25-Year-Old Goalie – St. Louis Blues
Jake Allen Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $4.7 million extension with the Blues in July 2015.
Allen (knee) skated in full gear during Friday's practice, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports.
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Jake Allen: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Even though he saw no NHL action last season after appearing in 15 games for the Blues during the lockout-shortened campaign, Allen still managed to see his prospect luster increase. As the No. 1 netminder for AHL Chicago, Allen posted a phenomenal 33-16-3 record to go along with a 2.03 GAA and .928 save percentage, earning AHL Goalie of the Year honors for his efforts. Allen’s scintillating performance undoubtedly factored into the Blues’ decision not to pursue a goalie in free agency, with the team instead re-signing top-flight backup Brian Elliott and promoting him to the No. 1 gig, while appointing the 24-year-old Allen as his understudy. Elliott’s lack of extensive experience as a full-time goalie will likely allow Allen to whittle into his start total, but both goalies should finish with a solid won/loss record to go along with strong ratios, if for no other reason than the fact they’ll be playing behind a top-flight offense and an elite defense. Elliott’s three-year deal could keep him entrenched as the starter for the life of the deal if his performance warrants it, but the goalie situation should be viewed as an apprenticeship for Allen, who will play the Cory Schneider to Elliott’s Roberto Luongo. If Allen’s transition to the NHL proves seamless in the early going, coach Ken Hitchcock may even opt for a more even split of starts between his two netminders, rather than a cut and dry No. 1/No. 2 arrangement.
Allen looked good in his NHL debut last season, posting a 2.46 GAA and a .905 save percentage. The rookie went 8-1 in his first nine starts between the pipes and showed real flashes of greatness. He first stepped in for Brian Elliott, who was sent to the minors, and then hung onto the job as Jaroslav Halak suffered what was essentially a season-ending groin injury. Expect the Blues to break camp with Halak and Elliott. But Allen will most get the call at the first sign of trouble ... or trade.
Allen, 22, is the Blues' goalie of the future and has been the past two seasons while he's honed his craft in the AHL for Peoria. After sharing the Peoria net for much of that time with Ben Bishop, Allen became the unquestioned No. 1 when the Blues traded Bishop midseason. Allen was perhaps the best goalie in the AHL during the 2010-11 season, but failed to come close to that standard last season. It wasn't until the end of January that he got his save percentage north of .900, and his goals-against average stayed above 3.00 until late March. The Rivermen weren't a great bunch in front of him, but Allen needs to play better. The poor season put a little tarnish on him. It will be good see how he bounces back from his first professional adversity. The Blues are locked in at goal for the next two years with Jaro Halak and Brian Elliott, so Allen must continue to work on his game in Peoria.
The Blues are waiting on Allen, who was a leading a goalie in the AHL for much of the season before tailing off after February. The 20-year-old was the No. 1 goalie at Peoria in his first year at the level and posted six shutouts in 47 starts. The Blues brought in veteran Brian Elliott on a two-way contract, but 2011-12 is all about giving Allen more experience. Another season as the Rivermen’s top goalie is on tap for Allen.
Allen, 20, finally arrives at the pro level in 2010 when he'll team with Ben Bishop to be the goaltending tandem for the Peoria Rivermen of the American Hockey League. He was named the goaltender of the year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, posting a 2.20 GAA and .922 save percentage. He's probably passed Bishop as a prospect and there's a chance he ends up in St. Louis in 2011, when Ty Conklin's contract expires.
It will be another year in the juniors for Allen, who has been re-assigned to Montreal Junior of the Quebeck Major Junior Hockey League. A 2008 second-round pick (34th overall), Allen is at least two years away from making an impact on the Blues roster.
Allen was a 2nd round pick (34th overall) in the 2008 Draft. He will spend another season in the QMJHL with the hope of making it to the NHL soon after that. He is behind Ben Bishop who is another young goaltender on the Blues Depth Chart at this time.