This year’s Team Canada captain at the World Junior Championships is getting a chance to skip the minor leagues and play with the big boys. The Blues announced today that they’ve signed their first round pick (14th overall) of the 2010 draft to an entry-level NHL contract. Since he’s been signed, he can’t go back to college or the minors, so it looks like the Blues’ll get a chance to put him in the lineup if they’d like.
He’ll be meeting the team in Chicago in enough time to possibly even play in tomorrow night’s tilt against the Blackhawks.
Why sign him now? Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong explained this to the Post-Dispatch’s Dan O’Neill:
“After talking to our scouting staff and Dave Taylor in particular, who has seen him play two of last three weekends. And in looking at our roster now, and our injuries now, we thought it was worth getting him under contract to play for our team this year.”
“He provides us with some depth in a skill area,” Armstrong said. “He’s a player that I think – as much as we can benefit from having him here – he can benefit from being here as he progresses over his NHL career full force.”
Can’t argue with that. Best of luck to Jaden; it’s great that the Blues are in the position they are to give three prospects — Schwartz, Ian Cole, and Chris Porter — some playing time on a quality club.