It’s been a month since Scott Perunovich suffered an injury in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs that landed him on long-term injured reserve, and since the St. Louis Blues are on the road in Canada, he’ll be headed back to the AHL to get his game legs back. Perunovich has been loaned to the Springfield Thunderbirds on a conditioning assignment.
If you wanted to chart out an easy transition from college to the professional ranks, it certainly wouldn’t look like what Perunovich has experienced over the past two years. After winning the Hobey Baker award in 2020 following his junior season with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Perunovich missed all of 2020-21 because of shoulder surgery. He has dealt with COVID and injury absences this season as well, limiting him to 12 games with the Thunderbirds and 19 more with St. Louis.
In those games with Springfield, the 2018 second-round pick showed just how dominant he could be offensively. Perunovich racked up 20 points in those 12 games, controlling play every time he was on the ice. With this new conditioning loan, he’ll try to get back to that same level before rejoining the Blues at some point down the road.
Once he does return to full health and is ready to play, his addition to the St. Louis lineup could feel just like a trade deadline addition. In his short time in the NHL he recorded incredible possession numbers and racked up six points in 19 games, though was very sheltered when it came to deployment by head coach Craig Berube. Perhaps with a longer run he’ll earn some more trust from the coaching staff and help St. Louis secure their playoff position in the Western Conference.