The St. Louis Blues are getting a little more defensive depth back, activating Robert Bortuzzo from injured reserve. To make room on the roster, Tyler Tucker has been loaned back to the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL.
Bortuzzo, 33, hasn’t played since November 8 and has no points in ten appearances this season. The veteran defenseman is averaging the fewest minutes of his career, so shouldn’t be expected to make a huge contribution. Still, with Marco Scandella and Scott Perunovich sidelined, the team’s organizational depth on defense was rather thin. Tucker is one of just five defensemen in the minor leagues that are even signed to NHL deals, most of whom have no experience at the highest level.
That was the case for Tucker, too, before he got into four games with the Blues this season. The 22-year-old is a seventh-round pick from 2018 that just continued to climb up the depth chart thanks to a physical brand of hockey that is beloved in St. Louis. In his short NHL stint, he managed to record eight hits, six blocked shots, and five penalty minutes, despite averaging just 13 minutes a night.