2. Extend Jakub Vrana
One of the under-the-radar acquisitions at last season’s trade deadline was the trade that brought in Jakub Vrana from the Detroit Red Wings. St. Louis sent out a career AHL player and a late-round draft pick for the player who cleared waivers last winter.
Vrana appeared in 20 games for the Blues down the stretch last season and recorded 14 points, including 10 goals and four powerplay goals. His scoring surge with St. Louis is something that came from him early in his career with the Washington Capitals.
The former 13th overall pick has two 20-goal seasons under his belt in his career, both coming in back-to-back seasons with the Capitals. After five years with Washington, he moved to Detroit and struggled to stay on the ice.
Health was a big issue for the 27-year-old as he appeared in just 42 games in three seasons with the Red Wings. Conversely, in not even a full season in St. Louis, Vrana has already appeared in 22 games and has recorded half as many points as he did with Detroit.
The St. Louis Blues should extend Vrana. He is set to be a free agent at the end of the season and will be 28 years old when he hits the open market. So far this season, Vrana has settled into the team’s third line but has the potential for more.
He would have to come at a discount for the Blues. Vrana is still proving to the Blues and the rest of the league that he has the ability to stay healthy and be a productive NHL player which makes him even more intriguing for an extension candidate.