Blues call up Hakanpaa; Oshie returns to the ice

Blues call up Hakanpaa; Oshie returns to the ice

Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 23: Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche makes a save against Alexander Steen #20 of the St. Louis Blues during the first period at the Scottrade Center on April 23, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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by Andrew Allsman / STL

KMOV.com

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 8:46 PM

(KMOV) -- The Blues were on the ice Tuesday morning for their game-day skate as they prepared to battle the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday evening.

The Blues announced before their skate that they had called up defenseman Jani Hakanpaa from the Peoria Rivermen, adding to their already-deep defensive group.

The 21-year old defenseman’s American Hockey League season recently ended, and the organization wanted him with the parent club for the remainder of the year.

Hakanpaa played in 14 games with the Rivermen after joining them late in their season.

Before joining Peoria, Hakanpaa played for Espoo of Finland’s SM-liiga, where he dressed in 34 games and accumulated five points (two goals, three assists). With Peoria, Hakanpaa had four points (one goal, three assists).

Hakanpaa stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 218-pounds. He is a right-handed shot, and is said to have a lot of potential.

The Blues already have eight defensemen on their National Hockey League roster. Both Kris Russell and Ian Cole would play ahead of Hakanpaa, so it is unlikely the rookie gets much, if any playing time this season. However, he will be practicing with the team, which is never a bad thing.

While fans were learning of Hakanpaa’s call-up, some exciting news regarding T.J. Oshie’s recovery from surgery was reported from the morning skate.

Oshie, 26, is only a week into his recovery from ankle surgery, which was needed to repair a stress fracture in his left ankle.

It appears that Oshie is progressing much more quickly than originally expected, as all indications pointed to a lengthy recovery that would likely end his season.

Oshie is still considered week to week, but it is far from certain that his season is over.

Oshie has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 30 games this season. The forward has already been sidelined for a handful of games this season due to a rib injury, but his recent injury is considered a more serious one.

Oshie underwent a successful surgery on April 16. It took him just seven days to feel well enough to lace up his skates and return to the ice.

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