After losing both Justin Faulk and Robert Bortuzzo to injury last night, the St. Louis Blues are in a tricky situation. Jake Walman, who would normally be one of the injury replacements, is still in the COVID protocol after testing positive earlier this month. Without a ton of reinforcements, the team has recalled Tyler Tucker from the AHL’s Utica Comets.
Utica’s season ended a few days ago, but it’s not like Tucker was really knocking on the NHL door before the injuries. The 21-year-old seventh-round pick recorded seven points in 27 AHL games this season, his first professional campaign. In 2019-20, the young defenseman split his season between the Barrie Colts and Flint Firebirds of the OHL and actually did attend training camp with the Blues this year.
Still, if he was ever forced into action, it would be a tough test for a player with such little professional experience. More likely he is just there as insurance and to help at practice like a normal “Black Ace,” with other more veteran names stepping into the lineup. Head coach Craig Berube told reporters that Vince Dunn was a possibility for game three, while Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted that Steven Santini is the other likely replacement, should they need both.
The problem will emerge if anyone else gets injured, as Tucker is literally the last defenseman in the organization that could be called up. The Blues do not have anyone else, save for Scott Perunovich who has been dealing with injury all season, signed to an NHL contract.