Sunday, September 15, 2019

Blues cut camp roster to 53, set lineup for first preseason game

Five players assigned to respective junior squads; Edmundson, Bortuzzo, 
Blais, Fabbri, Kostin, Barbashev, Sundqvist among players slated to face Stars

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. -- The Blues made their first roster cuts of training camp, assigning goalie Colten Ellis, defenseman Tyler Tucker and forwards Nikita Alexandrov, Keean Washkurak and Jeremy Michel to their respective junior squads, reducing the camp roster down to 53.

Ellis, a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, was assigned to Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League; Tucker, a seventh-round pick in 2018, was sent to Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League; Alexandrov, a second-round pick in 2019, goes to Charlottetown of the QMJHL; Washkurak, a fifth-round pick in 2019, goes to MIssissauga of the OHL and Michel heads back to Val-d'Or of the QMJHL.

The Blues had been carrying three groups through three days of practices, but with five players down from Group C, they'll likely go with two groups moving forward.

* Lineup against Dallas -- The Blues released their lineup that will travel to Dallas and face the Stars on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the first preseason game of the season.

The roster includes:

Defensemen -- Joel Edmundson, Robert Bortuzzo, Derrick Pouliot, Jake Christiansen, Jake Dotchin, Andreas Borgman and Niko Mikkola.

Forwards -- Sammy Blais, Robby Fabbri, Mackenzie MacEachern, Nathan Walker, Klim Kostin, Ivan Barbashev, Austin Poganski, Mathias Laferriere, Oskar Sundqvist, Jordan Nolan, Michael Vecchione and Ryan Olsen.

Ville Husso and Adam Wilcox will be the goalies, and Husso is the likely starter.

The game will be important for guys like Borgman, Pouliot and Dotchin, NHL-experienced players who, albeit won't make the opening night roster but will look to make an impression on the coaching staff.

"Pouliot and Borgman have had NHL experience, and both look good to me out here," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "It's an opportunity for them to see what they can do. It's important to have good depth."

It's also an important game for Fabbri, who got a one-year, $900,000 contract as a restricted free agent in the off-season but was inconsistent in his first year back from a pair of surgeries on a torn left ACL sustained Feb. 4, 2017.

* Thomas improving, Kyrou sits again -- Forwards Robert Thomas (wrist) and Jordan Kyrou (knee) seem to be taking different paths in the early going of training camp.

Thomas skated for a third straight day and Berube said that Thomas will join one of the two main groups on Monday; he had been skating with Group C, which was filled with junior players and guys destined for San Antonio.

Kyrou on the other hand, missed a second straight day after skating with Thomas and the rest of Group C on Friday, but Berube said Kyrou felt some soreness and the Blues decided to hold him back a couple days.

The hope is that Kyrou will join in and be able to practice on Monday.

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