The Peoria Rivermen are now the St. Louis Blues AHL
affiliate, previously their ECHL affiliate. The Alaska Aces are now the
organization’s AA affiliate. Below is a look at how the Blues prospects have
done this year with both teams.
Drafted: 26th, 2001
Height/Weight: 5’11, 175 lbs.
started the season with Peoria, where he had nine wins,
a 2.63 goals against average and two shutouts in 15 games. In December, the Blues
exchanged Patrick Lalime and Reinhard Divis with Bacashihua and Curtis Sanford. He
made his NHL debut on Dec. 16th in relief of Sanford and has had a rocky start in the NHL with three wins in 10 games, a 3.95 goals
against average and a .864 save percentage.
“margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0″>A first-round draft pick by the
Dallas Stars in 2001, Jason Bacashihua was traded to the Blues in 2004 in
exchange for Shawn Belle. Playing in the AHL since 2002, he played 35 games for
the Worcester IceCats in 2004-05, then the St. Louis affiliate. He came away with 18 wins, a 2.51 goals against average, a
.902 save percentage and two shutouts. A highly touted goaltender who has
displayed tremendous confidence, Bacashihua has the natural talent and the instincts
to become a No.1 goaltender in the NHL. His talent has garnered him a spot with
the Blues this season.
Drafted: 27th, 2001
Height/Weight: 6’3, 215 lbs.
Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in
2001, Jeff Woywitka has been part of two NHL trades since. In 2003 Philadelphia
sent him to Edmonton for Mike Comrie. This past summer Woywitka was part of the
package that was sent to St. Louis in exchange for Chris Pronger. Last season he
was the top scoring defenseman on the Edmonton Road Runners with six goals and 26 points
in 80 games.
Woywitka has good size at 6’3 and 215 lbs., and is effective on the
power play. He has split his time between the Blues and Rivermen this season. In
10 games with the Blues he went scoreless with 14 penalty minutes and a -6
rating. In 23 games with Peoria he has struggled a bit overall, with one goal, four points and a -1 rating.
Drafted: 241st, 2002
Height/Weight: 6’0, 200 lbs.
Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in
2002, Dennis Wideman signed with the Blues as a free agent in 2004. In his first
pro season in 2004-05 with Worcester, Wideman displayed his offensive skills
with 13 goals and 43 points in 79 games, best for a defenseman on the team and
third best overall. Solid at both ends of the ice, Wideman has a strong shot and
is effective on the power play. He has shown the ability to continue his
offensive production since moving up from the junior ranks. He has split his time
between Peoria and St. Louis this season and is currently with the Blues. In 12
games with the Rivermen, he has two goals, six points and a -1 rating. With the
Blues he has three goals, 11 points and a -9 rating in 26 games. His 11 points
are second best on the team for a defenseman.
Drafted: 143rd, 1999
Height/Weight: 6’3, 205 lbs.
Drafted in the
fifth round by the
Blues in 1999, Trevor Byrne re-signed with the Blues this past summer. In
2004-05 he split his time between Peoria and Worcester. In 33 games with the
Rivermen he had six goals, 18 points and 28 penalty minutes. In the 40 games he
played with the IceCats he had one goal, seven points and 18 penalty minutes.
At 6’3 and 205 lbs., Byrne
has good size and athletic ability. He plays aggressive and physical and has
shown consistent offensive ability. In 35 games with Peoria this season he has
two goals, 18 points and 22 penalty minutes.
Height/Weight: 6’0, 193 lbs.
Signed by the Blues as a free agent
in 2003, Aaron MacKenzie joined the Worcester IceCats that same year, after he
graduated from the University of Denver. A stay-at-home defenseman who will play
physical, MacKenzie plays well at both ends of the ice. He has put up consistent
numbers in the last two seasons in Worcester. In 2004-05 he had two goals, 15
points and 106 penalty minutes in 75 games. He has been sidelined most of this
season with Peoria due to a broken finger and has two points and 10 penalty minutes in 10
games. He returns to the lineup tonight.
Height/Weight: 5’11, 194 lbs.
Peter Sejna has split his time
between Peoria and the Blues this season. He has been called up twice and has a
goal and an assist in six games and a +1 rating. The former winner of the Hobey
Baker award in 2002, for being the top U.S. collegiate player, is currently tied
for first in scoring for the Rivermen with 17 goals, 41 points and a +1 rating in
31 games. These totals also put him seventh in the league scoring
race. He was selected to the PlanetUSA All-Star squad by AHL coaches this
Sejna has tremendous offensive
potential and hockey sense, but needs to prove he has what it takes to stay in
the big league for the long haul. He was just assigned to Peoria again and will
need to display his skills in order to receive another call-up.
Drafted: 148th, 2003
Height/Weight: 5’11, 202 lbs.
In his first year out of college, Lee
Stempniak has split his time between the Blues and the Rivermen. In 2004-05, his
senior year at Dartmouth College, he had 14 goals, 43 points and 34 penalty
minutes. He was captain of his team and was in the running for the Hobey Baker
award. A quick, speedy player, Stempniak has shown he
can contribute offensively, which has gotten him a few call-ups to the Blues this
season. In 24 games with St. Louis he has three goals, seven points and a -5
11 games with Peoria he has two goals, six points and a +2 rating.
Drafted: 104th, 2000
Height/Weight: 6’1, 180 lbs.
In his third season in the AHL, after
graduating from Providence College in 2003, Jon DiSalvatore has yet to appear in
his first NHL game, despite putting up consistent numbers the last two seasons
and displaying more offense this season with Peoria. Last season with Worcester, DiSalvatore netted 22 goals and 45 points in 79 games, good for second on the
team. The year previous with the Cleveland Barons he had 46 points in 74 games.
Known for having a strong work ethic
and good hockey sense, DiSalvatore has good two-way awareness and will battle
for the puck along the boards and in the corners. He currently sits third in
scoring for the Rivermen with nine goals, 31 points and a -3 rating in 34 games,
and is on pace to obtain a career high in points in the AHL.
Drafted: 221st, 1999
Height/Weight: 6’0, 195 lbs.
A standout player in the junior ranks
who was very offensive-minded, Colin Hemingway has yet to display that kind of
offensive skill at the next level. In 2004-05 he split is time between the ECHL
and the AHL. In 20 games with Peoria in the ECHL he had eight goals, 18 points
and six penalty minutes. In 24 games with Worcester he had five goals, seven
points and six penalty minutes.
Hemingway was briefly called up by
the Blues this season, recording no points in three games and a -2 rating. He
has played only 12 games with Peoria, due to injury, notching six goals, 12 points and a +1 rating.
He has been sidelined for the past six weeks with a back injury.
Drafted: 129th, 2000
Height/Weight: 5’10, 175 lbs.
A former NCAA champion with the
University of Minnesota Gophers in 2002 and 2003, Troy Riddle split his first
season out of college between Peoria and Worcester in 2004-05. He combined for
13 goals and 27 points in 56 games. Riddle is solid defensively and comes
through with clutch goals. To get a shot with the Blues he will have to display
more offense. In 32 games with Peoria this season he has eight
goals, 16 points and a +4 rating.
Drafted: 101st, 2003
Height/Weight: 6’1, 200 lbs.
Zakharov, a native of Belarus, has
returned to his homeland to play midseason. After playing with the
Worcester IceCats in his first season in the AHL in 2004-05, he started with the Rivermen this season, was demoted to the Alaska Aces and is not currently
on either roster. In 2004-05 with the IceCats he had four goals, 14 points and a
-6 rating in 59 games. He was also a member of Team Belarus at the 2005 World
Junior Hockey Championship where he had three goals and five points in six
games. He is now playing for HC Minsk in the Belarussian League.
Drafted: 159th, 2003
Height/Weight: 6’3, 205 lbs.
Drafted by St. Louis in 2003, Chris
Beckford-Tseu started his pro career in 2004-05, playing in the ECHL with
Peoria. In 29 games he had 11 wins, a .908 save percentage and a career best
2.71 goals against average. Beckford-Tseu’s size, at 6’2 and 205
lbs., enables him to cover a lot of the net, making it difficult for opposing
players to find an opening against him. He is currently with the Aces, although has played three games for Peoria where he had one win, a .833
save percentage and a 4.76 goals against average. He has fared much better with
the Aces where he has posted 11 wins and no losses in 13 games. He has a .931
save percentage, two shutouts and a 1.89 goals against average. Beckford-Tseu
was selected to be a starter in the ECHL All-Star game later this month.
He’s one of three representatives for the high-flying Aces.
Drafted: 43rd, 2001
Height/Weight: 6’3, 210 lbs.
One of three players sent to St.
Louis from Edmonton for Chris Pronger this past summer, Doug Lynch spent the
2004-05 season with the Edmonton Road Runners of the AHL. In 74 games he had one
goal, 14 points and 109 penalty minutes. In 29 games this season with
Peoria he had two points, 57 penalty minutes and a +2 rating. He was
recently demoted to Alaska.
Drafted: 88th, 2003
Height/Weight: 6’2, 209 lbs.
In his first professional season,
Zack FitzGerald has split his time between the Alaska Aces of the ECHL and
Peoria. Known for playing a mean, physical style of game, FitzGerald’s penalty
minutes have reflected that. In his four seasons in the WHL with the Seattle
Thunderbirds he led the team in penalty minutes twice, by a wide margin, and was
second on the team in the other two seasons.
Apart from being a physical presence,
FitzGerald is responsible in his own end and can also contribute offensively. In
six games with Peoria this season he has two points and 21 penalty minutes. In
the 12 games he has played with Alaska he also has two points and leads the team
in penalty minutes with 108.
Drafted: 190th, 2002
Height/Weight: 6’3, 230 lbs.
D.J. King played his first season in
the AHL in 2004-05 with the Worcester IceCats where he had six goals, 14 points
and 178 penalty minutes in 74 games. Known for being a tough, physical player,
King uses his 6’3, 230 lbs. frame and works hard on the ice. This
season with Peoria he has three goals, five points in 33 games and his 94
penalty minutes are second most on the team behind Rocky Thompson. He was
demoted to Alaska this week along with Lynch, but it is scheduled to only be a five-game conditioning assignment.
Height/Weight: 5’11, 200 lbs.
A free agent signing in 2005, Ryan
Ramsay played his first pro season, in 2004-05, with Worcester. In 46 games he
had six goals, 18 points and 93 penalty minutes. Ramsay plays with grit, but has not shown as much offense
as he displayed while playing junior. He started the season with Peoria, playing
26 games with three goals, eight points and 41 penalty minutes, but was sent
down to the ECHL. In seven games with the Aces he has five goals, 11
points and 17 penalty minutes.
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