St. Louis Blues: Is there potential for Jake Neighbours and Alexey Toropchenko to be a dangerous combination?

St. Louis Blues fans remain ecstatic about the potential of Jake Neighbours. A little under the radar, Neighbours can shine further in 2024-25. Can Alexey Toropchenko emulate Neighbours' success?
Vancouver Canucks v St Louis Blues
Vancouver Canucks v St Louis Blues / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

St. Louis Blues fans know Jake Neighbours is a young, promising player. His future is so bright that GM Doug Armstrong must consider signing him to a longer deal soon.

Neighbours, by all accounts, came out of nowhere this season, tying Pavel Buchnevich with 27 goals.

Could St. Louis Blues Alexey Toropchenko emulate Neighbours' success?

First, give Toropchenko credit; his stats have increased, albeit his 2022-23 season only amounted to 69 games, and his 2021-22 season consisted of play in 28 games.

Nevertheless, his ice time in 2022-23 and 2023-24 remained similar, around 12 minutes per game.

This begs the question: if Toropchenko played more, could we see more productivity from him?

As a fourth-round pick, he might not have the exact expectations as Neighbours, but his mere size makes him a prospect Drew Bannister must seek to develop further.

Listed at 6’6” and 222 lbs, Toropchenko is a rare physical specimen with the potential to dominate the ice.

In 2023-24, he played 82 games, scoring 14 goals and recording 7 assists for 21 points.

Sure, there’s no screaming excitement from his numbers, but it can be a start.

Toropchenko is turning 25 this summer, near the age of Robert Thomas.

Bannister remains the head coach for this particular type of player, prioritizing skill building and ongoing improvement.

St. Louis Blues: Could Jake Neighbours and Alexey Toropchenko unite to form a solid line?

Of course, there’s a legitimate chance we will see this further option developed. Blues fans saw rare and odd pairs at the conclusion of the season, and this might continue to occur to see maximum potential and combinations of Bannister’s liking.

Neighoburs and Toropchenko are youthful players but can also develop into scoring threats. Toropchenko still needs improvement in this area, but he did well in taking his first step toward earning an NHL roster spot.

Just like Neighbours, Toropchenko's contract will end in the 2024-25 season. This means he will be playing not only for his team's future but also for his future in the NHL.

Toropchenko continues to be an intriguing prospect who often goes unnoticed, much like Neighbours. Bannister must be thrilled about his potential and he deserves all the attention he will receive during training camp.