The St. Louis Blues have assigned defenseman Dmitri Samorukov and goaltender Vadim Zherenko to their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds, the team announced Sunday.
With the Blues out of action until next Wednesday and only two games left on their regular-season schedule, the transaction is purely a paper one to save the Blues some actual dollars. Springfield has three games left this season, but all come after the Blues wrap up their regular season on April 13.
Samorukov, 23, was acquired by the Blues from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Klim Kostin in October 2022. In his two-game stint with the Blues this month, his first games with the team since the trade, he registered a minor penalty and a -1 rating. This season, the Volgograd, Russia, product has posted 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) and 26 penalty minutes in 66 games for the Thunderbirds.
Zherenko, 22, saw the first recall of his NHL career this month when St. Louis added him on an emergency basis due to Thomas Greiss’ season-ending injury. The 208th overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft, Zherenko has played in 24 games for the Thunderbirds during his first season in North America, posting a 10-8-3 record along with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He didn’t appear in a game on his recall, though, as Jordan Binnington has made four straight starts since Greiss played his last game of the year on April 1.
Sending down Zherenko leaves the Blues without a second goalie on their NHL roster. With no organizational action through St. Louis’ next game, expect the Blues to recall Zherenko (and possibly Samorukov, pending the health of Robert Bortuzzo) again next Wednesday for their final two games of the season.