Many St. Louis Blues fans were sad to see David Perron go – a true Blue in every sense of the way. It is almost like he ages like fine wine. Every time he would return after leaving via trade to Edmonton or the expansion draft to Vegas, it felt like he was getting better and better.
In the four years since returning to the Blues after leaving in the expansion draft to Vegas, Perron was producing at a 0.88 points per game clip. That is a lot of production that needs to be replaced.
Who will step up to replace Perron’s steady production? With no new big free agent signing, it will most likely have to be someone inside the organization. Let’s look at the most likely candidates.
Can Jordan Kyrou Hit Another Gear?
I should preface this by saying it is a lot to ask a player to do better when he just averaged slightly over a point per game. However, after a great start to the season, Kyrou’s play slowed down in 2021-22.
For a stretch, at the end of the season, he was playing on the 4th line. That trend saw his production drop in the post-season, where he produced 9 points in 12 games.
It was the first time in Kyrou’s career that he played over 70 games, which could be a factor in why the production took a slight decline towards the end of the season. Another off-season to prepare and another year of NHL experience in his review could see an even better season out of Kyrou.
Jake Neighbours Cracks the Squad?
Neighbours did enough last pre-season to make the Blues out of camp, but after nine games, he was sent down to the WHL to play with the Edmonton Oil Kings. In 30 games for the Oil Kings, Neighbours put up an impressive 45 points, showing he can put up numbers.
He helped the Oil Kings win the Ed Chynoweth Cup, which is the winner of the WHL playoffs. With another year of development in the minors, Neighbours could be in line to crack the Blues roster full-time. With Perron gone, Neighbours could have a big rookie year playing some big-time minutes in a top 9 role.