HAZELWOOD, Mo. - Like most 19-year-old college kids, Drew Vogler isn’t likely to answer his phone before 10 a.m. during the summer months.
“Usually I’m pretty grumpy in the morning,” he says.
But a few weeks ago, Vogler made an exception when former Blue Al MacInnis woke him up early after a good night’s sleep.
MacInnis, a Hockey Hall of Famer and Vogler’s coach from his playing days with the AAA Blues, was in need of an extra goaltender for the Blues’ annual prospect camp, which is being held this week at the Ice Zone at St. Louis Outlet Mall.
“It was pretty exciting to get that call,” Vogler said. “I never thought I’d get to play here. It’s kind of surreal.”
Vogler is a native of Florissant and attended McCluer North High School for two years before moving to Ohio to pursue a hockey career that started with the Cleveland Barons.
“He came to the rink and his work ethic was always outstanding,” MacInnis said of Vogler's time with the AAA Blues. “He’s a great kid, never complained, never said anything. He just kept working, kept coming to the rink every day. So it was nice to be able to make that call. It’s well deserved, and not just because he’s a local kid. His play dictated it.”
Vogler went undrafted at the NHL level but has recently gained more playing time for Hockey East’s Merrimack Warriors. Last season, he played in 11 regular season games, recording a 2.23 goals-against average and a .916 save-percentage. In the postseason, he commanded more of the net, making five appearances and going 2-3 with a 1.56 goals-against average and a .943 save-percentage.
Now he’s getting a chance to compete against some of the Blues’ top draft selections. It’s an opportunity to get noticed, and it's one he's not taking for granted.
“You don’t get professional help like this very often - I’m trying to learn the best I can,” Vogler said. “I want to build on this experience and get some confidence going into next year.
“I can’t really describe how it feels (to be here at Blues prospect camp), just because it’s such a surreal experience,” he added. “I feel special out here with all these high-quality players. It makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something with your career.”