Pavel Buchnevich is A Blue

Last Friday the St. Louis Blues acquired right winger, Pavel Buchnevich, from the New York Rangers in exchange for Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round pick. Yesterday, it was reported that the Blues had extended an offer to the wing, and today he had officially excepted accepted. The Blues now have Buchenvich locked up for 4yrs with a salary of $23.2 million.

After a first round exit by the St. Louis Blues, it was clear that Doug Armstrong needed to make a big move. As far as general managers go, his ability and willingness to make a move is what Blues fans admire about him. With that being said, Armstrong went out and made it his priority to find a trade that would help them immediately. Looking at what the biggest problem was against the Avalanche was their inability to score right alongside them, and with that being said they were able to get a goal scorer in Pavel Buchnevich.

There is a lot left to accomplish this off-season, but they were able to check a goal scorer off the list. Pavel was a third-round pick in 2013, and this past season was able to tally 20 goals, 28 assists for 48 points. He has been with the Rangers for the past five seasons and has proven to be a productive player which the Blues happened to be in search of.

Their is a lot that Armstrong still has to do, but he is off to a good start with the acquisition of Pavel Buchnevich.

St. Louis Blues Draft Recap

The NHL entry draft is officially over, and the that means that all the players drafted are now onto bigger and better things. The Blues were without a second-round pick, fourth-round pick, and a sixth-round pick, but were still able to come away with four new players in their affiliate league. When it comes to the players the Blues drafted their seemed to be a rather one-sided approach, goal-scorers.

1.17: Zachary Bolduc, LW, Rimouski Oceanic

The St. Louis Blues had a lot of attention on them throughout the draft, but one of the more surprising picks in the draft would be their first overall selection, Zachary Bolduc. The Blues had been tied to defenseman, Carson Lambos, prior to the draft and have also had reports of Matthew Coronato. After Coronato had been taken, if they had any interest at all, they settled on Bolduc.

Zachary Bolduc was ranked on most big boards as a top 28-35 player, so getting taken at 17 was probably quite the shock. I was surprised by the reach given some of the names still available however, after reading up on Bolduc, he is exactly what I want in a player.

After being drafted by the St. Louis Blues there were a lot of people calling for interviews and asking questions, but after the draft pick was made and listening to what the insiders had to say about him, he was already one of my favorites in the draft. The reporters were saying that he used to spend so many hours on the rink that in order to get him to stop, they had to reprimand him. On top of being a ice rink junkie, he is also a smooth playmaker, very good goal scorer, and shows a high ceiling.

When it comes to creating a team, and building a team, having guys like Bolduc are the risks you need to take. You can find a player who can come into the league and be good, but take a risk on a player with developmental traits then you may find a superstar.

Bolduc played in 27 games in the QMJHL this past season, in those games he was able to score 10 goals, and 19 assists for 29 points. Looking at where he is coming from and who he was able to learn from is another big upside to his game. Last season Bolduc was able to play with the first overall pick, and future superstar, Alexis Lafreniere. Learning and developing alongside a talent like Alexis could be a big part to how he translates as a player through the AHL.

3.71: Simon Robertsson, RW, Skelleftea

The St. Louis Blues had a pretty good first selection with a lot of upside, after reading up on Simon Robertsson and watching film, this has the potential to be the best selection by the Blues this season. Robertsson was quoted as a top 20-40 player in this draft, as you can see above they were able to grab him with the 71st pick.

Simon played in both the Swedish junior level and in the worlds which he was able to put on display his talent against bigger and better competition. The biggest question mark for Robertsson is simply consistency and ability to make an impact every-time he steps on the ice. As far as his skillset goes, he has the a lot of things working for him. He has incredible puck handling that is commonly seen in situations that would cause for a deke instead of being checked. Although not much of a fancy puck handler, he still has the ability to keep the puck on his stick through traffic. He was able to create a lot of chances of his ability to get through traffic and find the open pass. With that being said, he is an incredibly fundamental and smart player when it comes to his playmaking ability. With the ability to be creative when it comes to making plays on the perimeter or taking the puck to the net and hit the backdoor pass, he’s always looking to make an impact.

There were multiple things that he said he can do well, but perhaps the best part of his game is his electric shot. His ability to get the wrist shot off is something that reminds me of Vladimir Tarasenko. Watching his wrist shot is like watching a bullet getting shot out of a gun. His upside and potential to be a top tier goal scorer in the future is what makes his game so fun and exciting.

5.145: Tyson Galloway, D, Calgary

The St. Louis Blues have drafted a right wing and a C/LW prior to this pick however, with their third pick in the draft they selected: Tyson Galloway, D, Calgary. Their was a lot of people who said that he plays a lot like former Blues defenseman and current Montreal Canadiens defenseman, Joel Edmundson. The Blues have a lot of holes towards the end of last season, but perhaps the player that was most missed was Edmundson. Not having a stay at home defenseman was a big part to a bigger problem that they had, but having a guy who has drown multiple comparisons to him could be a huge get. He was fairly unproductive from a statistical point of view, but if he can become a stay-at-home defenseman capable to playing at the NHL level, he could be a huge get for the Blues.

7.198: Ivan Vorobyov, RW, Khanty-Mansiysk

The St. Louis Blues are in a win now position, that means that they need to find upside players in the later rounds. Ivan Vorobyov is a incredible talent, and was extremely productive in his time with Khanty-Mansisyk. While there isn’t much film on him to break down his film, off the highlights I was able to find, he appears to have a incredible skill-set that reminds me of a player similar to Mathew Barzal. He’s incredibly smooth with the puck on his stick, and is a very good goal scorer and playmaker. As far as upside goes, he is going to be a name to watch out for.

Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft Recap

The Seattle Kraken are set to become the 32nd team in the NHL, and with that, they have to build their team. It wasn’t super entertaining after just about every pick was leaked earlier this morning, but it was still an incredible experience to witness. There were 30 players selected in this draft that will get a fresh start to their career in Seattle. So with that being said, here are the official picks of the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft.

Buffalo Sabers: Will Borgen, D

Boston Bruins: Jeremy Lauzon, D

Detroit Red Wings: Dennis Cholowski, D

Florida Panthers: Chris Driedger, G

Montreal Canadiens: Cale Fleury, D

Ottawa Senators: Joey Daccord, G

Tampa Bay Lightning: Yanni Gourde, C

Toronto Maple Leafs: Jared McCann, LW

Carolina Hurricanes: Morgan Geekie, C

Columbus Blue Jackets: Gavin Bayreuther, D

New Jersey Devils: Nathan Bastian, RW

New York Islanders: Jordan Eberle, RW

New York Rangers: Colin Blackwell, C

Philadelphia Flyers: Carsen Twarynski, LW

Pittsburgh Penguins: Brandon Tanev, LW

Washington Capitals: Vitek Vanecek, G

Arizona Coyotes: Tyler Pitlick, C

Chicago Blackhawks: John Quenneville, C

Colorado Avalanche: Joonas Donskoi, RW

Dallas Stars: Jamie Oleksiak, D

Minnesota Wild: Carson Soucy, D

Nashville Predators: Calle Jarnkrok, C

St. Louis Blues: Vince Dunn, D

Winnipeg Jets: Mason Appleton, C

Anaheim Ducks: Haydn Fleury, D

Calgary Flames: Mark Giordono, D

Edmonton Oilers: Adam Larsson, D

Los Angeles Kings: Kurtis MacDermid, D

San Jose Sharks: Alexander True, C

Vancouver Canucks: Kole Lind, RW

Who Should Be the Primary Targets in Free Agency

There are a lot of very good players in this year’s free agency class. However, the thing you have to consider is: Who has the most to offer the Blues looking forward? With this past year being underwhelming to Blues fans after a terrible stretch, and getting swept in the first round, It’s easy to overreact and say that they just need to rebuild. I do not believe that’s the case.

You take a look at what the Blues had to endure this past season with injuries, it would’ve been hard to succeed in any scenario. Looking forward, yes there need’s to be some moves made in free agency, but it is completely possible. So with that being said, I’m going to look at the five names the Blues should look at in free agency.

*Disclaimer: Unrestricted free agents only

Gabriel Landeskog: The Colorado forward is officially a unrestricted free agent, and is going to be one of the hottest names this off-season. After posting fantastic numbers this past season, he is going to be looking at getting a big extension from a variety of teams. With that being said though, the Blues are going to be clearing a lot of cap space after trading Tarasenko away that’ll allow them to compete with other teams to sign the left wing. This past season Landeskog played in 54 games in which he recorded 20 goals, 32 assists that totaled to 52 points and a +/- of 14. A team like the St. Louis Blues who are going to be looking to add a elite goal scorer and a true offensive threat should be going all in on the left wing.

Brandon Saad: From one Colorado left wing to the next, we now move on to Brandon Saad. The St. Louis Blues have actually been tied to Saad since the Avalanche series, and is expected to be one of the Blues’ primary targets this off-season. Saad, although not nearly as productive statistically as Landeskog, is still a very good left wing and has a lot to offer the Blues. Saad this past season played in 44 games for the Avalanche and was able to record 15 goals and nine assists for a total of 24 points and a +/- of 1. Saad, would likely become one of the Blues best offensive players, and given the fact they would be able to give him more ice time than he received in Colorado. With that pitch alone, they could easily make a good argument for him to come to St. Louis for next season.

Alec Martinez: For a team that is looking to go younger, this doesn’t seem like the most ideal, but you can’t deny the talent. Martinez is coming off one of his best season’s, and is going to be looking to make an impact for any team willing to pay him. You could argue that his performance this past season had to do with the depth the Knights had at the position, but you can’t deny how well he was able to perform this season regardless. Martinez was able to play in 53 games an recorded nine goals, 23 assists for a total of 32 points and a +/- of 26. Martinez was able to be a big part of the Knights success this past season, and if the Blues are able to find their way to pick up the veteran defenseman, they’d be in good shape for next season defensively.

The St. Louis Blues obviously have a lot more moves that need to be made outside of these three, but as far as the big moves in free agency goes, these would the most ideal. Adding even one of the three names I have listed above would boost the Blues chances greatly looking forward. Armstrong was quoted saying he believes that the Blues are in their Stanley Cup window, and if he truly believes that, he is going to be looking to add a lot more big names to their roster for next season.

NHL Draft: Players to Target

The NHL Draft Lottery is officially over, and with the Blues eliminated from Stanley Cup contention, they have secured pick number 17. There is a lot of uncertainty in this year’s draft. With the Buffalo Sabres getting the first overall pick, the world is wondering who they will select. Post-lottery, there has been speculation that Owen Powers could become the second overall pick after being considered the number one overall pick for most of the season. Owen’s teammate, Matthew Beniers, has been rising as of late to potentially be the number one overall pick to Buffalo. However, I’m not here to talk about the first pick, I’m here to talk about players the Blues should potentially target at 17.

The NHL draft is much different than most sports, but every year 30 teams will get to select a player that they hope can become a new star player for their team. When you look around the league, there are not many superstars like Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and Leon Draisaitl. With those names mentioned, you can see that many teams miss more often than they care to admit, but I’m here to talk about some players that can benefit the Blues moving forward.

Daniil Chayka, D, Moskva(KHL)

Daniil Chayka is a first round talent, and shouldn’t be underestimated. Chayka has an elite level of mobility, calmness, and poise with the puck and loves to play a fast paced game. Chayka has a great deal of speed for someone of his size, but what he offers along with his speed enhances his draft stock. He has great instincts when defending the transition from to the defensive zone. Although some may consider him a “raw prospect”, he shows a great deal of reliability and can be a valuable piece on a team like the Blues.

Isak Rosen, LW, Leksands IF J20(SuperElit)

When it comes to skill, there are not many better than left wing, Isak Rosen. Rosen has phenomenal puck control, speed, and a deadly shot. In the multiple mock drafts I have read through, they had him as a back-end first round level player, but when you have a player with his elite skill-set, take the chance on him. Rosen is one of the fastest skaters in this draft class, and has incredible puck control that allows him to find his way between defenders, and become a playmaker, or find a shot and let it rip. In the current day NHL, when you can have a player with a all-around great talent, it can totally transform a team, and Rosen could end up being one of the best players in this draft class for that reason.

Xavier Bourgault, C, Shawinigan(QMJHL)

Xavier Bourgault is one of the flashiest players in this years draft, and one of the best goal scorer’s in the draft as well. Bourgault, at only 17 years old, finished with 20 goals and 20 assists in only 29 games this past season. Looking at the statistics, you can just see how incredible he is with the puck on his stick. He is a underrated playmaker due to his elite puck control, and deadly shot. With the Blues having lacked in offensive production this past season, they could use a guy who can put up statistics like Bourgault.