When the Blues opened coaching camp, he used to be at the outdoor taking a look in. But 22-year-old ahead Nikita Alexandrov has made a reputation for himself.
After scoring his 2d objective because the Blues wrapped their preseason agenda with a 6-0 rout of the Chicago Blackhawks at Enterprise Center on Saturday afternoon, Alexandrov used to be assigned to Springfield of the American Hockey League.
Alexandrov is waivers-exempt, so it’s conceivable that is simply a cap-related paper transfer ahead of injured defenseman Marco Scandella is going on long-term injured reserve.
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“He’s had a real good camp,” Blues trainer Craig Berube mentioned previous this week of the younger Russian winger. “I’m impressed by the details (of his game). Smart guy, always in the right position, checking and doing the right things. He makes good hockey plays.
“He got growing to do, but he’s had a real good camp.”
Alexandrov, who performed in 5 of the Blues’ 8 preseason video games, grew to become in every other forged all-around sport on Saturday, scoring on his 2d deflection objective of the preseason.
“I want to be a good all-around player,” mentioned Alexandrov, who’s 6-1 and weighs 177 kilos. “I’ve worked hard on my 200-foot game, trying to do the job offensively and defensively. I didn’t have a lot of expectations coming into camp; I just wanted to work hard and hopefully make some noise.
“I thought I was more confident this camp. I put in a lot of work this summer, and I think being bigger and stronger has worked to my advantage. I’m able to protect pucks more, to make some plays happen and that’s where my confidence improved.”
Drafted on the finish of the second one spherical in 2019, Alexandrov has drawn comparisons by way of NHL staff males to Tyler Bozak and Lars Eller. He spent maximum of ultimate season with Springfield within the American Hockey League. Despite being restricted moderately by way of COVID, he performed in 67 video games and completed with 30 issues on 12 objectives and 18 assists. And he used to be robust within the playoffs.
“He’s earned the right to be here. He’s a phenomenal player,” Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly mentioned after Saturday’s sport. “Watching him in the preseason, he’s extremely smart. He reads the game well, makes smart plays.”
Like O’Reilly, veteran Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo likes what he’s observed of Alexandrov.
“I think it’s his compete level; he’s not the biggest guy, but he’s tenacious on the puck,” Bortuzzo mentioned. “I think as a (coaching) staff, they appreciate him being hard on the puck. They don’t want him to murder guys, but he plays with a bite and an intensity. He competes and he’s doing that all camp. He’s made his way to the end, played in that last preseason game today, which I’m sure was exciting for him.
“I thought he was really solid (today), played with good poise along the walls.”
Three Blues forwards transparent waivers, off to Springfield
A trio of Blues kids, Klim Kostin, Martin Frk and Matthew Highmore, cleared waivers and feature been assigned the Springfield (Mass.) Thunderbirds for the American Hockey League season.
Selected within the first spherical, thirty first total, of the 2017 NHL Draft, Kostin performed in 40 NHL video games with the Blues ultimate yr, completing with 4 objectives, 5 assists and 23 penalty mins. There used to be some worry that Kostin, a 23-year-old who stands 6-feet-3 and weighs 215 kilos, might draw pastime from every other staff.
Nashville sweeps San Jose in Czech Republic
The NHL season kicked off this weekend in Prague because the Nashville Predators earned a two-game sweep of the San Jose Sharks.
Nashville received 4-1 on Friday and 3-2 on Saturday. St. Louis local Luke Kunin scored the sport’s opening objective for the Sharks in Saturday’s sport.
In North America, the NHL season will kick off with a couple of televised doubleheaders.
On Tuesday, the New York Rangers host Tampa Bay within the early sport after which Las Vegas travels to Los Angele within the past due contest. In Wednesday motion, Washington hosts Boston after which the protecting Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche will carry their banner ahead of a sport with the Chicago Blackhawks.
This weekend’s motion within the NHL Global Series used to be the primary video games in Europe since 2019, following a two-season destroy due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Global Series may also come with a couple of video games between Colorado and Columbus in Tampere, Finland, on Nov. 4 and 5.
The Blues is not going to open regular-season play till Saturday evening, after they host the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 7 p.m. sport at Enterprise Center.