I will be doing a new segment for the next 20 days in which I will focus on 20 players from the St. Louis Blues. I will try to review their past seasons, discuss what they can do to become more effective, and hopefully get you to know the players better. Let’s start with the two important deals the Blues came across during the summer.
TJ Oshie – TJ Oshie was considered a wild card during his draft season in 2005. Some questioned his work ethic, his size, or his skill. Oshie bursted onto the scene in 08-09 after 2 seasons with the University of North Dakota and in his first season, Oshie collected 39 points in 57 games. He has been improving each season and was on track for his best statistical season in 10-11 before he suffered a broken ankle which cut his season almost in half. He still finished the season with 33 points in 49 games. Last season Oshie put up his best numbers with 19 goals, 35 assists, and 54 points. However, Oshie had to step up and make up for the injuries that hit many of the Blues players. Oshie and other key players were able to keep the team running strong and they were the main reason why the Blues had such a great run during the regular season. This season, Oshie will be expected to do more. With his new contract of $4.175 million per year for 5 years, the management, the coaching staff, and the fans are hoping Oshie can become a better player than what he is now. Oshie has still yet to hit 20 goals, but if his linemates can stay healthy there is no question he can. Oshie has certainly matured into a fine player and as he continues to improve his game every year. Will we see Oshie hit a new level this year? He will need to in order for the Blues to make another legitimate shot for the Stanley Cup.
David Perron – After sitting out majority of the last 2 seasons with a concussion, David Perron came back into the 11-12 season with something to prove. While playing just 57 games this season, Perron managed to earn 42 points. He was second on the team with 21 goals and had the best points per game ratio at .73. He showed the NHL that his injury didn’t slow him down and he worked his way to a new contract which I feel is a steal for the Blues at $3.8 million for the next 4 years. While Perron started off a little slow in his first year collecting only 27 points in 62 games, he has been increasing his goal totals year after year. He is one of the finest shooters for the Blues and possibly in the entire league. Perron’s health will be crucial for this upcoming season. A healthy Perron for a full 82 games is most likely the difference between their 2nd place finish in the Western Conference and a President’s Trophy during the regular season. If the first line continues to click like they did, expect Perron to have another career year and lead the Blues to another great finish.