Jake Allen is turning the tassel to the other side of his goaltending mask.

With the elimination of Allen’s Chicago Wolves from the American Hockey League playoffs last week, the goalie has officially graduated to the NHL. He has played 15 games in the league — all on a call-up basis — but beginning next season he’ll be on a one-way contract and Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has already declared Allen “is going to be here.”

“I’ve worked hard and had some bumps and bruises, but I think I proved myself this year,” said Allen, a second-round pick in 2008. “I know I’m ready for that next step. I know it’s going to be a challenge. I’m really looking forward to (training camp in) September.”

With Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott both in the final years of the contracts entering the 2013-14 season, Allen was destined for his fourth season in the AHL. He made it a productive one, winning the league’s goaltender of the year award.

In a career-high 52 games, Allen’s 33 wins, 2.03 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and seven shutouts were tops in the league this season. The Wolves were swept by Toronto in the second round of the playoffs, a sub-par series for Allen, but he undoubtedly left his mark over the course of the season.

“He was the best goalie in the league as far as I was concerned,” Chicago coach John Anderson said. “He made all the (saves) you’re supposed to and then he also made some good ones that kept us in games. Without him, it could have been really ugly. He kept us together while we were trying to find ourselves as a team. He played well for us.”

It’s been more than a year since Allen came up during the 2012-13 season, when the Blues were in desperate need of quality goaltending, and produced nine wins to help them earn the No. 4 seed in Western Conference.

“It seems like it’s been a while,” Allen said. “I’m really just looking forward to getting that chance again. I just want to put that Blues jersey back on.”

In the meantime, Allen said that he’s learned a few more lessons that will help him in the NHL, one of which was dealing with a heavy workload.

“I played him so much this year,” Anderson said. “I asked him, ‘Do you want some time off here and there?’ He would very seldom say yes, he wanted to get back on the ice.”

Before this season, Allen’s previous high in games played was 47 with Peoria in 2010-11.

“It was huge for me, just to get some more experience under my belt and try to fine-tune everything as best as I could,” Allen said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a goalie, a forward or a defenseman — it doesn’t matter — when you’re young, it’s getting the experience to get that much more comfortable.”

Another lesson was overcoming the daunting mental challenges of the position.

“The fact that you’re never out of a game,” Allen said. “I’ve seen games this year we’ve been down 3-1, 4-1 and found a way to come back and win the game. Like everyone says, it’s a game of inches and you have to do whatever you have to do to the job done. I enjoyed myself and I think that mental side of my game really stepped up.

“I think if I didn’t have these four years in the American League, I definitely wouldn’t be the goalie I am today.”

Allen struggled in this year’s AHL playoffs. He finished 3-6 with a 3.29 GAA and .879 save percetage after the Wolves were swept by the Marlies.

“We lost four straight and to say one player’s to blame when you lose four straight, that’s crazy,” Anderson said. “I think if you asked Jake, he’d say he probably could have played better. But I could say that about 18 other guys on our team, too.”

Said Allen: “I know it’s cliche, but it didn’t work in our favor and unfortunately that’s the way the cookie crumbled. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but what can you do?”

Allen would have liked the fun to continue, but now he’s graduating to the NHL.

He’ll share the net in St. Louis, but at this point, with whom remains the question. It could be unrestricted free agents Ryan Miller or Elliott, or it could be someone from outside the organization.