St. Louis Blues 2017-18 Final Report Card: Dmitrij Jaskin

DENVER, CO - APRIL 07: Samuel Girard #49 of the Colorado Avalanche fights for control of the puck against Dmitrij Jaskin #23 of the St Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center on April 7, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - APRIL 07: Samuel Girard #49 of the Colorado Avalanche fights for control of the puck against Dmitrij Jaskin #23 of the St Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center on April 7, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Blues keep clinging to hope when it comes to certain players. Chief among those left is Dmitrij Jaskin, who can play a role but will never be what the team hoped.

When the St. Louis Blues finally convinced Dmitrij Jaskin to come to St. Louis, they were hoping for the next Russian phenom. What they have gotten, after a good junior season in Moncton and a solid rookie campaign, is nothing but frustration.

Jaskin has had his point totals go down almost every season since his rookie year. He scored 13 goals and 18 points, which still stand as career bests for the still young player. He has seen a drop all the way until 2017-18, but that will not save him much for his final grade.

The problem with Jaskin, like a couple of his teammates, is he does just enough to justify continual inclusion in the lineup. At least in the minds of the coach and general manager, Jaskin still has reachable potential. Fans have pretty much given up at this point.

Final Grade: C-

The only thing saving Jaskin from a D, or worse, was his defense, which is somewhat surprising. He was not really supposed to be a defensive player, but at least he has learned how to do so.

Offensively, he is just a mess. His stats actually rebounded from 2016-17, but that was hard not to do.

Jaskin had some injury problems in that season, which limited him to 51 games. Nevertheless, he only scored one goal and put up 11 points. His time on the ice that season was a career worst when playing the majority of the season. So, there was nowhere to go but up this season.

Jaskin ended up scoring six goals and had 17 points. In terms of setting up his teammates, that is about the only offensive area where Jaskin has shown any growth potential. Even so, 11 assists is not getting anyone excited.

While six goals is not a good number, at least Jaskin’s shooting percentage went up. He scored on 4.8% of his shots, which was up from an absolutely abysmal 1.8%.

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So, all of this sounds like enough for failing grades. Normally it would be, but shockingly, Jaskin has turned himself into a serviceable defensive forward.

Nobody is going to mistake him for those like Scottie Upshall or Kyle Brodziak, but he has shown vast improvement.

Personally, I find this stat incredibly misleading, but statistically, he led the Blues in hits in 2017-18. Jaskin’s 207 hits blew his previous career best out of the water.

For perspective, the league leader in hits had 278. Jaskin ranked in the top 20 in the league in that category and for more perspective, he was only 29 hits behind former Blues bruiser Ryan Reaves.

Nobody is really fearing a Jaskin check, but at least he is showing some physicality on a team that seemed afraid to touch their opponents.

Other defensive stats took marked improvements. Jaskin more than doubled his previous season best for blocked shots with 46. That’s not a huge number, but pretty good for a winger.

He also set a career best for takeaways with 36. Unfortunately, his 17 giveaways erase that a little bit as those are the most he has had in his career.

As far as possession goes, Jaskin’s numbers pretty much held steady. He was right on par with what he’s put up in all his other seasons, but oddly the Blues possession metrics were better with him off the ice compared to previous seasons.

The point shares for Jaskin also highlight his sudden duality. His offensive point shares tied his career worst, helping prove he just is not contributing much. His defensive point shares were the best of his career, showing he can help contribute on that end of the ice.

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The problem with Jaskin is, though he does not cost much, it just feels like he is taking up space. As fans, we have to temper expectations and realize that throwing kids to the wolves is not always the best plan. That is part of the reason Jaskin stays around.

That said, it still feels like he is robbing a more talented player of a spot. It would not shock me for the Blues to re-sign him to another contract extension, but a generous C- grade is not exactly something that should earn $1 million or more.