Jake Allen didn’t disappoint during what appears to be his last season in the AHL for a while. The St. Louis Blues netminder was so outstanding in the minors that he was named to the AHL’s first All-Star team for his high level of play. If the Blues were expecting the youngster to fade down that stretch, that reality never materialized.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) April 10, 2014
The 23-year-old has been plying his trade in the minors since the 2010-11 season, and he’s starting to show some real promise as a potential NHL goalie. Allen posted his best stats yet this year, carrying a 30-16-3 record to go along with an outstanding .926 save percentage. Tack on six shutouts, and it seems like Allen was a shoo-in for first team honors.
St. Louis’ second-round pick in 2008, Allen has slowly been working his way up the depth chart over the last few seasons. He played in 15 NHL games last year and impressed enough to secure himself an interesting new two-year contract. The first year of the deal—this season—was a two-way contract that opened the door for this stellar AHL showing.
The second year of the contract is a one-way deal, and Allen’s strong play in the minors should make St. Louis’ goaltending situation interesting heading into this summer. Brian Elliott has been one of the league’s premier backups over the last few years, and he should be able to command a middling starters salary on the open market.
Ryan Miller is also slated for free agency. While the Blues want to bring the ex-Buffalo Sabre back into the fold, he too could walk as a free agent. A Miller-Allen duo would be strong enough to stand on for sure, but it will be intriguing to see what Doug Armstrong has up his sleeve if this scenario doesn’t unfold.