The ups and downs of being a young hockey player trying to make it to, and stick with, an NHL team continued for 20-year-old Jake Neighbours of Airdrie this week.
Neighbours got the call in Springfield, home of the American Hockey League's Thunderbirds, on Monday telling him that he was being recalled to the St. Louis Blues of the NHL's roster. In 19 games with the T-Birds this season, he's scored seven goals and added the same number of assists for 14 points.
After playing in the Blues' pre-season games, Neighbours was assigned to Springfield and then recalled by the Blues to be part of their opening night roster. On that night, Neighbours scored his first goal of the season and second of his career against the Columbus Blue Jackets. After ten games with the Blues, Neighbours was sent back to Springfield and then recalled to the Blues for a few games before being sent back for more time in the AHL. Neighbours is hoping this latest move will last a bit longer.
Two of the three games Neighbours has appeared in since he was reassigned to the Blues have been wins, 6 - 5 in a shoot-out over the Leafs, a game in which he got his first assists of the year in the NHL and had 9:08 of ice time and a was even in plus-minus. On Thursday he had 10:28 of ice time and helped St. Louis to a 5 - 3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Last night the Montreal Canadiens broke a seven-game losing skid with a 5 - 4 win over the Blues. Neighbours was -2 in the plus-minus department and had two shots in the game.
The Blues face the Wild in Minnesota tonight.
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