We are a little over a month before the start of the 2021-2022 NHL season. The St. Louis Blues have yet to trade Tarasenko after he requested to be moved back in July. Sammy Blais was sent to Broadway for Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad was brought in via free agency. Mike Hoffman leaves for Montreal after spending an underwhelming year with St. Louis. The Seattle expansion draft takes Vince Dunn and shortly after the draft Jaden Schwartz signs with the Kraken. What is happening with Tyler Bozak? Let’s break it all down because before you know it October will be here.
Bringing in Buchnevich is a HUGE addition. Last season, Buchnevich played 54 games and had 20 goals with 28 assists +12 rating on top of 42 penalty minutes. He shoots left, plays both sides of the wing, and will win some faceoffs when called upon. Over the last five seasons Buchnevich has been a MAJOR part of the New York Rangers offense. Look for him to boost the Blues powerplay and will be a threat during even strength play.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the Saad signing. After winning two cups with Chicago its hard to imagine the “Saad Father” wearing a blue note across his chest. However, this does fill needs at the wing position. Saad can play both right or left wing and with the departure of Jaden Schwartz some might look at this as an upgrade. Many Blues fans are offended Saad chose number 20 but I don’t see any banner hanging in the rafters. Number 20 is not retired so I see no issue here.
Jaden Schwartz spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Blues. Drafted by St. Louis in 2010 14th overall and one of my favorite players to ever wear the blue note. I will be purchasing a Schwartzy Kraken jersey at some point and hope he crushes it in Washington state. Wishing him nothing but the best after a devastating year where he lost his father. Look for his production to improve over the next couple seasons and I would bet he will be a main piece in Seattle’s inaugural season.
Often times last season Mike Hoffman seemed lost. Almost like he was trying to find his place in St. Louis which is odd to me considering his playing style fits in well with the Blues. I was big on the Hoffman-Tarasenko powerplay combo which never seemed to pan out. Montreal seems like it might be an even better fit than St Louis.
I had a feeling Seattle was going to grab Vince Dunn. Big fan of Dunn and I think he has a future to be a Norris Trophy candidate. Seattle stacked up heavy on the defense and adding Dunn is no surprise as he brings some experience and offensive presence. If you feel like you need to add someone from the Kraken to your fantasy roster look no further.
Could Zachary Bolduc break the roster? “I would describe myself as a guy who can play center or on the wing, a guy who can skate pretty well and has a great shot,” Bolduc said. “Also can pass it. I’m creative with the puck, I like to create some plays. I can be (play a) physical, fast, skilled game. I can play any type of game. That’s me.” Sounds like Bolduc might be a perfect fit with the Blues.
Nolan Stevens, Nathan Walker, and Dakota Joshua signed new deals with the Blues as well. Assuming more action will happen before preseason Tyler Bozak is still looking for a deal and who knows what will happen with Tarasenko. Regardless what happens I am excited for Blues hockey to return. Familiar faces like Binnington and Perron will be back but I am looking forward to seeing some new blood wearing the blue note.