Dobber’s Offseason Fantasy Grades: St. Louis Blues

Ian Gooding

2021-09-13

For the last 18 years (12 with The Hockey News) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.

The 19th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey both for the season ahead as well as the foreseeable future. Offensively, will the team perform? Are there plenty of depth options worthy of owning in keeper leagues? What about over the next two or three years? These questions are what I take into consideration when looking at the depth chart and the player potential on that depth chart.

Enjoy!

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Gone Jaden Schwartz, Mike Hoffman, Sammy Blais, Tyler Bozak, Jacob De La Rose, Vince Dunn, Carl Gunnarsson

Incoming Pavel Buchnevich, Brandon Saad, Charlie Lindgren

Impact of Changes – Even without a Vladimir Tarasenko trade, the roster turnover for the Blues has been fairly significant. Longtime Blue Schwartz signed a free agent contract with Seattle, Hoffman will continue his career in Montreal, while Dunn was the St. Louis selection by the Kraken. There shouldn't be a dropoff offensively by bringing in Buchnevich and Saad, with Buchnevich likely the best player of any of the names listed above. Losing Dunn creates a hole on the defense though, particularly on the second-unit power play.  

Needless to say, the roster analysis won't be a finished product if Tarasenko is still traded this offseason. At last report, coach Craig Berube expects Tarasenko to play for the Blues this season. The Blues will need to retain some part of his $7.5 million salary in order for a trade to happen; otherwise, the return will be fairly minimal. Tarasenko will very likely get traded – it's just a matter of when. Should he be on the Blues roster to start the season, he could very well fall behind newly acquired Buchnevich and Saad for first-line minutes and power-play time. 

Ready for Full Time – 2017 first-round pick Klim Kostin has played in just six career NHL games. He seems likely to spend more time in the AHL this season, given the Blues' veteran-laden roster. His size (6-3) and aggressive style of play fit the St. Louis model, although power forwards do need additional time to develop. Expect him to be called up to the Blues at some point this coming season, where he could fill a role similar to that of the departed Sammy Blais.