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Pietrangelo Makes Opening Day Roster

Roster reduced to 23 players; Pietrangelo remains on team's roster

Tuesday, 10.05.2010 / 1:11 PM / St Louis Blues - Features
By Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues
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Pietrangelo Makes Opening Day Roster
The moment he’d been waiting for has finally come: Alex Pietrangelo has earned a spot on the Blues’ 23-man roster.

Pietrangelo, along with teammate Tyson Strachan, met with General Manager Doug Armstrong and Head Coach Davis Payne on Tuesday, where both players were told they’d be remaining with the Blues to start the 2010-11 season.

The decision ends arguably the most interesting aspect of training camp: the race for the final spots on the team’s blueline.

Pietrangelo and Strachan battled with Ian Cole and Nathan Oystrick for the spots: Oystrick was assigned to Peoria on Monday, while Cole was assigned a day later.

“It’s a relief (to know I’m staying), but it’s only the start,” Pietrangelo said. “You have to keep going forward because you know there are guys trying to take your spot. I just have to keep playing good hockey and try to help the team win.”

The move means the Blues will begin the season with seven defenseman: Eric Brewer, Carlo Colaiacovo, Barret Jackman, Erik Johnson, Roman Polak, Pietrangelo and Strachan. Nikita Nikitin also remains on the active roster, but he's out for an extended period of time due to injury.

Pietrangelo was drafted by the Blues fourth overall in 2008. Five defenseman were chosen in the Top 10 that year: Drew Doughty (Los Angeles), Zach Bogosian (Atlanta Thrashers), Tyler Myers (Buffalo Sabres) and Luke Schenn (Toronto Maple Leafs). Pietrangelo, widely considered the most talented but also the most raw of that group, was the only one not yet getting regular minutes in the NHL.

Earlier this year, Pietrangelo took a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships. He was arguably the tournament's best player, recording three goals and eight assists for 11 points in just five games. He also had a plus/minus rating of +8.

He finished the 2010 preseason with one assist and a -1 rating in 5 games played.

Pietrangelo spent the summer working with Blues’ Strength and Conditioning Coach Nelson Ayotte, building his leg strength and trying to improve his speed.

“He’ll be ready to go this fall. Physically, he will,” Ayotte said in July. “The rest of it he must still show, but we know he has tons of skill, so there’s no reason for him not to be part of this organization full time.”

Pietrangelo has 17 games of NHL experience in the past two seasons. Each time previously, he'd been sent back to juniors, but that won't be an option this year.

“The only pressure now is what I put on myself to perform. That’s the best part about it,” he said.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 47 31 10 6 139 124 68
2 NSH 45 30 10 5 137 104 65
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 48 26 14 8 135 117 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 45 26 16 3 124 114 55
8 CGY 47 25 19 3 136 125 53
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 48 20 18 10 125 137 50
11 DAL 46 21 18 7 144 151 49
12 MIN 46 20 20 6 128 137 46
13 ARI 46 16 25 5 105 156 37
14 EDM 47 12 26 9 109 158 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 46 24 23 23 47
A. Steen 44 15 25 8 40
K. Shattenkirk 46 8 31 17 39
J. Schwartz 39 16 21 15 37
D. Backes 45 16 17 5 33
J. Lehtera 45 9 21 16 30
T. Oshie 38 13 15 11 28
A. Pietrangelo 46 4 23 0 27
P. Stastny 38 9 16 5 25
P. Berglund 45 6 9 -1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 13 5 2 .930 1.86
J. Allen 13 5 2 .900 2.65

 
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