Blues Lock Up Breakout Star Jordan Kyrou

The St. Louis Blues locked up another breakout star to a long-term extension. Jordan Kyrou was an All-Star last season, earning him an eight-year extension with an annual average value (AAV) of $8.125 million. This is the exact same deal as his counterpart Robert Thomas.

Related: Blues’ Kyrou Extension Talks Bringing Clarity to Team’s Future

The Blues have now locked up two of four essential pieces that need new deals after the 2022-23 season. Captain Ryan O’Reilly and winger Vladimir Tarasenko both head into next summer as unrestricted free agents if the Blues don’t move now. Kyrou and Thomas would have been restricted free agents next summer, but the Blues felt it was best to get a long-term deal done now.

Why Kyrou’s Deal Got Done Now

Kyrou’s salary cap hit for the 2022-23 season is set to be $2.8 million. That’s great value for a player with his skill and production. Rather than risking another bridge deal before he hits unrestricted free agency, the Blues decided to get it done now. There are various reasons for the need to get it done, some of which are more significant than others.

Jordan Kyrou St. Louis Blues
Jordan Kyrou, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Kyrou and Thomas are the future of the franchise. General manager Doug Armstrong has made it clear with these two extensions. Many teams in the NHL have waited too long to get extensions done with young stars. The Blues didn’t want to make that same mistake with the salary cap rising within the next few seasons. These two contracts with a cap hit of $8.125 million will look much better down the line as the salary cap rises.

This contract will run through the prime years of Kyrou’s career. The Blues have clarity for the future with these deals, it also allows them to focus on trying to extend O’Reilly. Once the Blues extended Thomas, the next move was to extend Kyrou, and they have gotten both done. They didn’t want to have one of the two going into this season without an extension which is the best way to view the situation.

Kyrou Has Become a Star

After showing promise during the 2020-21 season, Kyrou fully broke out in 2021-22. He exploded for 75 points in 74 games with 27 goals. He possesses 40-goal potential with his speed and skill. He was still over a point-per-game last season while slowing down in the second half of the season. With the departure of David Perron, Kyrou will get more ice-time and have better opportunities to play alongside O’Reilly or Thomas.

Another perk for Kyrou with Perron out the door is power play potential. He didn’t get to play with the Blues’ top unit last season, and I expect that to change. The Blues rarely have had a player like Kyrou with explosive skating ability, and he has the potential to be an elite game-breaking winger. His speed was on display when he won the fastest skater competition during the All-Star festivities last season. There is no doubt that he has become a star, and his production confirms that.

Expectations for This Season

The Blues should not expect any sort of letdown from Kyrou in 2022-23. He will have ample opportunity to play on one of the top two lines with more ice-time. There will be pressure on Kyrou and Thomas to perform to the same level next season, and they should be up to the challenge.

Jordan Kyrou St. Louis Blues
Jordan Kyrou, St. Louis Blues (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It’s not crazy to think that Kyrou could be the Blues’ first 100-point scorer since Brendan Shanahan had 102 in 1993-94. If he and Thomas can become anything like Brett Hull and Adam Oates were in St. Louis, then it is a major win for the team. My expectation for Kyrou is over 80 points and upwards of 35 goals. The biggest key will be staying healthy as he has missed limited time over his career.

The next move for the Blues should be to re-sign O’Reilly. He is the final key piece that will be free next summer as it remains unlikely that they extend Tarasenko with where things currently stand. Overall, the Kyrou extension is a win for the Blues and their future, they are in great hands with two of the league’s brightest young players being locked down for the next nine seasons.

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