The St. Louis Blues recalled netminder Vadim Zherenko under emergency conditions from the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds on Monday, the team said in a release. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that backup Thomas Greiss is injured, necessitating the recall of a goalie from the minors.
This is the first recall of Zherenko’s career. Drafted 208th overall in 2019, it’s a rapid rise to relevance for a player picked less than 10 spots away from the end of the draft.
However, the 22-year-old has earned a brief NHL look with his play this season. Zherenko has been a more-than-capable backup in Springfield to Joel Hofer, who earned a long look at the NHL level last month. In 24 games with Springfield, Zherenko has a record of 10-8-3, a .918 save percentage, and a 2.96 goals-against average. This is his first season in North America after a development path through Russia and Finland post-draft.
With Springfield’s season in crunch time on the verge of clinching a Calder Cup playoff berth, the Blues likely opted to leave Hofer in the minors to continue to gain meaningful experience in stretch run games.