Jay Bouwmeester was a third overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He is a two-time NHL All-Star, played in three World Junior Championships with the Canadian junior team (was the youngest player to ever represent Canada at the tournament at the age of 16), has collected three gold medals, two silver medals, and three bronze medals in international play, has started in 633 consecutive games and appeared in a total of 762 games so far, but has never made it to the NHL playoffs.
Now Jay Bouwmeester will finally get the chance to show his value in the postseason, but he will have to wait two more games.
After a total of 764 games in the NHL, Bouwmeester will start in his first playoff series. The St. Louis Blues clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday night with a win over the Colorado Avalanche and are now looking to make the push for home ice advantage. For Bouwmeester though, just being in the playoffs is enough.
“You always believe you’re going to do it,” Bouwmeester said. “I know I’ve played a lot of games and all that. But every year, everyone starts with the same approach. That’s your first goal, to get in … That doesn’t change, no matter where you are. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. You never think it’s not going to happen.”
Before coming to the St. Louis Blues, Bouwmeester had only played for the Florida Panthers and the Calgary Flames. “He was in the growing stages in Florida,” Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “Then, he ends up in Calgary. There were high expectations there, and they didn’t meet them. They were close a couple times in Calgary. You get that stigma, and it’s a tough thing to overcome. He and Leopold have helped unbelievably. They’ve done a great job fitting in with the guys. They’ve really endeared themselves to their teammates here, so it’s nice to see.”
Before being traded to the St. Louis Blues, Jay Bouwmeester had to submit a list of teams that he would accept a trade to given his no-trade-clause in his contract. Bouwmeester listed the Blues as he knew that they were a young team with a high level of skill that could help him to not just get into the playoffs, but perhaps win a Stanley Cup, Since joining the St. Louis Blues just before the trade deadline, Bouwmeester has posted a goal and five assists in just 12 games. In that same span, Bouwmeester has been a +4 on the ice which is a drastic improvement from the -11 rating he was carrying while with the Calgary Flames.
St. Louis Blues captain David Backes said, “He deserves it as much as anyone. It’s great to see him get in there. He knows as much as anyone that it is not a given every year … We’ve had too many times in this organization — in the past seven years since I’ve been here — that the regular season is over and we’re headed home. Those are not fun meetings to have. And watching the playoffs on TV sucks.”
So while the Blues are set to faceoff against the Calgary Flames for the first time since trading Bouwmeester to the note, there are bigger and better things happening for Bouwmeester no matter the outcome.
Let’s hope Jay Bouwmeester is able to help the Blues make a deep playoff push.
LET’S GO BLUES!