Gordo: Armstrong’s confidant moves strengthen Blues

The Blues were diseased down a core Friday morning. By Friday night, a organizational breeze looked forever stronger after ubiquitous manager Doug Armstrong got busy.

Drafting Ontario Hockey League core Robert Thomas 20th altogether in a NHL Draft was a certain step. But branch dead forward Jori Lehtera and dual first-round picks into brazen Brayden Schenn was a miracle.

Schenn, 25, progressed usually in Philadelphia, scoring 41 points in his initial full NHL deteriorate (2013-14), afterwards scoring 47 and 59 points in his subsequent dual seasons. He scored 55 points (25 goals, 30 assists) in a formidable 2016-17 Flyers debate and led a joining with 17 power-play goals.

“I didn’t see it entrance during all,” he said to CSNPhilly.com. “But we am vehement to go to St. Louis.”

He filled a enormous Blues register hole while also shedding Lehtera’s $4.7 million income stay strike for a subsequent dual seasons. Schenn’s $5.125 million for a subsequent 3 seasons replaces that tip slot, though a Blues still have a space indispensable to re-sign defenseman Colton Parayko — interjection to David Perron‘s depart in a enlargement draft.

Schenn played left wing and core for a Flyers. If he plays core for a Blues — that would be optimal — they will demeanour a whole lot improved skating him, Paul Stastny and Patrik Berglund down a core with wingers Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexander Steen, Jaden Schwartz, Robby Fabbri and Ivan Barbashev wise in on a wings.

The trade of bulldozing Blues winger Ryan Reaves to Pittsburgh was reduction miraculous, given we’ve seen a final of a rarely effective fourth line from final season’s team. Fans are distinct angry.

With Reaves gone, who is going to crash on hostile defensemen? Who will dump a mitts as needed?

But a further of skinny core Oskar Sundqvist and a trade adult to a 31st altogether collect to get Russian awaiting Klim Kostin could have long-term benefits.

Sundqvist, 23, could emerge as a No. 4 Blues core after plain debate in a American Hockey League for a Penguins. He likes to brew it adult and he could supplement a earthy component as his fills out his 6-foot-3 frame.

Kostin models his diversion after Winnipeg Jets winger Patrick Laine. If he half as good he will turn an asset. He mislaid developmental time final deteriorate to a shoulder injury, though ESPN crew expert Corey Pronman was confident about him:

Kostin’s ice time was really singular personification contra organisation in Russia, though he has tender in general play a past few years. His ability turn during distance is incredible, as he creates tough descent plays seem easy. Kostin can hang hoop in open space, though he also excels as a playmaker and can make a intelligent play when an choice is available. There’s a peculiar time he can get held perplexing to do too much, though mostly he reads a ice good and can make a right decision. Kostin’s skating isn’t high-end, though he skates good for a actor his size, showed poignant improvements during a march of a past year and could be normal as a pro. His off-the-puck diversion is excellent too.

Adding Schenn and Sundqvist means that immature centers Zach Sanford and Tage Thompson will have some-more time to rise or, generally in Sanford’s case, play on a wing instead.

As for Thomas, ESPN’s Pronman offering this take:

Thomas consistently tender me all deteriorate and was an critical partial of nonetheless another widespread London organisation in a OHL. He’s a really intelligent and really learned center. His coordination and creativity with a puck are top-notch, and he consistently moves a puck into good spaces to beget chances. Thomas can also be utterly effective on a defensive side of a puck, notwithstanding his smaller frame, and he was one of London’s improved penalty-killers this season. He could be marginally faster for a actor his size, though we consider he skates excellent and will be efficient in that area as a pro. Don’t let his rather underwhelming counting stats dope you; buried behind tip Sabres awaiting Cliff Pu as a Knights’ No. 2 core this season, Thomas can be an impactful player.

These moves following a progressing Kevin Shattenkirk trade fit Armstrong’s prophesy for retooling a organisation after a 2015-16 Final Four and building adult for additional playoff pushes. He combined Schenn to his younger iota and combined some-more immature talent in behind that group.

If these younger players rise — always a enormous if — afterwards fans will demeanour behind on a final few months as pivotal. 

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