The St. Louis Blues have agreed to terms on a seven-year deal with defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
Pietrangelo, 23, dressed in 47 games last season, leading the Blues’ defense with 24 points (five goals and 19 assists) while ranking 13th in ice time per game (25:06) among all National Hockey League (NHL) defensemen. Since his first full season in 2010, Pietrangelo is tied for sixth among all defensemen in points (118), ranks 10th in goals (28), tied for ninth in assists (90) and slots 15th in plus/minus (+34) while he became the youngest defenseman in Blues history to record back-to-back 40-plus point seasons in 2010-11 (43) and 2011-12 (51).
Pietrangelo will return to the Blues lineup tonight.
Pietrangelo missed the Blues last game with the flu but he is expected to return to the lineup tonight vs. the Canucks. He is one of the best young defensemen in the NHL. He has five goals and 13 assists in 27 games this season.
That would seem obvious, since last September he was trying to make the Blues' roster and heading into the 2011-12 season he's expected to lead the team in ice time. Still, after an 11-goal, 43-point season in which he finished with a plus-18 rating, he is assuming nothing.
Expect Pietrangelo to lead the team in ice time and in the locker room. The 21-year-old seems poised to make big strides this season and should be taken seriously in any keeper league.