St. Louis Blues rookie defenseman Scott Perunovich was one of the most highly touted defensive prospects in a long time, but how well has he played in the NHL this year?
Scott Perunovich is in the first year of his entry-level contract after being selected in the second round by the St. Louis Blues in 2018. He has appeared in 17 games and has netted five points early in the season.
Perunovich has been a point producer at just about every point in his career. Perunovich registered 105 points in 115 college games for the Bulldogs as a student-athlete at Minnesota-Duluth.
He was a member of Team USA in the World Junior Classic in 2018 and recorded three points in seven games for the Americans.
To start the 2021-22 season, Perunovich did not make the team out of training camp and was assigned to the Springfield Thunderbirds. He lasted just 12 games in the American Hockey League and netted 20 points.
The rookie blueliner wasted no time recording his first-career NHL point. He waited all the way until his second game of his career to net an assist against the San Jose Sharks, aiding the Blues to a win over their former West Division rivals.
The bad news is, he hasn’t recorded a point in his last nine games. He recorded two assists against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 2 but has yet to get a point since. He is also waiting for his first NHL goal.
He has been in and out of the lineup over the past month for the Blues, but a lot of the lack of playing time can be attributed to injuries and sicknesses throughout the St. Louis lineup.
Additionally, head coach Craig Berube has been historically cautious about overusing his rookies. He installed this strategy with players like Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou, holding their minutes while Blues fans everywhere craved for more playing time.
Perhaps his most intriguing role on the team is on the powerplay. He is an elite puck distributor, and if not for Thomas’ presence on the team, he would be the best playmaker on the roster.
Perhaps his numbers will follow if the Minnesota native can get some consistent playing time in the top-4 for the Blues. However, if he finds himself playing on the third pairing, he will likely continue to be absent from the scoresheet.
All in all, Perunovich’s time in the NHL has been encouraging, and he figures to be a staple in the Blues’ lineup for a long time.