St. Louis Blues head coach Drew Bannister has named defenseman Scott Perunovich as a game-time decision for the team’s Thursday evening game against the New York Islanders, per team reporter Matthew DeFranks. Perunovich has been out since January 28th, nursing a lower-body injury that earned him a retroactive injured reserve placement earlier in the week. This season has marked Perunovich’s official rookie year in the NHL, although he did play in 19 games during the 2021-22 season. But persistent injury, including pre-season shoulder surgery, limited Perunovich to just 22 AHL games last season. He has 12 points, all assists, in 31 games this season. The scoring brings his career totals up to 18 points in 50 combined games, with Perunovich still searching for his first NHL goal.
Perunovich has undergone three different surgeries since the 2021-22 season. The constant rehab has kept him from fully finding his footing at the top level, though he’s flashed signs of strong potential. Perunovich won the NCCA’s Hobey Baker Memorial Award in the 2019-20 season, the league’s top honor. He earned the award after scoring four goals and 40 points in 34 games with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, serving in an all-purpose role for the Bulldogs that saw him play top-pair minutes, special teams, and forward at a few points in the season. Perunovich made his professional debut in the subsequent season and has since totaled 42 points across 39 AHL games, adding to his totals in the NHL. His return likely bumps Calle Rosen out of the lineup. Rosen has played in St. Louis’ last six games, recording just one point, taking over the role of sixth-man from Tyler Tucker.
The Blues will need to send one of Tucker or Rosen back to the minor leagues in order to activate Perunovich off of injured reserve. They could also send down extra forwards Sammy Blais or Nikita Alexandrov, if they prefer hanging on to extra defensive depth. That could be the case, as St. Louis is also down Justin Faulk, who was moved onto long-term injured reserve on Tuesday.
Other notes from around the league:
- Washington Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary has been moved to injured reserve with a lower-body injury sustained in the team’s February 17th game. He was previously announced as week-to-week with the injury and will now be required to miss at least one week of action. Fehervary has appeared in 47 games this season, scoring two goals and 12 points while averaging roughly 19 minutes of action a night.
- Fellow Washington Capital Nic Dowd is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and won’t travel with the team on their two-game road trip to Florida. His next opportunity to play will be Washington’s Monday matchup against the Ottawa Senators, per team reporter Bailey Johnson. Aliaksei Protas is expected to step into a center role in Dowd’s absence, with call-up Pierrick Dubé filling Protas’ role on the wing. Dubé, 23, will be making his NHL debut in Dowd’s absence. He has 24 goals and 34 points in 50 AHL games this season.
- Veteran NHL forward Derek Grant has signed a one-year extension with the ZSC Lions of the National League, Switzerland’s top league. Grant, 33, is in his first season in Switzerland after not landing an NHL deal this summer. He has 13 goals and 30 points through his first 45 games in Switzerland. Grant spent the last 10 seasons in the NHL, playing with seven different organizations. He totaled 427 career games in that span, netting 57 goals and 132 points. His career-year came in 2021-22, when he scored a career-high 15 goals and 29 points in 71 games with the Anaheim Ducks.