— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) July 8, 2015
Paajarvi was traded to the Blues from the Edmonton Oilers in the summer of 2013 as a key piece of a deal that sent David Perron to the Oilers. The Blues also got a second round pick in the deal. He played 55 games for the Blues that first season, scoring just six goals and six assists.
Last season, the former tenth overall pick in the 2009 draft played just 10 games for the Blues, tallying a single assist and no goals. Success didn’t come easy even in the AHL, where he scored 11 goals and 18 assists through 36 games for the Chicago Wolves.
His production peaked in 2012-13, his final year with the Oilers, where he posted a 1.6 P/60 at even strength. Oddly, that’s the only year where he posted a negative relative possession number. He has absorbed negative relative zone starts with St. Louis, but he has yet to prove he’s worth the high praise that got him selected tenth overall with career-highs of 15 goals and 34 points both posted in his rookie season. That was also the only season where he’s been healthy for a full season.
He’s just 24, but on a one-year contract, it’ll be a big year for Paajarvi to try and lock in his place with the NHL roster.
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Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.