18 days after being traded to the St. Louis Blues for Kevin Shattenkirk, former Capitals prospect Zach Sanford scored his first goal with his new team.
It was only Sanford’s second game played since being dealt.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) March 17, 2017
Sanford’s goal came early in the second period, giving the Blues a 2-1 lead. After Jay Bouwmeester’s shot was blocked and bounced off the end boards, Sanford gathered in the redirected puck and roofed it past Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell.
St. Louis would go on to win 4-1. The rookie’s third goal on the season would end up being the game-winner.
After being first acquired by St. Louis, Sanford made his Blues’ debut March 3rd against the Winnipeg Jets. He would sit for the next 12 days.
“We’re still trying to get to know Zach,” Head Coach Mike Yeo said to the Blues’ Chris Pinkert. “When he came in right after the trade deadline, we were in the middle of a five-game losing streak coming out of the break. It was a tough circumstance for a young kid… things have settled a little bit so we’re anxious to see what he can do.”
Six games later, Sanford would take Nail Yakupov’s spot on the third line against San Jose.
After nearly a month in St. Louis, the 22-year-old forward has finally settled in with his new team, but that wasn’t always the case. Sanford explained to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford that he struggled with the idea of the trade, thinking his former team no longer wanted him.
“I just got back from dinner, some rumors were going around,” Sanford said to Rutherford. “I kinda decided I had to get to the bottom of it and finally I got the call that I was coming to St. Louis. Being a young guy, I think some of the wrong thoughts are going through my head. (But) I think taking some time to settle down and taking a step back, the Blues must have really wanted me.”
“I think it’s a good opportunity for me coming here and I’m really excited to step in and hope to be able to help the club,” Sanford continued. “St. Louis is a team in the hunt for the playoffs, they’re another really strong team, (so) for me to come here, it’s a good opportunity for me hopefully to get some minutes, get some playing time and produce for the team.”
The goal Thursday will likely be the first of many for his new team.
Headline photo: @StLouisBlues
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