Hey guys! Sven here with our stop in St. Louis for 31 in 31! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2018-19 fantasy hockey season: The 31 in 31 daily segment. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material!  Reminder that the stat totals are from last season.

Forwards

Vladimir Tarasenko – 80GP 33-33-66. Tarasenk-show’s numbers regressed ever-so-slightly last season, only tallying 33 goals – ONLY 33. This is unlikely to repeat itself, making the 26-year-old a potential steal in the third round.

Ryan O’Reilly – 81GP 24-37-61. RoR has always been a quiet producer and great fantasy player if the price is right. Ranked 149 by ESPN, getting O’Reilly this late in a draft would be a steal. Given his great TOI and PP numbers historically plus having a better supporting cast around him this season, we could be looking at a new career-high if everything falls into the right place.

Brayden Schenn – 82GP 28-42-70. Joining Couturier on my list of players that played above their heads last season, Schenn was a later-round steal last season but is ranked far too high to be considered a steal this season. I’m not saying the 27-year-old will drop off entirely, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a sizable regression this season. I could be totally wrong and he could put up another 70-point season, but only time will tell. The change of scenery was great for him, but now he needs to repeat his performance.

Jaden Schwartz – 62GP 24-35-59. Consistently one of my most underrated fantasy guys, I have nothing but good things to say about Schwartz. He nearly matched a career-high last season despite playing 13 less games, so just imagine what he may be able to put together in a full 82 games this season. Schwartz is a big-time sleeper target in my books, so look to steal him somewhere in the early-to-mid-teen rounds of your draft.

Robby Fabbri – 2016-17: 51GP 11-18-29. Poor Robby Fabbri. After missing a good chunk of the 2016-17 season with a knee injury, he was forced to miss the entire 2017-18 season with yet another knee injury. With a clean bill of health and a chip on his shoulder, Fabbri will look to prove himself this season and hopefully pick up where he left off after two respectable NHL seasons. It’s a mystery where he will fit into the Blues’ lineup just yet, however he could bounce-back and excel like he did during his rookie season. I probably wouldn’t draft Fabbri, though I will be monitoring him all year to see if he bounces back.

David Perron – 70GP 16-50-66. Perron was rejuvenated by the youth of the Golden Knights’ lineup last season, putting up a new career-high in his 12th NHL season. Returning back to the team that drafted him first round in 2007, the Blues don’t have huge expectations for the 30-year-old winger other than to provide some timely secondary scoring in a second-line role. Perron is a late pick in deeper leagues at best, but could prove to be a solid pickup/streamer.

Patrick Maroon – 74GP 17-26-43. Patty Maroon has had just one 20+ goal season, which came two years ago when he spent time on McDavid’s line in Edmonton. Depending where he fits into this Blues lineup, a change of scenery could see the 30-year-old big winger return to that form. With potential to receive some PP time if the Blues decide to play a net-front guy and being a guy that knows his role and uses his size, Maroon could very well see consistent top-six time this season. I’d consider him a streamer for now until we get some proof of solid minutes and PP time.

Defence

Alex Pietrangelo – 78GP 15-39-54. Coming off a new career-high after the departure of Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo is ranked stupid low by ESPN heading into this season. With every aspect of the Blues’ lineup pointing at another successful season for the 28-year-old, and you can even wait a few rounds to snag him as a #2 or even #3 guy based on his ranking. He is still the true #1 guy on the Blues’ back-end, so snag this guy if you can.

Colton Parayko – 82GP 6-29-35. Three seasons into his NHL career, Parayko has found his comfort zone within the Blues’ top-four defencemen. With the opportunity for some PP#2 time on the horizon, a new career-high for the 2012 third-rounder is not out of the question. Regardless, he will quietly produce 35-40 points once again this season, making him a safe pick as your #4D in most leagues.

Vince Dunn – 75GP 5-19-24. Likely the St. Louis Blue with the most potential for point volatility is sophomore Dunn. With a respectable rookie campaign last season, He seems to have found a consistent spot on the second pairing with Parayko and on the #2PP. I don’t expect a Sophomore Slump from Dunn, however I don’t expect a huge increase in points either. He is worth taking a look at in deeper leagues, but I wouldn’t expect more than a 10-15 point increase out of a sophomore.

Goalie

Jake Allen – 59GP 2.75GAA 906SV%. Allen must be a closet Katy Perry fan, as he was hot and cold all season. With career back-up Chad Johnson behind him, St. Louis is still trusting Allen as their #1 guy moving forward. He has shown he can be lights out in spurts, but the key factor for the Blues getting back to the post-season will be Allen’s play. For now, he is a solid #2G pick in most leagues.

Rookies/Prospects 

Robert Thomas – OHL: 49GP 24-51-75. Thomas was the Blues’ 20th overall selection in the 2017 draft. With a strong showing at the most recent WJC as a playmaking centre, Thomas will likely crack the bottom-six of the Blues roster this season. That being said, ice time will be at a premium with the depth the team has in front of him (RoR/Schenn/Bozak). I expect a respectable rookie season with the potential for some PP time, but there are many other rookies this season to select that will have much more prominent roles with their respective teams.

Samuel Blais – AHL: 42GP 17-23-40. With two AHL seasons in the books and an 11-game stint with the big club already, Blais appears ready to be with the Blues full-time this season and will compete for a roster spot this season. A 2014 sixth-round pick, Blais is a big body that can play either wing and will likely have an advantage in camp given his two seasons in the Pros already. He appears to be a strong player that uses his size to fight for open space, and has a good release on his shot.

Dominik Bokk – SuperElit: 35GP 14-27-41. Bokk was St. Louis’ 2018 first-rounder, and is playing in the SHL on a loan to start this season. He is a fair-sized, creative winger that has shown signs of panning out into a proven scorer or a playmaker. His hands make him a threat any time he has the puck and he has the vision to make his teammates equally as dangerous when he is on the ice. I am super excited to see how Bokk plays in Europe this year, and he will hopefully compete for a roster spot next year.

Klim Kostin – I was the high guy on Kostin heading into last season as he lit up the NHL’s rookie tournament with his dominant skating and size. With an underwhelming first season in the AHL, the 2017 first-rounder will hopefully have the opportunity to crack the Blues roster, but will be given every opportunity to rebound this season in the minors if not. With tremendous skating ability and a power-forward frame, I am still super excited to see how Kostin pans out.

Mitch Reinke – NCAA: 35GP 3-21-24. Reinke was signed out of Michigan Tech by the Blues and will likely spend his first pro season in the minors with San Antonio. The former Stillwater High Minnesota school captain looks to have the potential to pan out as a solid two-way defenceman in the NHL, but will need a transition year to find his footing first.

Nolan Stevens – NCAA: 38GP 24-18-42. Stevens is a 2016 fifth-round pick that just finished his fourth season with Northeastern University and will likely head to the AHL this season after signing an entry-level deal with the Blues. He is a big-bodied centreman that much like Thomas won’t receive a ton of big-league ice given the Blues’ current depth down the middle, but will hopefully develop well in the minors for the time being.

Jordan Kyrou – OHL: 56GP 39-70-109. Kyrou is certainly looking like a second-round steal for the Blues after his 109-point explosion in major-junior last season. A 2016 pick, Kyrou will now likely make the jump from the Sarnia to San Antonio (AHL) for a transition year. Known for his blazing speed and exceptional two-way play, Kyrou will look to bring his playmaking abilities with him to the Pros and continue to be an impact player.