Should the St. Louis Blues keep Brayden Schenn?
Brayden Schenn has been a key component and pillar to the franchise’s recent success and postseason that ultimately brought the coveted Stanley Cup to the St. Louis Blues for the first time in franchise history.
Schenn With The Blues
In his first season with the Blues, Schenn put up a career-high 70 points. He was a part of the line known as “SchwarSchennko”, being paired with Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. However, he took a step back last season, recording just 54 points, which is about his career average. While the Blues searched for an identity as a team from October through the start of the new year, Brayden continued his tough play and was consistently a character player in the Blues locker room. Schenn’s on-ice performance isn’t the only factor that will play a role in his future.
The Youth Movement In St. Louis
While Schenn is currently putting up some of the best numbers in his career, the Blues farm club is currently developing players that should be ready to make the jump to the big club over the next two seasons in Jordan Kyrou and Klim Kostin. The Blues will also be looking to former 2017 1st round pick, Robert Thomas, to take the next step in his professional career and eventually move him back to his native center position.
Blues Plans In The Future
The Blues currently are finding themselves in a bit of a log-jam at the center position. Conn Smythe winner Ryan O’Reilly looks to hold the first line center position for the foreseeable future. Tyler Bozak is expected to be the clubs third line center until his contract expires at the end of the 2020-2021 season, or he accepts a trade via his modified no-trade clause. The Blues do have the option to look at moving out Bozak next season and re-signing Schenn, but at what cost? Schenn is currently on a comparable path to that of JT Miller (Vancouver Canucks), Tomas Hertl (San Jose Sharks), and Tomas Tatar (Detroit Red Wings), all of whom are earning on average $500,000 more than Schenn, currently. The Blues organization must ask themselves if they feel comfortable paying a third line center $5.5 million or more for the foreseeable future or turn to their youth with a cheaper hit to their overall cap space.
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