St. Louis Blues: Two Players to Watch for a Breakout Season

While it may seem unreasonable to make bold predictions for the 2024-25 season, hockey fans who don’t have a team in contention for the Cup have no choice but to look towards the future with excitement and optimism. Lest we find the St. Louis Blues situation, in which two particular players could set themselves up for a meaningful 2024-25 campaign.
St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins
St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

As GM Doug Armstrong and head coach Drew Bannister plan to maneuver around the offseason, the hope is that the current St. Louis Blues roster will retain existing talent that continues to develop.

Analytics are crucial in understanding player progress and charting their development and performance. However, it’s important to remember that stats don’t cover all the bases. Hockey fans like us stay well-informed and knowledgeable due to the unique coaching, motivation, and growth of each player.

Two particular St. Louis Blues players might make even more significant strides to succeed in 2024-25

Joel Hofer

Joel Hofer is an ideal player to watch out for in the upcoming season for a further breakout performance.

Hofer, 23, played 30 games for the St. Louis Blues in 2023-24, starting 27.

His SV%, listed at .914, showed his skills as a promising goaltender defending 830 shot attempts.

Hofer participated in just 8 games for the Blues in the last two seasons, excluding this year.

Although he had some challenging games and could be held accountable for a few losses in the regular season, his age should be taken into account.

Finding a reliable, skilled goaltender in the NHL is like finding a rare stone, and Hofer is proving to be a highly talented goalie who can make a real difference.

Despite the need for progress, his final record, 15-12-1, is still above .500.

Though only having 1 shutout, his save percentage shows potential for improvement.

Hofer can grow further under Jordan Binnington and develop into a starting-caliber goaltender.

Jake Neighbours 

An argument can be made that Jake Neighbours isn’t under the radar, as he concluded the season as the third-leading goal scorer. However, this year, his playing time and line usage demonstrate that he was not utilized enough.

Like Hofer, Neighbours is young, at 22 years old.

Neighbours is perhaps the most intriguing player on the roster, as his youth and limited play in the NHL provide several unknowns.

He had 77 game appearances and scored 27 goals this season.

His shooting percentage was 18.6% compared to Robert Thomas and his 15.3%.

Neighbours, who joined the Blues with high expectations as a former first-round pick, has already surpassed what some pundits expected.

Can the St. Louis Blues further develop his recent success?

Expect nothing different. Bannister will play a significant role here, and it’s possible Neighbours will accompany Thomas even more, seeing if they can find a dominant scoring formula.

With Dalibor Dvorsky and Jimmy Snuggerud’s anticipated arrival in the NHL in the near future, Neighbours is all the more motivated to snag this opportunity to excel in St. Louis and create his own legacy.

It is important to remember that stars are not made overnight, and Neighbour's might go through a development process similar to Thomas' path.

Both Hofer and Neighbours will have the St. Louis Blues faithful eagerly watching their development. Expect great things to come.