St. Louis Blues: Vince Dunn’s Name Should Be Inked On Roster Sheet

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 16: Vince Dunn
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 16: Vince Dunn /

The St. Louis Blues appear to have another rookie defenseman that won’t give them any option but to keep him in the NHL. Vince Dunn has stated his case quite clearly so far.

The St. Louis Blues have had some very good luck with surprising defenseman sticking around as rookies. Vince Dunn seems to be doing all he can to join that group.

The most notable names to be in that group are Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson. Their ascension might be more impressive because it gave crusty, old-school-veteran-loving Ken Hitchcock no option but to keep them because they played so well.

Fans kept waiting for the day they would be sent to the AHL since they did not have enough experience. It never came.

Parayko played 79 games in his rookie season. Edmundson laced them up for 67.

We have been waiting on the same shoe to drop for Dunn, despite the fact that Yeo seems more inclined to let younger guys have their time. While fans have continually penciled him into the lineup, it might be time to switch to pen. He’s doing plenty to stay so far this season.

This is not just because he scored the game winning goal in overtime against Toronto either – that does help his case though. No, he’s just good enough on his own merits to keep his spot in the lineup.

If you look at his stats, he’s right about halfway between what Edmundson and Parayko did as rookies. Through 47 games for the Blues and 40 games played for Dunn, he has four goals and eight points.

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In his entire rookie season, Parayko had nine goals. Now, Dunn is not going to eclipse Parayko’s point totals, since he had 24 assists for 33 points, but he still has a shot to equal the goal totals.

Dunn is already poised to outdo Edmundson in points. He had one goal and nine points in his rookie campaign.

It is an apples to oranges comparison, since Edmundson is more a stay at home defender. Still, you compare guys to what is around.

Even if you take the defensive side, which is not yet Dunn’s strong suit, he’s not far off those guys. Dunn has 18 takeaways through the halfway mark of his first season. Parayko had 33 and Edmundson had seven in their rookie seasons.

Yes, Parayko and Edmundson had more hits, but they are bigger bodies. Dunn is still on pace to finish close to what Edmundson had for blocks in his rookie season (62) – Dunn currently has 30.

Parayko’s point share numbers were astronomical as a rookie, so it’s unfair to use that as a comparison. Again, looking toward Edmundson, it’s quite close. Dunn has 1.7 as a defensive point share and 2.1 overall, meaning the team generally gains that many points due to his play. Edmundson had 2.3 and 2.2 overall as a rookie.

Even if you toss out the numbers, Dunn passes the eye test as well. Even with the mistakes that any rookie is going to make, the team does not have anyone waiting in the wings that is clearly better.

I am one of the few remaining that actually likes Robert Bortuzzo. However, he doesn’t bring what Dunn does offensively and Carl Gunnarsson has had a good enough season that both he and Dunn together have kept Bortz out of the lineup more often than not.

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There is always the worry that you might see a disastrous rookie mistake during the playoffs, when every mistake is magnified. However, this franchise has had so many things go against it, rookie or not, you can’t take that into the equation.

If a player is clearly one of your best 12 forwards or best six defensemen, you keep them in. Dunn is exactly that right now.

Barring any kind of stunning drop off in play, this is his spot now. His name needs to be put down in pen along with the rest of the regulars.