The St. Louis Blues continue to add depth to their affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. However, don’t sleep on their latest signing getting a peek in the NHL.
The St. Louis Blues made another free agent signing, though this one will not move the needle near as much as the biggie on day one of free agency. The Blues added more AHL depth this time around.
St. Louis has signed Sam Anas to a two-year, two-way contract. While Anas will almost certainly be used as an AHL player, his upside is rather intriguing.
Anas is not very big, listed at 5’8 and 157 lbs. Nevertheless, he has carved out a decent career for himself.
Anas led the entire AHL in scoring in 2019-20. He had 70 points in 63 games, 50 of which were assists, showing off his playmaking abilities.
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In today’s games, if you have the skill and speed, size shouldn’t bother you as much as it used to. The worrying thing about Anas is his inconsistency.
He has four seasons in the AHL under his belt. He has alternated between 20-plus seasons and 60 plus-seasons every year.
He had 28 points his first year and 38 points his third. His second year he had 61 points and then 70 last season.
If he holds that pattern, he’ll spend the entire year in the AHL and be a disappointment. However, notching 50 assists might indicate he has settled into a comfort zone.
In his first three seasons, it seemed the Iowa Wild were not settled on him being a wing or a center. In 2019-20, he played mostly up the middle and found a role he fit as a playmaker.
Everyone wants to score goals. If you can set them up with that frequency, it’s just as productive, even if not as personally satisfying – just ask Ryan O’Reilly.
The interesting thing about Anas is, if he can continue his productivity from 2019-20, he could actually get a peek in the NHL with the Blues. St. Louis is very strong down the middle, but all it takes is one injury to throw things out of whack.
The Blues have some wingers that are more than capable of filling in at center, but if you have a player in the minors who can suit the position better, without rotating a bunch of pieces, why not? Of course, Anas would not be a long-term answer if there was a bad injury, but I could see him doing the job for a week or two if someone was bruised up.
Nothing is guaranteed though and Anas will have to earn that trust. As of right now, he’s just a minor leaguer.
The Blues must have some interest in his upside though, or they would not have given out the second year on the contract. We’ll see how it plays out, but Anas can definitely help out some of the team’s other prospects in Springfield, if nothing else.