Blues prospect signs with team in Finland; Conklin added as goalie coach

News-DemocratJuly 13, 2013 

St. Louis Blues forward prospect and former second-round draft pick Philip McRae has signed with Tappara of the Finnish Elite League.

The 23-year-old McRae was likely slotted to begin the season with the Blues' new American Hockey League farm team in Chicago, but instead chose to play in Finland.

He was the Blues' second-round draft pick in 2008 and the 33rd overall pick that year.

In 15 games with the Blues, the son of former Blues winger Basil McRae, has one goal and three points. His best season with the Blues' Peoria farm team was 23 goals and 39 points in 71 games in 2011-12.

He had seven goals and 18 points in 45 games last season.

"He's had some injuries issues," Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said earlier this week before McRae signed with the Finnish team. "He's never really been able to get his feet on the ground and running at a consistent pace. This is a big year for him."

In other Blues news Friday, the team has named former Blues and NHL goaltender Ty Conklin as its goalie development coach.

The 37-year-old Conklin, who was at the team's training facility this week, will work with goaltenders in the Blues' minor-league system.

Conklin was with the Blues from 2009 to 2011. He was 96-67-21 in 215 NHL games, including a 2.69 goals-against average and .906 save percentage.

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