St. Louis Blues: Don’t Sleep On Brandon Saad In 2022-23

St. Louis Blues left wing Brandon Saad (20)Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues left wing Brandon Saad (20)Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

With the 2022-23 season fast approaching for the St. Louis Blues, there is a lot of talk about different things. We discuss who might get an extension or who might still get traded prior to the season.

The names brought up most are Vladimir Tarasenko, Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou. There’s talk about whether Jordan Binnington can return to form and keep the net as his own for 50-plus games.

The one guy that some fans might be sleeping on is Brandon Saad, however. From his perspective, that’s just fine, but let’s not forget about him.

Saad is a quiet, unassuming guy in terms of a public persona. He doesn’t have much to say and keeps his performance as how people should judge him.

However, even his on-ice performance is a little sneaky. He had over 20 goals in 2021-22 and almost 50 points, but we don’t really think about him as much as other guys.

Some of that is understandable. Saad quietly finished ninth on the team in scoring in his first year with the Blues.

However, don’t get that confused with being the ninth best scorer. Saad’s 24 goals were the same as Brayden Schenn, who finished sixth in scoring.

Saad had more goals than Robert Thomas or Ryan O’Reilly. Those two finished second and seventh on the team in scoring, mostly due to their assists.

Saad has never been one to pick up a ton of helpers. His career best is just 29 assists and that came in a season he set a career high with 53 points.

To put that in perspective, Saad had 49 points with the Blues in 2021-22. Four points shy of your career high, while playing a mostly third-line type of role, isn’t that bad at all.

The beauty of what Saad did in his first year with the Blues is that he lived up to exactly what the team asked of him. They brought him in to bolster the locker room and score timely goals. He did just that.

Saad was a regular teammate with O’Reilly and David Perron when the team was five-on-five, but he also featured with other teammates. Saad was one of the wingers that seemed to fit well with whomever the Blues put him with.

He was just steady and consistent. His 24 goals were just what the team wanted from him. More would have been nice, but also unnecessary since the team set a team record for goals scored.

With Perron gone, Saad will be leaned upon a little more than last season. That doesn’t mean he’s not up to it. He gets the job done.

Averaging just over 14 minutes with the Colorado Avalanche in 2020-21, Saad still managed 15 goals in 44 regular season games. It would have been interesting to see how that would have panned out over a full season, but 30 goals might have been in the cards.

Saad has only failed to score over 20 goals four times in his 11 years in the NHL. Two times were partial seasons where barely half the season was played by the winger.

You can all but pencil him in for another 20 next season. The Blues will need that many more than they did in his first season, but that’s the beauty of it. They can count on it.

Other players are more of a question mark. Can you really count on another career season from Ivan Barbashev?

Maybe and maybe not. You can’t count on rookies like Jake Neighbours to be in your top 10 in scoring either.

So, Saad is not a direct replacement for the production that Perron gave. Nevertheless, it’s good to have a player like that to fall back on.

Next. Will Kyrou's eventual extension be for too much money?. dark

Saad will turn 30 before the halfway point of the season, but he’s not old. Entering the league at 19 just makes it feel like he’s been around forever.

Given a potentially more substantial role, don’t be surprised to see Saad get past that 50-point mark. Don’t sleep on this guy because he’s going to produce.