Good question. Fabbri has a high ceiling, higher than most second-round picks. Then again, after blowing up the same knee twice nobody has any idea if he will make a full and enduring recovering. I'll go with Fabbri, since it is rare that a player his age has his career ended by a knee injury. Sports medicine has come a long way.
They just paid $7.5 million for a big asset -- a prime-age player under contract through the remainder of his useful seasons.
You will see a reset on those rankings before camp. We may still see more prospects moved in deals, with Pacioretty and Skinner are still on the block, not to mention Erik Karlsson. But the Blues graded well before sacrificing Thompson. ESPN's Chris Peters ranked the Blues pipleline No. 1. And the addition of Bokk and Perunovich drew good reviews as well.
I suppose anything is possible, but the Blues would have to subtract players to add Maroon. He is a big winger with some touch, although he hasn't been a big power-play threat in his career and there will be some concern about his ability to keep pace in a league that just keeps getting faster.
That would be a good price for Edmundson for four years. If I am him, I might like $3.5 million per year for two years, then go for $5 million per as the rate for Top 4 defenders keeps soaring.
Yes, Yeo will face high expectations. If Dave Tippett isn't locked in with Seattle's expansion effort, he will draw interest from faltering NHL teams next season. Alain Vigneault is a big name on the market too.
So, I believe speed will still win the day in the postseason. If you get deep into the playoffs, everybody in your lineup is playing a robust game. O'Reilly doesn't take penalties, but he is a strong player. Schenn isn't huge, but he can certainly play big. For now, the Blues hope Jaskin embraces his fourth-line banger role.
The man is under contract and the trade is made. I don't believe the Sabres built their season upon Sobotka, so if he wants his release and wants to walk away from the contract, I don't imagine Sabres front office types will stab themselves with scissors in despair. But I can't imagine why Vladimir wouldn't want to play in Buffalo. That could be a nice team this year with Dahlin on the blue line and Eichel ready to break out on the top line.
Sure, the Blues could overtake those teams . . . if they get decent goaltending from Jake Allen and they get the power play fixed. The Blues upgraded at three forward spots since the end of the season, not counting the possible Thomas/Kyrou impact. Winnipeg is still loaded, as is Nashville. Dallas tried for Tavares and then Karlsson, so the Stars are trying to get back into the mix. I'm curious to see of Colorado can get the same crazy first-line production it got last year to stay in the hunt.
Some day Kostin could fill that role. And Jordan Nolan could see some time on the fourth line after signing on. He had his moments when the Kings were in their "playing heavy" mode. I see O'Reilly winning draws and getting into the tough areas to bolster the power play. As for Maroon, he has 11 career power-play goals in six full NHL seasons plus two short stints.
If the Blues keep the Schwartz/Schenn marriage, then O'Reilly and Tarasenko seem like a pair. Armstrong even though the idea of those two flanking rookie Robert Thomas some day, with O'Reilly on the wing -- but still taking the draws. Bozak is a real nice get as a No. 3/No. 4 center the next three season. If everybody stays healthy, the Blues are stronger than most teams down the middle and likely to move one of their centers to the wing late in games when the lines condense.
Minor moves, yes, but once Edmundson is under contract the salary cap will be about set. I could see moves coming later, once the Blues see where all their injured players are -- especially Gunnarsson and Bouwmeester on defense, since the Blues have eight NHL-caliber guys under contract plus Reinke as a nice No. 9.
I see the Blues having two top lines. If Schenn and Schwartz are on one line and O'Reilly and Tarasenko is on the other line, which is the No. 1 line?
Maybe he was ready for a fresh start. The travel is easier in Buffalo, that team is one the rise he could play a fair amount of hockey the next few years. Berglund's name was in the rumor mill at the trade deadline, so maybe he didn't want to play with such things over his head as the Blues continue transitioning to a different nucleus.
Price is making $10.5 million forever on his contract and he has been an injury-battered shell of his former self in Montreal. So, no, I don't make that deal.
The Blues ought to make the bracket. At that point, anything goes. Fans hate to hear that, but that is life in the NHL. This is not the NBA, where you have Warriors any maybe a couple teams that can challenge them.
Thorburn and Sundqvist are bubble guy. I could see Thomas centering Soshnikov and Jaskin to start the season on the fourth line, with Thomas also playing on special teams. Barbashev will have heavy competition from guys like Blais, Kyrou and Sanford. If he doesn't elevate his play, he will find himself on the wrong side of the bubble.