Phoenix Copley Sent to Blues in TJ Oshie Trade


Yesterday the St Louis Blues traded TJ Oshie to the Washington Capitals. The return for Oshie isn’t terrific, but he also isn’t a terrific player. Phoenix Copley, a goalie, was one of the pieces sent the Blues way. Copley was projected to start for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League next season.

If you want to read into the deal from a Blues perspective, the Blues were interested in acquiring a goalie and they missed out on the goalie trade extravaganza from last weekend. However, that doesn’t mean Copley is an NHL goalie, or what they were looking for.

Let’s be clear; Copley won’t be on the Blues NHL roster, more than likely. At 23 years old, last season with Hershey he posted a record of 17-4-3 with a goals against average of 2.17 and a save percentage of .925. He will more than likely be playing with the Chicago Wolves for the duration of next season.

Copley, a native of Alaska, was signed as a free agent last year by the Capitals. He played some junior hockey with the Corpus Christi IceRays of the NAHL in 2010. He went on to play for the Tri City Storm and the Des Moines Buccaneers.

For his college hockey, Copley played with Michigan State in 2012. After two seasons with them, he signed a pro contract with the Washington Capitals and he was assigned to play in the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays.

Hockey’s Future says this about Copley:

"Copley is a large goaltender who is surprisingly mobile for his size. He is still a bit lanky, but he is very athletic. In his first pro season after two years in college, he is still learning to properly challenge shooters and utilize his angles as well as learning to track the puck better through traffic. He has the raw skills and is in the process of developing his game to take advantage of those abilities.Copley attended his first NHL training camp with Washington before being assigned to AHL affiliate Hershey to start the 2014-15 season. In his first year of pro hockey, he has shown promise as a backup to fourth-year pro Philipp Grubauer when called on to start for the first-place Bears. He also played briefly with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays. Signed as a free agent following his sophomore season at Michigan Tech, Copley has played well in a limited role. Long-term his prototypical NHL size and production in a limited sample suggests there is some upside. More will be known about that potential if he can secure a full-time role in 2015-16."

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