Blues Recoup a First

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Paul Stastny will play for a Cup in Winnipeg for the remainder of the season.

Yesterday before the NHL Trade Deadline, the Blues, as you probably heard by now, traded center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets are second in the West, playing very well and very deep. Stastny will likely slide in on their 3rd line.

The Blues get a 1st round draft pick and a decent prospect in return. In the event that prospect, Erik Foley, does not sign an entry contract with St. Louis, the Blues will get a 4th round pick from Winnipeg as compensation.

Honestly, trading 19 games (plus playoffs) of Paul Stastny’s services for a first round pick and a prospect is a very good return. The Blues before the trade did not have a first round pick in this year’s draft because they traded theirs to Philadelphia last year in the Schenn/Lehtera trade.

First round picks are a precious commodity, and they seem to be an absolute necessity in order to land a player of any caliber. In yesterday’s wheeling and dealing, I counted at least 6 first-rounders that changed hands. First round selections are the only draftees that are considered to be somewhat sure to play regularly in the NHL someday.

Unlike the Cardinals, the Blues aren’t afraid of getting the powder wet. Whereas the Cardinals hoard and hoard and hoard and hoard their prospects (you can’t trade draft picks in MLB), the Blues have shown a willingness to trade draft picks and/or prospects if they think it will help their club immediately and in the future. For example, they traded forward prospect William Carrier in the trade to get Ryan Miller. Although, that didn’t work out well for the Blues, as Miller did not play as advertised.

I hope the Blues respond to the trade and play out of their minds for the last 19 games. Perhaps they’ll get into the playoffs and make a surprising run. I would love that very much. But I don’t think they will. The roster needs enhancement and the culture needs change. Getting a first-round pick for the 2018 draft will help their chances to make deals to accomplish those objectives.

At the very least, the last 19 games are opportunities for younger players like Ivan Barbashev, Tage Thompson, Nikita Soshnikov, and Dmitrij Jaskin to earn larger roles and prove their worth for the future.



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