Three St. Louis Blues defensemen to keep your eyes on for a breakout season

Does defense win championships? Ask most St. Louis Blues fans; the Blues’ lack of depth in defensemen is a primary concern.
St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins
St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

While the offseason just got started, and more deals will undoubtedly be made, so far, the St. Louis Blues have been rather quiet about adding depth to the roster within the defenseman ranks.

Pierre-Olivier Joseph secured a one-year contract with GM Doug Armstrong.

Armstrong also extended Scott Perunovich’s contract.

Regarding total points, the three best statistical defensemen of the Blues in 2023-24 were the veteran skaters.

St. Louis Blues: 2023-24 Top Defensemen:

Torey Krug–39 points
Justin Faulk–30 points
Nick Leddy–28 points

In the 2022-23 season, similar names appeared:

Justin Faulk–39 points
Torey Krug–32 points
Colton Parayko–27 points

Do points tell the whole story? Not exactly. For example, Parayko had 26 points in 2023-24 but led the St. Louis Blues and the entire league in blocked shots.

A quick analysis over the past three years proves that the most reliable defensemen are the top liners: Torey Krug, Justin Faulk, Nick Leddy, and Colton Parayko. Additionally, these are seasoned players with significant NHL playing time.

Within the existing roster, it’s reasonable to expect a younger defenseman to start making his way to the top of the line.

Keep your eyes on recent acquisition Pierre-Olivier Joseph, along with Scott Perunovich, and Tyler Tucker

All three are younger skaters on limited contracts that expire at the end of next season. While it’s entirely possible one of them won’t gear up in 2023-24, given the current roster, fans should expect to see them in action.

At only 25 years old, Joseph, a former first-round pick, still holds a hidden talent that has yet to be fully showcased in the league. His best statistical year came in 2022-23 when he recorded 21 points with an average ice time of 15:14.

Perunovich’s best season was 2023-24 when he recorded 17 points in 54 games and an average ice time of 15:16.

Joseph and Perunovich had remarkably similar best years, even though Perunovich played in 21 fewer games than Joseph’s 75 games in 2022-23.

Tyler Tucker is the least experienced of the three, playing 26 games in 2022-23 and 2023-24.

However, Tucker also might be the most aggressive, recording 64 hits in just 26 games of play this past season.

Joseph’s former first-round status and the expectations that once surrounded his name are intriguing. Perunovich, too, was a relatively high-pick as a second-round selection of the Blues in 2018.

Tucker, a seventh-round pick from 2018, is the odd one out in this group. Nevertheless, his physical abilities might give him an advantage.

For now, these three young defenders could be the ones to watch. While fans await the highly anticipated arrival of Theo Lindstein, and some of the 2024 draft picks, an existing talent may emerge. The defense needs help, and what better way to improve from within?