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31 in 31

St. Louis Blues fantasy preview for 2017-18

Pietrangelo could thrive as No. 1 defenseman; Allen should be top 10 goalie

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

As part of NHL.com's 31 in 31 series, our fantasy hockey staff is breaking down each team's fantasy landscape. Fantasy-relevant players are listed in order of rank in NHL.com's top 250. Today, we look at the St. Louis Blues:

 

[BLUES 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the numbers | More team fantasy previews]

 

FORWARDS

Vladimir Tarasenko, RW -- He's scored at least 37 goals, 73 points and six game-winning goals while leading the St. Louis Blues in points in each of the past three seasons. Tarasenko had an NHL career high 75 points last season and a career high 40 goals in 2015-16. He approached 300 SOG in each of the past two seasons (292 in 2015-16, 286 in 2016-17) and is a lock to finish in the top 10 among forwards. 

Brayden Schenn, C/LW -- The League's co-leader in power-play goals (17) with Alex Ovechkin and Nikita Kucherov last season could be the Blues' No. 1 center and should be on their first power-play unit. He's had at least 25 goals, 55 points and 178 SOG in each of the past two seasons. Schenn also provides value in hits leagues (189, tied for 19th among forwards) and should provide great value this season.

Jaden Schwartz, LW -- Likely to begin the season on the top line with Tarasenko and either Schenn or Paul Stastny, Schwartz gets a boost because of his linemates. He had 55 points (19 goals, 36 assists) in 78 games last season but could approach his NHL career-highs of 63 points (28 goals) set in 2014-15. Schwartz could see his power-play ice time reduced, and although he doesn't offer much in terms of PIM (73 in 318 games), he's been a plus player in each of the past four seasons and has an NHL career shooting percentage of 13.3.

Alexander Steen, C/LW (INJ.) -- He played through the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a broken bone in his left foot but didn't require surgery and is expected to be ready for training camp. Steen was third on the Blues in points last season (51), and is a big component of the power play (2:54 ice time) and penalty kill (1:51). The 51 points were Steen's lowest in four seasons but he could see an uptick if he plays on the top line or with Schenn.

Paul Stastny, C -- He'll likely be the No. 1 center if healthy, but that's a big if. Stastny has been limited to 204 of a possible 246 games in three seasons with the Blues. He scored 18 goals last season, his most with St. Louis, and had 40 points in 66 games, including 13 on the power play. In addition to being an injury risk, Stastny doesn't take many SOG; he had 112 last season the third-lowest total of his 11-season NHL career.

 

DEFENSEMEN

Alex Pietrangelo -- After having 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) in 60 games (.50 per game) to start the season, Pietrangelo nearly doubled that output with 18 points (five goals, 13 assists; .90 per game) in 20 games after Kevin Shattenkirk was traded to the Washington Capitals on Feb. 27. Pietrangelo also saw his ice time increase from 24:53 to 26:35 after the trade, and could finish in the 55-60-point range, topping his NHL career high of 51. 

Colton Parayko -- He's averaged 34 points and 177 SOG in his first two seasons, and the 24-year old, who signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract on July 20 as a restricted free agent, should be more confident this season. He is a solid fantasy contributor and should finish in the 25-30 range among defensemen.

 

GOALTENDING

Jake Allen -- In his first season as the Blues' No. 1 goalie, Allen finished 11th in Yahoo among starting goalies but was one of the best in the League after Mike Yeo took over as coach on Feb. 1. Allen was 16-7-2 with a .938 save percentage and three shutouts in 25 games and that could carry over into the season. There's a good chance he fares better than last season (33-20-5, 2.42 GAA, .915 SV%, four SO) and ends the season as a top 10 fantasy asset.

Others to consider: Carter Hutton (G), Ivan Barbashev (C/LW)

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