The St. Louis Blues placed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo on injured reserve after sustaining a lower-body injury on Saturday, a team release stated Monday. In his place, the team has recalled defenseman Dmitri Samorukov from the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds.
St. Louis’ injury woes on defense could become too much to handle. Bortuzzo makes five Blues defensemen out of the lineup with injuries, with three already on injured reserve (Torey Krug, Marco Scandella, Scott Perunovich). Nick Leddy is also sidelined with no set timetable yet for a return.
Bortuzzo had just one point this season, a goal against the Minnesota Wild on December 31. A member of the Blues organization since he was traded for in 2015, his usage has dipped to below 13 minutes per game for the first time since he played just six games in 2011-12.
Samorukov, like Bortuzzo, is defensively inclined. A 2017 third-round pick, the Blues acquired Samorukov in a one-for-one swap with the Edmonton Oilers for forward Klim Kostin during the preseason. Samorukov has two goals, six assists, eight points, and a -3 rating in 34 games with Springfield in 2022-23.
It hasn’t been the best start for him with his new team, and he’s been passed over on call-up opportunities by veterans like Calle Rosen and Steven Santini. He’s getting a chance now, though, and he’ll need to capitalize if he gets into a game to reaffirm his role within the organization.