When the St. Louis Blues started the 2013 season, the rookie that would end up having the biggest impact for the team wasn’t even on the roster. Sure, the Blues had 2010 first round picks Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko on the roster for opening night, but it wouldn’t be either one of those offensive stars that stole the show. An injury to starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak and the early poor play of Brian Elliott opened the door for 2008 draft pick Jake Allen to step in and impress.
What did Allen do that was so impressive? Well, for starters he won eight of his first nine starts. He finished the season with a 9-4-0 record with a 2.46 goals-against average, and was one of the biggest reasons the Blues stayed in playoff contention even with Halak out. Considering he was the AHL leader in losses while with the Peoria Rivermen when he was first recalled, the way the young netminder was able to elevate his game at the highest level was even more impressive.
It would appear that Allen is once again stuck in the organization, though, as Halak and Elliott will both be back for another season. After sharing the crease in Peoria with Ben Bishop up until late last season, it seems Allen will once again have to wait for the Blues to place their faith in him. If the way he rose to the task this season is any indication of his potential, they’d be foolish to wait too long to give him a full-time shot. Allen’s rookie season earns a solid “A” grade, and he will definitely be seeing more NHL time in the very near future.