The St. Louis Blues knew they had a fairly special player early in Jaden Schwartz’ career. The fact he has progressed shows how good he is and still can be.
Recently the NHL did a poll taken by league players. The biggest topics were the underrated and overrated players. Among the most underrated was St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz.
As far as the Blues are concerned, Schwartz might be underrated but he is definitely not undervalued.
Schwartz has regularly been one of the Blues best players, not just forwards. Clearly his presence had an impact on the 2017-18 Blues as he was leading the team in goals as they were cruising along until December 9.
His injury in that game started a big slide for the team that they might not be able to recover from. Schwartz’ reinsertion in the lineup has helped matters, but he still is not quite back in top form yet.
Schwartz does have five points in his last five games. The goals have been harder to come by with only two goals in his last 13 games.
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That said, Schwartz continues to contribute. He has eight assists in that same time span.
Schwartz is a bit of a sneaky contributor though. He seems to quietly rack up points without you really noticing, unless you think to check regularly.
Even though he has been beset by some injury problems the last few years, he has never failed to score less than 50 points in a season he has played the majority of games in. Even in 2015-16, when he missed almost 3/4 of the year, he scored 22 points in 33 games.
The only drawback for Schwartz’ game at this stage in his career is goal scoring. At times, he looks like he could be among the upper echelon of scorers. However, he has yet to eclipse 30 goals in his career. His highest season saw him score 28.
We know there is more in there. Adding to that belief is Schwartz’ youth.
It feels like he’s been around forever, since he first put on a Blues sweater when he was 19. However, Schwartz still has plenty of years in front of him since he’s only 25 right now. He will be 26 by next season, but that’s still relatively young even though he’s a veteran.
The poll was interesting. It shows how many people garnered votes by Schwartz being the second ranked player at only 6.8% of the vote. Nicklas Backstrom was voted as the most underrated player getting 8.6% of the vote.
That seems a little surprising since, from our perspective, more people know of Backstrom and his talents. Therefore, he would not seem to be underrated.
Regardless, it is nice to have one of our own recognized by the league’s players. They see this guy game in and out and clearly think he should be getting more recognition than he is.
If not hampered by that injury, Schwartz likely would have cleared 30 goals this season. We will have to keep watching and hoping he continues to progress.
The Blues definitely need him and he’s not underrated in the Lou. If anything, he’s becoming more revered than Vladimir Tarasenko. That’s a topic for another day, though.