ST. LOUIS --
Defenseman Ian Cole
, recalled from Peoria on Monday, will make his season debut tonight for the St. Louis Blues
against the Chicago Blackhawks
The Blues are carrying nine defensemen on their roster, including Kent Huskins
(bruised ankle), but want to give Cole, a 2007 first-round draft pick (No. 18), another look after a strong stretch of games with the Rivermen.
"I started in the same pattern as the team, kind of slow," Cole said, referring to the Rivermen. "Everyone just wasn't clicking. After those first couple weekends, everyone started figuring out and playing well. The past couple weeks, I've been playing well."
Cole, who played in 26 games and tallied 1 goal and 3 assists last season, will play with Roman Polak
tonight. He was among the last cuts during the preseason.
"Of course you're disappointed but at the same time, I didn't see it as something that was debilitating," Cole said.
"There's a real trust within the organization for Ian," new Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They want to see what he can do. He's had a very good AHL campaign so far this year. He's played very well, he's been really solid. He's a left shot, which can really help the group here and I think we're excited to give him a go here and see what it looks like.
"You want to reward him. He's been knocking on the door for a couple years now, and you want to reward a guy when he's been playing well down there. They wanted to give him the extra time, a ton of ice time down there. Now it's time to see if he can play."