Matthew Kessel agrees to a 2 year contract extension with Blues

The 23 year old defenseman has 3 points in 23 games played this season.

St Louis Blues v Seattle Kraken
St Louis Blues v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Blues announced on Wednesday that they signed defenseman Matthew Kessel to a 2 year, one way contract extension. Kessel was called up on December 30th, immediately made the blue line look much better, and that's with not lighting up the score sheet.

Kessel is a stay a home defenseman, kind of like Colton Parayko, but obviously much smaller. A stay at home defenseman typically is very responsible with the puck and makes his teammates better without doing anything flashy.

With this contract extension, Kessel will make his way into the Blues future on the blue line and will presumably play on the second pair with Torey Krug next season. Krug has played considerably better when paired with Kessel than when not paired with him. In fact, in the seven games Kessel was down in the AHL, Torey Krug did not record a positive +/- rating. In his first game back on a pair with Kessel on Monday, Torey Krug was a +2.

The Blues scouting deserve some credit here.

Kessel was a fifth round draft pick by the Blues back in 2020, so by no means was he a on the radar as a major prospect for St Louis. To turn a fifth round pick into a defenseman who, at worse, can play on your third pair and be a solid all around defenseman is a win.

The 2020 draft is looking like a home run draft this season as both Jake Neighbours and Matthew Kessel were picked in that draft.

It's obviously really early in his career to tell if this is really the player Kessel is, with only 25 career NHL games. But we can only judge what we've seen so far, and what we've seen is a young defenseman look comfortable and unphased by the fast paced play of the NHL.

Let's tamper our expectations a little bit.

Kessel's confidence and seamless play in the league is rare to find right off the bat. But like I pointed above, he's played 25 career NHL games. Fans should be able to get a real case of who he is as a player next season as he'll certainly be in the mix for a regular spot.