As we enter the week before the NHL draft, a question remains about what the St. Louis Blues roster will be looking for.
Here are my top five items the Blues will be looking for during its off-season.
1.) Sign RFAs
Seems to be the obvious choice or the No. 1 objective. Doug Armstrong has made it very clear that the Blues won’t be doing anything until Tarasenko, Allen, and Bortuzzo are all done. So many hope Armstrong can sign those guys before free agency gets underway.
2.) An Experienced Center
Most people would think the center position is filled, but with the possibility of a big trade or of Sobotka not returning, Armstrong may need to do something else. A center who has been to the playoffs and established himself in the league should be top priority. The challenge – who will be available?
3.) A Fourth Line Player
Something that seems like it wouldn’t really matter. But with Goc and Porter being free agents, Armstrong may have to find another fourth line player. Chicago is a great example of how important fourth line players can be. Armstrong will need to find a fast, gritty, experienced player who can add chemistry to the team.
4.) Depth at Defense
This position seems to be filled, as well, for the Blues, but you can never have too many defensemen. The Blues are already stacked on defense, and they may look to add two more. Possibilities are a veteran defenseman like Johnny Oduya, or a younger defenseman with NHL experience that can play on both levels. Armstrong will have to wait and see what’s in the free agent and trade markets.
5.) Draft Offense
The Blues have already made it clear that they want to add speed to the team and the future. That’s why the Blues will have to keep their eyes peeled for offense to help in the draft. Defense and goaltending are already solid, but the minors could always use a few more prospects. Armstrong and his group will have to be looking for the best player available in the second round – their first picks.