During last night’s first round of the NHL draft, the Flyers and Blues announced the biggest trade of the night. The St. Louis Blues have hoped to acquired the coveted number one center they’ve desperately been lacking, in Brayden Schenn. In exchange, the Blues traded center Jori Lehtera, 27th overall selection, and a conditional 1st round pick. The condition on the 1st round pick is a bit complicated. The pick is top 10 protected and the Blues have the option to push it from the 2018 draft, to the 2019 draft. But if that were the case, the Blues would also send Philadelphia a 3rd round pick in 2020.
Brayden Schenn is a former 5th overall pick in 2009 and still has potential. Schenn is still 25 years old, and is set up to have a career year in 2017-18 with the Blues. Schenn will likely center LW Jaden Schwartz, and one of the league’s best goal scorers, RW Vladimir Tarasenko. Schenn adds desperately needed goal scoring and point producing capabilities up the middle for the Notes. Schenn scored 25 goals, 30 assists, and 55 points in 79 games played last season. That would have made him the highest scoring center (and T2nd on the team) in points. That’s also 15 more points than Paul Stastny (13 less GP), who saw the majority of minutes as the number one center. Schenn will be another weapon for the NHL’s 8th best powerplay. Schenn is tied for 9th in powerplay points (50) over past two seasons combined. That is the same total of powerplay points as Ovechkin, Malkin, and Pavelski over the past two years. Schenn doesn’t only improve the Blues offensively, he provides an excellent 200 foot game. Schenn tallied 189 hits last season, along with 42 blocked shots. As far as playoff production is concerned, in 24 career playoff games, Schenn has 14 points.
Acquiring a top 6 center isn’t the only plus side of this trade for the St. Louis Blues. They finally found a suitor for the fans’ whipping boy, Jori Lehtera. Lehtera has a cap hit of $4.7 million. Schenn has an AAV of $5.125 million. The difference other than $425k? 33 points. The facts are on the paper here, Schenn is by far the better player, and better “bang for your buck”. As far as the 1st round picks are concerned, Philadelphia selected C Morgan Frost at 27th overall. The best part? The Blues traded back into the 1st round (31st overall), and still selected their “best available” player, Klim Kostin, 4 picks later than when they were originally going to select him. There’s still the 1st rounder, that’s protected, in either 2018 or 2019, but all signs point to the Blues winning this deal.
Thanks for reading. Let me know all of your comments, thoughts, and opinions by tweeting me @Palazzola_RTN.