Over the first weekend of NHL Free Agency, the St. Louis Blues made a number of roster moves that should have an impact for the Springfield Thunderbirds.
For forwards, the Blues signed Curtis McKenzie to a one-year, two-way contract. The 29 year old left wing has appeared in 99 games over four seasons with the Dallas Stars, accumulating 10 goals with 13 assists and 131 penalty minutes. He last played in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves, accumulating 37 goals and 96 points over the past two seasons. McKenzie is a 2014 Calder Cup Champion with the Texas Stars. He was originally a sixth round draft pick of the Dallas Stars in 2009.
The team would then make a splash, signing the most productive forward in the AHL last season, Sam Anas, to a two-year, two-way deal. Last season with the Iowa Wild, Anas amassed 20 goals and 50 assists for 70 points in 63 games, the most points in the AHL during the 19-20 season. The forward went undrafted after playing three seasons at Quinnipiac University.
On defense, the Blues signed a steady stay-at-home defender in Steve Santini to a one-year, two-way contract. The defenseman has played in 116 NHL games for New Jersey and Nashville, registering 5 goals and 16 assists. He was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils.
The Blues also made a move in goal, signing Jon Gillies to a one-year, two-way contract. The 26-year-old goaltender has appeared in 160 AHL games, compiling a 67-61-19 record with a .906 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average. Gillies won an NCAA Championship with Providence College and was a third round pick by the Calgary Flames in the 2012 NHL Draft.
While there is a chance that these players excel in training camp and make the St. Louis Blues roster, you can expect these names and more to make an immediate impact in Springfield for the upcoming season.