What Radek Faksa Brings to the St. Louis Blues for this Season

The 30-year-old Czech center was acquired during free agency day on July 1 in exchange for extra draft picks to the Dallas Stars in the future
St Louis Blues v Dallas Stars - Game Three
St Louis Blues v Dallas Stars - Game Three / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

July 1st, known as the NHL's premier free agency day, was a very quiet day for the St. Louis Blues, as they would only make a couple of small deals, with the outlier being the 6-year extension of star LW Pavel Buchnevich to finally silence any additional trade rumors, ending one of the biggest offseason debates this year.

The Blues did make one notable trade, at the very least, picking up Stars C Radek Faksa in exchange for future considerations to Dallas, presumably some potential 2025 draft picks. Faksa is a decent pickup for the Blues, as the 30-year-old Czech has a habit of playing in most regular season games, even if he does lack scoring prowess.

However, where Faksa lacks in goalscoring, he excels in aggressiveness and playing style, especially along the boards. The point is Faksa may be a center, but he plays much more like a defenseman than someone playing in the middle of the ice. Faksa will also help fix a Blues 4th line that was in constant disrepair last season, using a seemingly endless carousel of players without a definite basic 4th line combination.

Faksa will perfectly fit alongside the Blues' other current 4th liners, namely Oskar Sundqvist and Alexey Toropchenko, both guys who could help Faksa put more pucks in the net. And the 4th line isn't the only part of the defense that the Blues have reworked this offseason, recently joining brothers Mathieu and Pierre-Oliver Joseph from a trade with the Senators for Mathieu and a 1-year contract for Pierre-Oliver, respectively.

It seems the Blues have fallen in love a bit with centers and wingers from the Czech Republic, as they also signed their 1st round draft pick, Adam Jiricek, to a 3-year entry-level contract last Tuesday. Faksa is also efficient in the faceoff circle, regularly batting around 55% on draws over the last four seasons. That's definitely a number you'd want a decent player to have, and it should also help bolster St. Louis' power play efforts, given they were 24th in the league on regular season PP percentage at exactly 18%.

The best fit for Faksa heading into this upcoming season may be on the Blues' PK unit alongside the likes of Sundqvist and veterans Justin Faulk plus Torey Krug. Both are solid defenseman and could help Faksa amp up his numbers, perhaps by helping him increase his overall point totals.

Another veteran, recently acquired Alex Texier from Columbus, further helps the Blues' primary defensive lines, even if Texier will most likely be on the 3rd line with Mathieu Joseph and the recently resigned Kasperi Kapenen. But there are lots of players in the league who aren't noted goalscorers and are sometimes instead noted points loggers, and Faksa may have the potential to become one of the Blues' leading points totalers in 2024/25.