WINNIPEG - Zach Sanford will make his Blues debut Friday when the club meets the Winnipeg Jets at 7 p.m. at MTS Centre (FSMW, KMOX).
Sanford is a 6-foot-4 forward who was acquired by the Blues in Monday's trade with the Washington Capitals. The Blues also received a first-round draft pick, a conditional second-round pick and forward Brad Malone, who will report to the Chicago Wolves.
Sanford is expected to debut on the left wing alongside Patrik Berglund and Magnus Paajarvi.
"I want to see him play. There's a lot of information he's been getting the last couple days," said Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo. "He's a hockey player, and systems don't vary too much from each other, but I want to make sure he goes out there not afraid to make mistakes, not thinking too much, making sure he can trust his game. We've got time to make him get familiar to our system. More than anything else, I want to see what he can bring to the table."
Sanford prides himself on being a big guy that has some skill. In his first practice with the team on Thursday, Yeo said he was impressed with his puck work and his ability to protect the puck and make plays in tight spaces.
In 26 games with the Capitals this season, Sanford has two goals and one assist. In two seasons at Boston College, he posted 63 points (22 goals, 43 assists) in 79 career games.
"It's been a crazy couple days (since the trade), but to finally get out on the ice with the guys, it kind of settles everything down and turns all that hectic stuff into excitement," Sanford said. "I'm excited to get on the road here and get into a game…. I think I can bring some speed and size. I play a pretty good game down low and this team is built a lot around that."
In other lineup news, Carter Hutton will start tonight against the Jets. Here is the rest of the projected lineup based on Thursday's practice and the game day skate:
Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - David Perron
Jaden Schwartz - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko
Zach Sanford - Patrik Berglund - Magnus Paajarvi
Scottie Upshall - Ivan Barbashev - Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson - Colton Parayko
Carl Gunnarsson - Robert Bortuzzo