St. Louis Blues Jordan Kyrou Has Earned A Main Roster Spot

St. Louis Blues center Jordan Kyrou (33)Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues center Jordan Kyrou (33)Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

2021 will be an interesting year for the St. Louis Blues, who have to make roster decisions with no preseason games and few practices. One player in particular should have made that decision easier.

When a team like the St. Louis Blues has depth up and down the roster, more times than not a young player gets left out in the cold. Coaches know that their own shelf life is short and also a team’s ability to win championships is short.

So, they often go with the tried and tested veterans. They want the known commodities where the coach can tell you exactly what the most you’ll get out of a player is and also the least.

With young players, they might have a higher ceiling, which is always exciting to fans. The problem coaches tend to have with that is you don’t know what the very least you’ll get is.

One night, you might get a two-goal, three-point evening. The next night, the same player might have three turnovers, two of which directly lead to goals against.

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That’s a big reason why you see some players take longer to break through. We have seen it in the recent past with Jordan Kyrou.

Kyrou looked good in his brief stints with the Blues in 2019-20. Suddenly, he’d be out of the lineup and we basically heard the coaching staff was not happy with his defensive responsibilities.

As fans, we still wonder why. The Blues have so many other defensively responsible players that surely you can absorb one little blip.

But, the team wanted improvement and thankfully, so far, they got it. Kyrou showed much more defensive ability toward the end of that season and now, he’s earned a spot in the roster.

The Blues threw a little curveball when they put Kyrou on the taxi squad prior to the first game of 2021. The knee-jerk reaction was bewilderment because Kyrou had gone through the entire preseason as part of the top six or nine, so it made no sense for him to be relegated to an extra.

In the end, it turned out to be a salary cap move. The Blues had to stagger their long term injury relief additions, so it took an extra day for Vladimir Tarasenko‘s contract to be put on that list.

Once the book keeping was done, Kyrou was put back on the NHL roster. He made sure to lay a quick claim to his spot.

Kyrou looked fantastic in the team’s final scrimmage game, which was streamed on YouTube. You try to tell yourself not to get excited, because it’s a glorified practice, but he was showing all the skills fans had been waiting for.

Kyrou kept that momentum going against a real opponent when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche. Not only did he score the game-winning goal in Game 1 out of 56 in 2021, but he just looked so confident out there.

The goal was a thing of beauty. Kyrou traded pinpoint passes with Tyler Bozak and than calmly tucked the puck into an empty net for the score.

Even without that goal, there were things to be impressed with in his game.

We finally got to see that speed on display. Kyrou likely is not going to win a fastest skater competition at the All-Star Game, but he’s one of the fastest players the Blues have and that’s enough.

He was smooth with his movements and deceiving with his ability to cut back away from defenders. He’s not quite as skilled as Robert Thomas from a puck control standpoint, but he’s every bit as shifty and a real match with his edgework.

One game does not a season make (even two games, if you count the scrimmage). However, the bottom line is that the wing spot on the third, or even second line, is now Kyrou’s to lose.

He might sit a game every now and then if the coaches still see something they don’t like. Kyrou is going to play the vast majority of the games this season and we’re going to finally get a true idea of what kind of player the Blues have.

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If he continues on this early path, the Blues have a potentially top-notch scorer on their hands – maybe not a 30-plus goal scorer, but a consistent high 20-goal scorer. All he needs to do is keep hold of the proverbial brass ring and the sky is the limit.