the opportunity that I got here. Last year didn't go the way I expected it to being in Buffalo. It wasn't a great situation, but I still have a lot of game left."

Nolan, who had eight points (four goals, four assists) in 69 games with the Sabres last season, spent the first six seasons of his NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings and is the lone player in camp with a Stanley Cup to his resume, winning in 2012 and 2014.

"That's always a great quality, but he's shown well," Yeo said of Nolan. "I think we have a couple guys that have come into camp and they've got NHL experience and they're sort of a little off the grid, a little off the radar. Obviously you hear a little more about your prospects, you know a little more about those guys, but being a coach in the league, you're familiar with a guy like Jordan, you're familiar with a guy like [Brian] Flynn, those guys that have played in the league and so certainly we've been keeping an eye on them and they've been doing a nice job."

Nolan, the son of former Sabres and New York Islanders coach Ted Nolan, is likely destined for San Antonio, but in a time and age where bigger, more physical players seem to be scarce, Nolan's name could come up during recalls should the Blues need veteran bodies, and ones that leave favorable impressions at camp.

"I expect to work hard and put my best effort on the ice and hopefully come up with a roster spot," Nolan said. "I've just got to make it hard on the GM and coaches and hopefully make it tough for them. All I can do is just come here and make it tough on them. The rest is out of my hands."

* Blues, Sergeev terminate contract -- The Blues and defenseman Dmitrii Sergeev agreed to mutually terminate his contract after the defenseman went unclaimed on waivers Sunday. Now a free agent, Sergeev had one year remaining on an entry-level contract with a cap hit of $644,167, but he showed up to camp out of shape.

The Blues said Sergeev will return to Russia and should he prolong his career, seems destined for the KHL.

1 comment:

  1. Kyrou "tied for fourth at Traverse City with six points (four goals, one assist) in four games."

    My Catholic school math says that doesn't add up.