Saad is Blues' Most Underrated Playmaker

With now 200 career games for the Blues for the 13-year veteran winger, Saad has proved himself a valuable replacement after the departure of Jaden Schwartz

St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

On Saturday, following a 4-1 defeat to the Toronto Maple Leafs, one Blues player at least still had some credbility in the losing effort. Left winger Brandon Saad played his 200th game for the team, reaching an otherwise quietly noticed milestone in Blues franchise history.

When Saad first arrived in St. Louis after 7 successful seasons with regional rival Chicago, as well as a couple more stints in Columbus and Colorado, the Blues were in a transitional period, to say the least. The expansion draft for the then newly created Seattle Kraken was complete, but the Blues had lost a key player - Jaden Schwartz, a man who played 10 whole years with St. Louis, logging 560 career games with 154 goals and 231 assists for 385 career points. Many thought Saad wouldn't be able to fill such big skates.

But given his similar resume at the time of the trade, Saad proved and has still proven otherwise. In 3 seasons with the Blues, including the current one, he's reached, or come close to, the usual 20 goals in a season mark held by most league stars. Right now, he sits at 15 on the season, in addition to 8 assists for 23 points, but there's still 28 regular season games to be played, so Saad has all kinds of time to reach the 20+ base benchmark once again. He's also done so throughout most of his career, all but in his 2nd season in the league in 2012-13, 2017-18, 2020-21 and 2022-23 where he had 19. He won the Cup in one of those, though, so it's really not a solid judgement.

In just his first season with the Blues, Saad hit the ice skating with a full head of steam, adding 24 goals and 25 assists in 78 games. He was one of many Blues players in 2021/22 that scored at least 20+ goals, alongside Pavel Buchnevich, Jordan Kyrou, captain Brayden Schenn, recent 1st-time All-Star Robert Thomas, the now departed Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev, David Perron, and Ryan O'Reilly. If he keeps his offensive firepower up like that, Saad could become the newest member of the Blues' current core, which already includes some goal-scoring company he's familiar with (i.e., Buch, Kyrou, Schenn, and Thomas).

Saad is currently under contract with St. Louis until at least 2026/27, so like all the teammates listed above with similar offensive resumes, he's not going anywhere. He could potentially look to finish out his NHL career with about as many seasons with St. Louis as their bitter rivals in Chicago. You don't see that very often, and it makes some players very special!