This summer is bound to be a lot less eventful for the St. Louis Blues than last summer. In a span of just a week, the Blues traded goaltender Brian Elliott to the Calgary Flames, and then lost captain David Backes and veteran winger Troy Brouwer to other teams in free agency on the same day. This offseason, the Blues have just one player from the regulars of the club set to become an unrestricted free agent. That would be winger Scottie Upshall. Upshall will be 34 by the time next season rolls around, so he might not be back. But the Blues have one other guy that saw some time with the club set to become a UFA. That would be Kenny Agostino.
Agostino, 25, is coming off a season where he played 65 games with the Blues AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. He netted 24 goals and tallied 59 assists, totaling 83 points. He was also named the AHL’s regular season MVP. Agostino was called up to the Blues midseason, where he played in seven total games, and scored one goal and had two assists. Since his NHL debut with the Flames in 2013, Agostino has played in only 17 career NHL games, where he has scored two goals and three assists. But after just turning 25, Agostino is entering the prime age of an NHL career.
He will be a UFA this summer, and most likely, there would be somewhat of a market for him. There will be some lower end teams in the rebuilding stage that would take a chance on him being an NHL regular with their club. But what would it take for the Blues to retain Agostino? Certainly, a player in the prime of his career doesn’t want to spend it in the minors, so the Blues would have to almost guarantee him a roster spot on the Blues.
Agostino has a relatively big upside. His sample size in the NHL is small, but the kid has put up 140 points in his last two seasons in the AHL (130 games). The former Yale grad has talent and potential, but do the Blues have enough space on the roster for him? Doug Armstrong and the Blues management staff will have some decisions to make this summer. Do they make an effort to keep him and give him more playing time in the NHL, or do they wish him happy trails as he would sign with a team in which he can get playing time with? I myself would love to see the Blues bring Agostino back but at the same time, I don’t know if there’s a spot for him on this roster with the depth the Blues have at winger. Stay tuned for what will be an interesting development in free agency this summer.
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