St. Louis Blues Should End Dmitrij Jaskin Experiment

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 23: Dmitrij Jaskin
ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 23: Dmitrij Jaskin /

The history of the St. Louis Blues, like many teams, is littered with guys who had a ton of promise only to never show it. Dmitrij Jaskin seems to be the next in that group.

The St. Louis Blues had high hopes for Dmitrij Jaskin when they drafted him in 2011. Jaskin was confident in his abilities and came over to North America to get his bearings early on.

He lit up Canadian junior hockey by scoring 46 goals and 99 points in 51 games. As is often the case, that does not always translate to the NHL.

For whatever reason, though he is still young, he has not clicked at the highest pro level. It is time the Blues give up on this particular experiment.

The Blues are in an envious position as far as Jaskin goes. He is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so they do not have try and trade him away to dump a contract.

The bad part of that is teams will be less willing to include him as a piece in any potential deadline deals for that same reason. Letting him walk might be the best option, unless he is willing to come back on a two-way contract. It would be surprising if he was willing to take that, but stranger things have happened.

The issue with Jaskin may boil down to expectation versus production. He was highly praised and touted even by the slightly grumpy, veteran loving Ken Hitchcock. He was supposed to be a Brendan Shanahan to Vladimir Tarasenko‘s Brett Hull. In the end, neither player seems able to live up to their lofty comparisons.

The odd thing is just how off Jaskin’s potential seems to have been. While he is very streaky and disappears at times, Tarasenko is still a star in the league. He was ranked the top prospect in 2013 by Future Watch.

Jaskin earned that distinction in 2014. The parallels in their career ended there.

Tarasenko has gone on to score 30 and 40 goals. Jaskin’s career high remains the 13 he scored in his rookie season.

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Though he does not have the albatross contract, Jaskin has basically replaced Jori Lehtera. There was so much promise for either one based on their first real campaign with the Blues and then nothing.

It was only four seasons ago that scouts were comparing Jaskin to some impressive names.

"Scouts compare his game to Marian Hossa’s. Jaskin agrees, and says he’s heard it before, but feels he has a bit of Milan Lucic in him, too. – Matt Larkin of HockeyNews"

Hossa built momentum off a strong rookie season. Lucic had a slight hiccup, but kept his momentum going in year three. Jaskin’s 13 goals are not only a career high, but the only time he’s scored double digits.

Jaskin dropped to four goals in season two. He had one goal last year and has spiked to a whopping five through 49 games this season.

It is not just lacking offensive numbers either. He is not a detriment to the team defensively, but his point shares have gone down and his metric numbers have leveled off. That was supposed to be a big part of his game.

“The thing you like about ‘Jask’ is that, because he played pro in the Czech Republic for two years before he went to junior, his play without the puck is really dependable,” said Hitchcock in that 2014 HockeyNews article. So far, his defense has not gained him a spot on this team. Basically, he plays because there are no better options.

Beyond that, he cannot seem to sustain himself much higher than the fourth line. A player with that kind of potential should not be a grinder.

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The Blues have given him ample time to show what he can do and it is time to cut ties – likely after the season. He’s still very young, but he’s reached the point where fans have to realize if he does good things elsewhere, those things were not going to happen in St. Louis. There has just been too much time with nothing to show for it.

Yes, for only $1 million you can keep him around to float through more seasons. There are more talented guys coming through the ranks though and do you really want to hold them back for more of what Jaskin has given?

He is probably one of the few players you can say has not loafed or given up. You like that mentality. That’s just not enough at this point.