By Mitchell Goldnenberg
After an exciting Expansion Draft, the St. Louis Blues were left with Tarasenko and Blais still on their roster following the Kraken taking Vince Dunn with their pick. With many questions still looming over the fate of Vladimir Tarasenko, the Blues have made a move, shipping out Sammy Blais and a Second Round Pick for Pavel Buchnevich.
Pavel Buchnevich is a 6’3″, 196 lbs. Forward who has spent the previous 5 seasons with the New York Rangers. In the 2020-21 Season, Buchnevich recorded 48 points through 54 games, with a Plus/Minus of +12. Buchnevich also managed to record a career high in penalty minutes with 42.
This move has the potential to lead to a lot of things for the St. Louis Blues. Turning Sammy Blais into a Top 6 Forward hedges the bet of if Blais can fully develop. A lot of St. Louis Media thinks of this trade as a steal for the Blues, and I tend to agree with them. This could lead to the Blues letting Jaden Schwartz walk in Free Agency due to no longer needing to overpay to keep Schwartz. If this is the case, I would hope St. Louis can lock in an extension with Buchnevich, as the 26-Year-Old is on a one year rental at the moment.
Another hope that I can think of is the potential of keeping Vladimir Tarasenko happy. Adding another Russian Forward could be the Band-Aid that St. Louis needed to satisfy Tarasenko, and hopefully rebuild that level of trust that has been lost over the past two seasons. Only time will tell if this move will be a good one, but if St. Louis can make any of these potential outcomes happen from this trade, expect big things from the Blues this season.