The 2022-23 season has been a rough one for the St. Louis Blues. They saw multiple losing streaks build up including at the very beginning of the season and several more throughout.
The Blues now need more players with a potential positive impact for them in the near future. In the fight for a playoff spot, the Blues have traded away some key players, no one making more of an impact than former captain Ryan O’Reilly to the Toronto Maple Leafs and superstar Vladimir Tarasenko to an already stacked New York Rangers team.
However, there are some current players that aren’t on the chopping block that could still prove their worth while in St. Louis. Who are these 3 players that could positively impact the Blues, you ask? Here’s the rundown.
The 22-year-old Russian is in his 5th stint with the Blues since being bounced around a couple of times between the team’s roster and AHL affiliate Springfield. This season alone, he’s played in 21 games, with 3 goals and a pair of assists.
Alexandrov proves his worth by improving on his skating and passing, just one thing he’s good at other than much else. During the offseason, he also grew some and bulked up some as well, further emphasizing his potential impact on the team in the near future.
Cranking up the speed is going to be Alexandrov’s main task if he wants to have a permanent spot on the Blues depth charts.
The latest free agent signing by the Blues, as part of the Tarasenko trade, Blais is a proven veteran, with 182 NHL games played during a 6-year career. He actually started that career with St. Louis, from 2017-2021 before heading east to Manhattan.
While with the Blues, Blais totaled 17 goals, 18 assists, and 35 points before his first trade. A torn ACL limited his playing time and effectiveness in 1 ½ seasons with the Rangers.
Like Alexandrov, his main goal is building up more speed. He’s already got the strength, being a solid checker with 366 career hits during his 1st Blues stint and he’s familiar with the St. Louis system, seeing as he spent the first four years of his career with them.
He might want to stay off the injury list, however. A torn ACL is never easy to quickly come back from. If he can, it’ll be a definitely needed positive impact for a currently depleted Blues roster.
The prodigal son of St. Louis has had quite the roller coaster of a rookie season with the Blues, with everything from injuries to COVID clobbering during his junior days, messing up his 1st professional season. He’s got the potential to be a great player- he just needs to actually play.
As in, play in more games than just 30 games with 4 goals and 4 assists this season. He’s scored slightly more goals in slightly fewer games with Springfield, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, the AHL level of play is nowhere near NHL level.
It can be said that even at just 20 years old, Neighbours has the potential to be a third-line player who can score 15 to 20 goals a season and bring his own physicality with it as well. If this sounds a lot like what linemate Jordan Kyrou did early in his career, it’s because it is. Those two players may be the biggest stars and biggest positive impact makers St. Louis still has.