The St. Louis Blues have made a significant move in their offseason signing one of the top names on the market. According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Blues have agreed to terms with forward Brandon Saad on a five-year contract worth $4.5 million per season.
A veteran of 10 seasons, Saad has played in 632 games totalling 371 points with the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche, being an effective two-way second line winger. He was drafted in the second round of the 2011NHL Entry Draft, being taken 43rd overall by the Blackhawks. He has had two different stints with the Blackhawks, as he was traded in 2015 for Artem Anisimov and was sent back to the Blackhawks in 2017 in the Artemi Panarin deal.
In 2020, Saad was traded to the Avalanche with Nikita Zadorov heading the other way. A five time 20-goal scorer and reaching the 50-point mark three times, he saw his production dip this season as he recorded only 15 goals and 24 points. After averaging over 17 minutes per game with both the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets, he averaged just over 14 minutes this season.
Saad has also been really effective as a playoff performer. He’s a two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Blackhawks, playing a very significant role for them in 2013 and 2015. In the playoffs, he has recorded 25 goals and 48 points in 91 postseason games.
Fit With the Blues
There’s no doubt that the Blues have bolstered their offence by adding a complimentary piece to provide steady secondary scoring. With Jaden Schwartz signing with the Seattle Kraken and Vladimir Tarasenko possibly on the way out after requesting a trade, he’ll fit as a perfect replacement. He has the ability to score in all areas on the ice and in different ways. He can score from the outside as he has a good shot or even get to the front of the net in order to tip in or knock in loose pucks. Depending on what happens with future moves, Saad is going to be relied on heavily to lead the offense along with Pavel Buchnevich.
Saad had good possession metrics as he had a five-on-five Corsi For percentage of 56.70%. Being on the second line with the Blues, he can provide a great forecheck and has the size and presence. He can be a threat in the high danger area as he had a goals for percentage of 60.71% when he was on the ice, finishing seventh in that category on the Avalanche with a minimum of 200 minutes played. That two-way play and ability to engage in puck battles and take advantage of his opportunities is going to greatly benefit the Blues going forward.
Hockey has been a big part of my life since watching my first Leafs game to currently coaching minor hockey. I previously interned at The Hockey News and worked on Toronto Marlies broadcasts for Rogers TV. Aside from hockey, I also enjoy drumming, animation and impressions/ voices.