Perunovich isn’t a household name, but he may get there.
Scott Perunovich isn’t a household name, but he may get there.
Perunovich, a St. Louis Blues prospect and defenseman, had an emotional NHL debut, a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, at the Enterprise Center on Thursday, November 18, 2021. He scored his first NHL point with an assist.
Perunovich was previously assigned to the AHL’s Utica Comets, where he missed most of the 2020-21 season due to a shoulder injury, and Springfield Thunderbirds, where he posted a 3-0-1 record in the 2021-22 season. He was drafted by the Blues with the 45th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Perunovich played three seasons for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs from 2017-20. He was drafted by the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in 2014 while playing for the Hibbing High School Bluejackets Bantam A team. He also played tennis at Hibbing High School. He’s a Hibbing, Minnesota native. He’s of Serbian descent.
Perunovich’s uncle, Doug Torrel, also played for the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. But that wasn’t the main reason why he was attracted by the college. He was drawn to the Bulldogs’ success in recent years. The Bulldogs won three NCAA Division I Championships in 2011, 2018, and 2019.
Fast forward to Thursday, December 2 when the Blues visited the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Amalie Arena. Yes, St. Louis lost 4-2 to Tampa Bay, but if there was a bright spot, Perunovich snapped a two-game pointless skid with two assists for his first multi-point NHL game.
Since then, Perunovich hasn’t scored a point for four games. Can he avoid a five-game pointless skid on Sunday, December 12 versus the Anaheim Ducks? Only time will tell. But I believe he can find his groove if he can provide consistent defensive support alongside Torey Krug and effectively and efficiently move the puck.
The Blues host the Ducks at 6:00 pm Central on Sunday.