5 players that will surprise you


Courtesy of Joe Klamar getty images

Courtesy of Joe Klamar getty images

Patrik Berglund- starting to finally break out of his shell the Swede is finally looking like the player the blues thought he was drafted 25th overall. His showing at worlds has given blues fan some hope that he will continue to increase his point value even more. My thoughts on this player is as he has matured will continue to be a leader on the ice and could potentially put up 80 pts this year.

Nikita Nikitin- The Russian player had a bit of a ego check last season as he was brought up for a brief stint then sent back down to mature a little bit more. I think the demotion resonated with the young defender and allowed to refine his game a bit more down in Peoria. His second stint with the Blues proved to be a good call as Blues players dropped like flies last year to the injury bug. Expect Nikitin to make it out of camp onto the roster, and post solid numbers for a 3rd pairing d-man. 30pts +4.

 

Alex Pietrangelo- While this defenseman may not surprise you after numbers posted last year in what should have been his rookie season. Don’t expect a sophomore slump from him and only get better defensively and offensively. Alex should most definitely be 1st pairing this year along side Barret Jackman and post somewhere between 50-60 pts. You will more then likely see him being the quarterback of the 1st powerplay team as well.

Courtesy of thegoaliearchives.com

Ben Bishop- Solid competition for the back up spot with Brian Elliot should push this young net minder and allow him to steal the back up spot. Once held by Ty Conklin, Bishop and Elliot both have big shoes to fill, as Conklin was great in limited action last year. Only when Conklin had to make starts in long stretches did he get exposed. Expect the same from both goalies playing for back up, and Bishop getting the role as back up. 10-15 wins this year.

 

TJ Oshie- Now with Oshie we have seen the flashes of the talent he has and why the Blues spent the 1st rd pick on the kid. Maturity issues still seem to plague him and a reason why the front office gave him a one year deal. A fan favorite among the city and an emotional leader in the locker room he needs to stay healthy for a full season as well. He is poised to have a break out year, and the team needs it, as David Perron’s health is still uncertain at this point. With a healthy year he puts ups 50-60 pts.

 

Once again, follow @bleedinblue_fs on twitter for updates, @randallritchey, @EvanP_hockey, and myself @EvanhicksKC for more blogs, coverage, and general banter through out the season. If there are any players you think might be a bigger surprise post in the comments are get at us on twitter

Tags: Alex Pietrangelo Barret Jackman Brian Elliot Nikita Nikitin Nikita Niktin Patrik Berglund TJ Oshie Ty Conklin