The St. Louis Blues have acquired forward Pavel Buchnevich from the New York Rangers in exchange for Sammy Blais and a 2nd round picks in 2022. Blues fans anticipated GM Doug Armstrong to make a deal at the draft and as it turns out, he was able to pull one off before the draft even begins. In what appears to be a salary dump by the Rangers, the Blues add a skilled power forward who set a career-high in points in last year’s shortened season.
What Blues Fans Should Know About Buchnevich
The Russian-born winger is a left-handed shot that likes to play on the right side. At six-foot, three inches tall, and just under 200 pounds, Buchnevich isn’t afraid to throw his weight around and be a bit of a pest on the ice, which has long been the identity of the Blues under Armstrong, particularly in the Craig Berube era. At 26 years old, Buchnevich is entering the prime of his career and projects to be a key figure for the Blues up top. Buchnevich has spent all five seasons of his NHL career in New York after being drafted by the Rangers in 2013. He is currently a restricted free agent, though it is being reported that contract negotiations between Buchnevich and St. Louis have already begun.
The Return To New York
In addition to a 2nd round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Blues also sent winger Sammy Blais to New York. The 25-year-old winger was originally drafted by St. Louis in the 6th round of the 2014 draft and spent parts of four seasons with the Blues, including winning the Stanley Cup in his 2nd season. Blais has one year remaining on his current deal with a $1.5 million cap hit and while he does not have the offensive upside of Buchnevich, he has proven to be a reliable bottom-six forward that can bring identity to a club, which is something the Rangers could use as they look to take the next step this season and get back into the playoffs. Blais finishes his Blues career recording 35 points in 119 games.
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