The Future in Goal for the Blues

Dobber Sports

2013-04-13

 

Jake Allen USA TODAY

 

The Blues have a plethora of goaltending talent. Who will emerge?


The St. Louis Blues rank third in goals against in the Western Conference. Most of this success is because of the solid contributions of St. Louis' blue liners and the defensive coaching style of Ken Hitchcock, not goaltending. The Blues are second in the league in Shots Against Per Game Average, just behind the New Jersey Devils with 24.3 SA/G. 

 

Coming off outstanding 2011-2012 campaigns, the goaltending tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Ellliott have combined for a mediocre 13-11-2, 2.51 GAA this season.  However, out of the mediocrity of Halak-Elliott, a new starting goaltender has emerged. 22-year-old Jake Allen leads a crop of impressive St. Louis goaltending prospects and is immediately proving his NHL capabilities in his rookie season, leading all rookie ‘tenders with nine wins in 13 games.

 

The future of St. Louis' goaltending lies in the tandem of Allen and 19-year-old Jordan Binnington, who was among the top goaltenders in the Ontario Hockey League this season and is currently carrying the Owen Sound Attack through the OHL playoffs.

 

3.) Paul Karpowich –Round 7, 185th Overall, 2008 NHL Entry Draft

 

As a starter for the Evansville Icemen of the East Coast Hockey League, Karpowich is 7-13-2, 3.27 GAA in 25 starts this season.

 

In his lone AHL start,  Karpowich made 26 saves, allowing 4 goals in a loss to Toronto.

 

Although is number's do not reflect it (31-66-16 in four seasons in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) Karpowich is touted by scouts as a all-around solid goaltender with great puck handling skills. He signed a two-year deal with the Blues last April and will need to perform at the minor level to earn a extension. Currently on Peoria's active roster, playing backup to veteran Mike McKenna, Karpowich could prove to be a solid long-term option for the Blues.

 

 

2.) Jordan Binnington – Round 3, 88th Overall, 2011 NHL Entry Draft

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In his fourth OHL campaign, Binnington is currently on a playoff run with the Owen Sound Attack, beating the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds in the opening series, allowing 15 goals in the six games.  

 

Binnington finished the regular season an impressive 32-12-1 in 50 games, breaking the Attack's franchise record for wins in a single season and finished second behind Belleville's Malcolm Subban with 2.17 GAA. His play in the Ontario League has been nothing but stellar and should his success transition nicely to the pro-level, he has great upside as a NHL starter.

 

A butterfly goalie, Binnington is touted by scouts for his solid positional play and rebound control. He uses his 6-foot-2 frame to his advantage. Binnington currently has just one pro game under his belt, suffering a loss with the Blues AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, last season. With Jake Allen getting the call to the big club, Binnington should assume the number one role in Peoria next season, should Jake Allen remain on the Blues active ros