Goaltending was somewhat of an issue for the St. Louis Blues in the 2021-22, as the playoffs saw Ville Husso struggle to replicate the skill level of starter Jordan Binnington. Now that Husso’s left for the Detroit Red Wings, the Blues’ backup netminder slot is filled by Thomas Greiss.
Interestingly, St. Louis snagged Greiss from the Wings this offseason after Husso had just gone to Detroit. But what about a potential third slot? That’s where current Blues prospect Colten Ellis comes into play.
Ellis has spent time with the Springfield Thunderbirds, the Blues’ AHL affiliate, and the Worcester Railers, the Islanders’ ECHL affiliate, in the last 2 seasons. Before that, he racked up 4 years of experience in the QMJHL.
2 of those were with the Rimouski Oceanic and 1 each with the Cape Breton and Charlottetown. So it’s safe to say the guy has a fair amount of amateur experience as well as some minor-pro time. Ellis had a 3.21 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage in Worcester. Even though the Railers aren’t a Blues affiliate, St. Louis was still able to strike a deal to get him to play a few games with Springfield in 2021-22.
Ellis played in 6 contests for the T-Birds, with a 3.93 GAA but still managed an .880 save percentage during that time. On the other hand, he logged 34 games in Worcester in 2021-22, with a 3.21 GAA and a .905 SV%.
Ellis isn’t the only Blues goalie prospect looking to make an NHL debut in the next season or two. He’s actually 4th in line on the depth chart, behind Springfield teammate Joel Hofer.
Now, Hofer actually played in 2 games for St. Louis last season and participated in 39 contests for the T-Birds in that same season. While with Springfield, Hofer tallied a 2.96 GAA and had a SV% of .905%, exactly matching Ellis in that last statistic.
But the biggest surprise in this potential competition is that Ellis is actually pushing Hofer around for that coveted 3rd string spot on the charts. One could argue his multi-league experience and minimal time missed due to the pandemic, unlike Hofer, could give Colten the shot at the NHL he’s definitely been looking for.