June 25th, 2011 was a day Jordan Binnington will remember forever. It was the moment every young hockey player dreams of. His name was finally called on draft day as he was drafted by an NHL team. Binnington was selected 88th overall (3rd round) by the St. Louis Blues in the 2011 NHL Draft. Binnington, 17 at the time, had spent the last three seasons in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack where he went 54-39-8 and helped his team win the J. Ross Robertson Cup (OHL Championship) during the 2010-11 season. He was touted as the top draft eligible goalie coming out of the OHL in the 2011 NHL Draft, leading to his eventual drafting by the Blues.
After being drafted, Binnington would play at the junior level with the Sound Attack for one more season in 2012-13, where he had his best year yet. Binnington went 32-12-6 with a .932 save % and 2.17 goals against average. Binnington entered the ranks into the Blues organization in the 2013-14 season, when he appeared in 39 games with the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings, who at the time were an affiliate of the Chicago Wolves, who were the AHL affiliate of the Blues. Binnington impressed in his first professional season, going 23-13-3 with a .922 save % and 2.35 GAA.
His impressive year in the ECHL spurred him into sticking with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves roster. He would then be with the Wolves full time throughout the next three seasons. From 2014-2017, Binnington went 58-40-12 with a .911 save % and 2.63 GAA with the Chicago Wolves. Binnington was even called up to the St. Louis Blues during the 2015-16 season on an emergency basis due to an injury to Blues goalie Brian Elliott. Binnington did appear in one game for the Blues, as he was put in relief for Elliott and stopped three of the four shots he faced in a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Binnington was then sent back down to the AHL.
With the Chicago Wolves becoming the AHL affiliate of the new Vegas Golden Knights during the 2017-18 season, the Blues were left without an AHL affiliate for just the season. This saw Binnington get loaned to the Providence Bruins for the duration of the season. Binnington fared pretty well, going 17-9-0 with a .926 save % and 2.05 GAA. He was also named to the AHL All-Star Game during the season.
Heading into the current 2018-19 season, the Blues had their new AHL affiliate in the San Antonio Rampage, with whom Binnington would start the season with. Binnington was once again putting up solid numbers all the way going into December, posting an 11-4-0 record with a .927 save % and 2.08 GAA. With Blues goaltender Jake Allen struggling to find consistency as a starter and backup Chad Johnson not providing much relief, the Blues decided to place Johnson on waivers and call up Jordan Binnington. What happened next was unprecedented.
Binnington appeared in two games in relief of Jake Allen in two blowout losses. But on January 7th with the Blues near the bottom of the NHL standings, Binnington was set to make his first career start against the Philadelphia Flyers. Binnington would go on to stop all 25 shots he faced en route to a 3-0 Blues victory. The Blues coaching staff slowly started to gain confidence in Binnington, awarding him more starts as time went on. Binnington won his first three starts and only allowed two goals on 76 shots faced in those games. Then came the unheralded streak.
Another look at Binnington’s stop on Voracek. #stlblues https://t.co/sQP97FIusY
The Blues had just lost to the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 and it was the first game that Binnington had allowed more than two goals in a start. The Blues had one more game before the All-Star break and bye week which came against the Anaheim Ducks. Binnington stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced leading to a 5-1 Blues win.
After the break, Binnington would go on a tear, winning his next eight games which would help the Blues reach a franchise record 11 straight wins. In his nine starts during the 11-game win streak, Binnington went 9-0-0 with a .942 save %, only allowed 12 goals in the nine games, and had three shutouts during. Binnington rejuvenated playoff hopes for the Blues, who at one point early in January were the worst team in the NHL point wise.
On the season, Binnington is 15-2-1 with a .936 save % and an incredible 1.61 GAA. He has also climbed into a tie for second in the NHL in shutouts with five. Binnington has practically saved the season for the Blues, as they currently sit at 3rd in the Central Division standings. The team is eyeing up the second spot in the standings, as they are only four points behind the Winnipeg Jets with the same amount of games played and five points behind the Nashville Predators, with three games in hand.
Jordan Robbington https://t.co/qH40yDxpBz
Binnington has helped salvage a season that seemed to be circling the drain and is also looking like the number one guy long term for the St. Louis Blues. If Binnington keeps up his play, he could be key to a Blues playoff run and a new one-way contract after the season, since his current two-way contract is up after this season. Jordan “Winnington” as fans have started to call him, has not only helped save the current season, but given the Blues a potential long-term answer at the goaltending position for the next several years to come.