The St. Louis Blues have decided to bring back one of their depth defensemen, signing Calle Rosen to a two-year, two-way contract extension. The team did not immediately release financial details, but Lou Korac of NHL.com reports that it will carry an average annual value of $762.5K at the NHL level and includes strong AHL salaries of $400K in 2022-23 and $450K in 2023-24. Rosen was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Relative to some other players in the minor leagues, those are huge numbers for Rosen and are obviously a nice reward after playing on a one-year, two-way deal worth considerably less this season. The 28-year-old defenseman ended up playing 40 games for the Springfield Thunderbirds during the regular season, suiting up just 18 times for St. Louis.
Things changed in the playoffs as the team desperately needed healthy options, forcing Rosen into the lineup on nine occasions. One of those games, of course, included the collision with Nazem Kadri and Jordan Binnington, one that knocked the netminder out of the series and created an ongoing controversy.
Rosen is an interesting player, as there is very obvious offensive upside that he has shown throughout his time in North America. The undrafted defenseman joined the Toronto Maple Leafs organization in 2017-18 after a successful career in Sweden and posted outstanding numbers in the minor leagues. In 2018-19 he had 46 points in 54 games for the Toronto Marlies, numbers that obviously interested other teams. Coincidentally enough, Rosen was eventually included in the Kadri trade to the Colorado Avalanche in 2019, which saw Tyson Barrie and Alexander Kerfoot go the other way.
After another trade took him back to Toronto less than a year later, he ended up a free agent without a ton of NHL experience. The Blues snatched him up, and those 18 regular season appearances nearly matched his previous total.
Now, with a two-year deal in hand, he’ll likely see more time in St. Louis, mostly as an injury replacement or seventh defenseman. The team still has five veteran options signed to one-way contracts for each of the next two seasons, with younger players like Niko Mikkola and Scott Perunovich in need of new deals as restricted free agents this summer.