1. Robert Thomas
As if the top spot could go to anyone else, it is hard to remember that Robert Thomas is just 21. Whenever the 2021 season happens, he will be entering his third year in the league.
The funny thing is, due to incomprehensible circumstances out of anyone’s control, it is likely that Thomas will have played more games in his rookie season than either his second or third season. Nevertheless, we’ve seen more and more from Thomas.
There are some, such as Pierre McGuire, that do not see Thomas as a true number one center. Blues fans will certainly disagree with that.
Thomas has the skill and stickhandling ability to play in the top six right now at just 21. If he continues to improve, there is little doubt he can be a top-line center.
The only thing holding him back is the fact the Blues have Ryan O’Reilly. However, that’s more of a definitional thing as to how you want to define roles because most would not consider O’Reilly’s line the team’s top line even if he is the team’s best center.
The question most fans have is why Thomas is not on whatever line Vladimir Tarasenko is on, if and when the scorer is healthy. Most of the time, Tarasenko has been with Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz.
That trio has been great, but a true playmaker like Thomas might really connect with a pure scorer. That’s no dig at Schenn, but Schenn is just as good as a winger as he is in the middle.
The Blues can easily move him back outside to make room for Thomas. With all three players under contract for multiple seasons, you can only make the case to keep Thomas as the third-line center for so long and he is not meant to be a wing.
We saw the playmaking ability of Thomas in his second season with 32 assists. If he ever develops a more selfish personality and showcases his scoring ability, the Blues will really benefit from his overall talents.
Thomas is the kind of player the Blues need to lock up. Goals might not be plentiful for his own stat line, but he’s going to set up plenty and we hope they’re all in the Note.