The Blues released some unfortunate news on Thursday, announcing that Kyle Brodziak is expected to miss the next five weeks with an injury to his right foot. The news comes at a time where the Blues’ fourth line has been arguably its best, turning in consistent strong efforts each game. While the news is somber, it will allow fans to get a good look at Ivan Barbashev.
Barbashev has been called up from the AHL and will immediately slide into Brodziak’s vacated position. The move is an interesting one as Barbashev has been a big offensive player with the Chicago Wolves and got the call over Wade Megan. Dmitrij Jaskin was another option, but the Blues reportedly wanted a true center to come in.
Barbashev has been awesome in the AHL, scoring 19 goals and chipping in 18 assists in 44 games. At 21, he has quickly turned into one of the most interesting prospects the Blues have within their organization. There’s no guarantee that success in the AHL will translate to success in the NHL, but Barbashev has shown a lot of things worth getting excited over.
It’ll be interesting to see exactly what Barbashev can bring to the table at the NHL level. His role on the fourth line replacing Brodziak won’t be the best opportunity for success, but it’s a foot in the door. The fourth line has been one of the team’s best this season, so it’s reasonable to think he could see a promotion to a top-9 role should things go well.