Jaden Schwartz set to ignite Blues offense next season.
If you were a poolie looking to boost the offensive statistics on your fantasy squad, the St. Louis Blues probably wouldn't be the first place you would look. The team had just one player exceed 30 points in 2013 and watching them play under Ken Hitchcock is sometimes like taking a time machine back to 1995 and the dead puck era. His defense first, defense second, and if there's anything left defense third system is great for winning games, but doesn't always help fantasy hockey enthusiasts. And if you are longing for the day that Hitchcock finally calls it quits, the fact that he once took the Columbus Blue Jackets to the playoffs probably ensures he will have a job available somewhere as long as he wants.
Despite the lack of offensive creativity in St. Louis, the Blues are starting to compile some bright young talent that will soon be hard to ignore. Vladimir Tarasenko impressed with 19 points as a rookie last season, but even more intriguing could be Jaden Schwartz's outlook for 2013-14.
Schwartz was highly touted coming out of Colorado College and the Blues made him a first round pick in 2010. He posted 88 points in just 60 collegiate games and possesses a skill set that should translate to some major production at the National Hockey League level. Since then however, he has played sparingly with St. Louis and posted minimal results, but there is reason to believe that next season he could be poised to do some big things.
The young winger managed just 13 points in 45 games last year and finished as a minus-4. Those numbers aren't going to have poolies doing flips, but it's important to keep in mind he only averaged just over 12 minutes of ice per game. The recent trade that sent David Perron to the Edmonton Oilers figures to open up more ice-time and power play chances for Schwartz and the Blues' other young forwards. Skilled players like Schwartz and Tarasenko should see their development accelerated given a more featured role going forward.
Not only that, there were already indications that Schwartz was going to be provided with more playing time in the future. His minutes jumped up to 16 per game in last year's playoffs and he was one of the Blues' best skaters in their series against the Los Angeles Kings. Seeing his minute