Blues add forward depth on opening day of free agency

July 1, 2017

ST. LOUIS -- As NHL free agency opened on Saturday morning, the St. Louis Blues made a trio of moves to fortify their forward corps for the 2017-18 season.

The Blues added two unrestricted free agent forwards, signing Chris Thorburn to a two-year contract worth $1.8 million and Beau Bennett to a one-year contract worth $650,000. They also reached a deal with restricted free agent forward Oskar Sundqvist, signing him to a one-year contract worth $675,000.

The 34-year-old Thorburn dressed in 64 regular season games with the Winnipeg Jets in 2016-17, posting four points (three goals, one assist) and 95 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound forward is a veteran of 12 NHL seasons, including each of the last 10 with the Jets franchise. Overall, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, native has accumulated 127 points (52 goals, 75 assists) and 908 penalty minutes in 750 career regular season games.

Bennett, 25, appeared in 65 regular season games with the New Jersey Devils in 2016-17, logging 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) and 20 penalty minutes. Prior to his stint in New Jersey, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound forward spent four seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, including 2015-16, when he helped the club capture the 2016 Stanley Cup championship. Originally drafted 20th overall by the Penguins in 2010, Bennett has totaled 64 points (24 goals, 40 assists) and 52 penalty minutes in 194 career regular season games. The Gardena, California, native has also produced six points (two goals, four assists) and eight penalty minutes in 21 career postseason games.

The 23-year-old Sundqvist was acquired by the Blues via trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, the 6-foot-3, 209-pound forward appeared in 63 regular season games for the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, ranking third on the team with 20 goals and 46 points overall. Sundqvist also dressed in 10 regular season games for Pittsburgh, logging two penalty minutes. Overall, the Boden, Sweden, native has played in 28 career NHL regular season games, recording four points (one goal, three assists) and six penalty minutes.  Sundqvist was originally drafted by Pittsburgh in the third round (81st overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

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