Jake Allen, a native of Fredericton who was raised in St. Stephen and New Maryland, is a goaltender for the St. Louis Blues of the NHL and has just begun his 2015-16 campaign. The young Allen impressed many fans and coaches alike last season while playing for the Blues, and he hopes to continue and build on that success this season.
The 25 year old Allen played in 37 games last season for the Blues, recording 22 wins while sporting a 2.28 Goals Against Average and a .913 saving percentage.
Many Blues fans are keeping an eye on Allen, as a strong finish last season has him poised for an opportunity to claim the starting goaltending job over veteran Brian Elliott. For now, Allen is splitting starts with Elliot who won 26 games in 46 starts with St. Louis.
“I know that I don’t have to be someone that I’m not, just play my game and have the success come through that,” said Allen in an interview with NHL.com when asked about the added pressure of potentially being a starter.
Jake, the son of Kurt and Susan Allen of Fredericton, was drafted 34th overall by the Blues back in 2008. Since being drafted he has spent time with the St. Louis AHL affiliate teams, Peoria Rivermen and the Chicago Wolves.
When Allen was called up and given an opportunity to start last season, he ran with it. Allen helped the Blues to the playoffs where they had a disappointing first round exit to the Minnesota Wild. While the early bow out of the playoffs may have been a disappointing result for Allen, the NHL playoff experience will be invaluable moving forward in his career.
The St. Louis Blues are primed to make another run at the playoffs this season, and their eyes are fixed on getting an opportunity to raise the Stanley Cup. The team will look to young, up-and-coming players such as Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz to lead them this season.
The Blues management has reiterated that they will rotate goalies, Allen and Elliot until one emerges as the clear starter. A method that is probably familiar to any UNB Varsity Reds hockey fan.
“He can’t apprentice anymore,” said Blues’ general manager Doug Armstrong via the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “He put in a good year last year. Now is his time. He’s done the work necessary to compete for [the starting] job.”
Keep an eye on your television sets and Twitter feeds for the goalie with the New Brunswick flag painted on the back of his helmet as the pride of Fredericton will be representing his home province this season with the Blues of St. Louis.