It’s been a rollercoaster few months for Alexey Toropchenko. The 23-year-old forward underwent offseason shoulder surgery and was supposed to miss the first chunk of the regular season, but managed to be cleared by game one. He entered the lineup right away and has played in 15 games but there has been little production from the big Russian winger. So far, Toropchenko has just one point in 15 games, and it came at the end of October.
With his struggles in mind, the team has sent Toropchenko to the AHL for a conditioning stint, where he can hopefully get his game back in shape. The team has gone with 11 forwards and seven defensemen recently instead of dressing the young forward, as he just can’t seem to find a consistent performance so far this year.
Notably, Toropchenko can’t be sent to the AHL for an extended period of time without first clearing waivers. That is part of the problem for St. Louis, who would likely prefer to give him a long run with Springfield as they try to fix the NHL roster in another way. If waived, there seems to be a good chance the 6’6″ winger would be claimed, if only because of his size and relative youth.
It may still come to that at some point, if he can’t turn things around and the team feels it needs that roster spot for a different player. While they have turned it around a bit, the Blues are still just treading water in the middle of the Central Division standings, now at 11-11 on the year.