After getting a taste of the big show last season, Jake Neighbours of Airdrie is looking to make his full-time NHL debut with the St. Louis Blues this season. If he keeps playing like he did in last night's (September 24) exhibition season opener against the Arizona Coyotes, he shouldn't have trouble sticking with the Blues.
Neighbours scored twice and assisted on another to help the Blues edge the Coyotes 5 - 4 in the first exhibition game of the season for both teams.
The Airdrie product, and former Western Hockey League star with the Edmonton Oil Kings, got the Blues on the scoresheet when he beat Arizona goaltender Jon Gillies at the 1:44 mark of the first period. Later he scored to put St. Louis up by a 3 - 2 count in the game that was played in Wichita, Kansas.
Neighbours also likely dished out what was likely the biggest hit of the night when he separated Jan Jenik of the Coyotes from his helmet with a crushing check in the third.
Logan Brown, the player likely competing with Neighbours for a spot on the Blues' third line, also scored twice for St. Louis, with his second of the night being the eventual winner. Blues head coach Craig Berube praised both players, saying they played solid games.
St. Louis iced a very young lineup for their first of eight exhibition contests. Their next game is Monday against the Dallas Stars.
After being selected as their first-round pick in 2020, Neighbours played nine games with the Blues at the start of the 2021-2022 season before the team returned him to the Oil Kings for the remainder of the season. He had a goal and an assist in those nine games. Back with Edmonton, Neighbours helped the team win the WHL Championship and a spot in the Memorial Cup.
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