I would expect all of those guys to factor in, either as regulars in second- or third-line roles or as fill-ins at some point. All those entry-level deals arriving at once will make it easy to stay salary cap compliant. That should give the Blues a huge edge.
He could fill in, as he did last season, should injuries hit. But right now the Blues have seven D-men they like without Jay Bouwmeester, so it's going to take some carnage to get Schmaltz to St. Louis. Jordan's offense is nice, but it was his defensive zone play (or lack thereof) that set him back.
They won't bring a young guy back to the NHL just to sit. If current players falter or get hurt and one of the younger players is excelling at Chicago or San Antonio, then a move could come. There is no need to carry the roster maximum unless the team has active players that are sick or iffy due to injuries.
No. The Blues don't want young players developing bad habits at this level. If they aren't good enough to play regularly here, they need to get prime duty in the minors. Barbashev has been an unpleasant surprise, not by getting demoted but by earning that demotion with less-than-dynamic play.
Generally speaking the players have been more relaxed under Yeo. In particular, Tarasenko has been much better since the coaching change. It's more the tenor of the coaching than the systems of it. The system tweaks were relatively minor.
Vegas really stepped on the Blackhawks, so they are playing good. Will they keep that up when other teams find their game and GM George McPhee starts dealing veterans for prospects and draft picks? The latter half of the season could look a lot different.
We'll see. But right now it wouldn't be Dunn. His offense sets him apart.
This teams has the tools needed to have a very good first power-play unit. The trick will be the second unit, which is still undermanned even with Stastny moving down. This team solved its zone entry troubles for one game, but that will continue to be something to watch. But the confidence of Pietrangelo and Schwartz is very high now and Schenn's addition is huge. He is a natural in the slot.
The next step is probably putting him on waivers to send him out to the minors. See if anybody nibbles. For now he is injury insurance, filling a depth role the team does not want to put a prospect in. Given the youth of the other forwards we have seen. Jaskin could stay in that extra role for a while.
Dunn played at much higher level, adding an element to the team that it needed. He has continued to improve, week by week, while Blais did not sustain his level -- especially at the defensive. The Blues are still high on Blais and it is still early in his development.
Moving the puck is a key skill for goaltenders. Elliott is NOT that good at it, which is one reason why he moved along. Look at the pass Allen made to Schwartz for a goal. That is a dramatic example of his passing ability, but that is a strength he should continue exploiting.
Walman is very early in his development. Not making the team had to be a disappointment, but he simply did not answer the challenge of heavier competition. He was flying after playing well against other prospects, but he broke down in the face of real NHL fore-checking. Clearly he needed more time in the AHL despite his strong showing at that level at the end of last season.
At this point I don't trade anybody because 1) everybody is playing well, 2) defensemen playing well are hard to find and 3) injuries are inevitable. Gunnarsson has been able to play up in the Top 4 this season and shine. If the Blues eventually move him, that's a signal they really want to keep Prosser. Based on the first 10 games I wouldnbt do that.
They played great together for a long, long time and logged big minutes against top forward lines and power plays. Their bond got JayBow another shot at international play, since Team Canada valued player chemistry. But Yeo did seem open to splitting them up and life without Bouwmeester has been fine, so we could see different combinations this season.
I believe that was this week.
Yes, it is an issue. We could see Kostin or Thompson (again) this year. Or we could see a minor addition at some point this season to address that. Bennett is getting his chance now and he certainly looked better than he did in camp. At least you knew he was in the game.
Indeed it will. Jaden was at this level last spring in the playoffs. He is really hitting stride. He has always been a strong all-around player, but his offensive side has been a revelation. He is looking to assert himself as a shooter.
Jaskin was born in Russia, but he came up in the Czech Republic. I hesitate to categorize guys based on origins, because they come in all types from all places. Jaskin just doesn't play fast or hard enough to make a mark at this level. He seemed to be on the climb through the 2014-15 season, after strong showings in the AHL and NHL. And then . . . big steps back.
Right now Pietrangelo is playing at a Norris Trophy level. He has been far more assertive and efficient offensively -- look at him hit the net again and again with shots -- while still logging strong, effective minutes against elite offensive lines. If this team keeps playing at this level, he is going to get major award attention.