NHL Trade Review: Blues Acquire Buchnevich

The St. Louis Blues have acquired forward Pavel Buchnevich from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Sammy Blais and a 2022 2nd round draft pick.

The Rangers are saving cap space for a big move, whether that is Jack Eichel, or maybe even Vladimir Tarasenko in a separate trade with the Blues. Buchnevich figured to be a casualty of that. As the Rangers prepare for some big upcoming RFA deals, they wanted to clear cap space so they wouldn’t have to get into a bad situation like other teams have. Buchnevich will be a restricted free agent after making $3.25 million over the past two seasons. But this trade is not good. Buchnevich was blossoming into a legitimate top-six winger, and he very well seemed like the top right-winger of the future for them. To deal him is disappointing; for this return, it is plain sad. Buchnevich easily could have netted a first-round pick. Blais is a fine, scrappy bottom-six player. He rode a 25.8 percent shooting rate to a career high in goals this year. He can provide the defensive grit that the Rangers have been targeting this offseason. Blais will be an RFA after next year. He has a $1.5 million cap hit for 2021-22.

Blais, 25, scored eight goals with seven assists for 15 points in 36 games for the Blues in 2020-21. In his NHL career, all for St. Louis, Blais has scored 17 goals with 18 assists for 35 points in 119 games.

The Blues were definitely in the market for a top-six winger. Tarasenko could be dealt any day now. Jaden Schwartz and Mike Hoffman could leave in free agency. To get a younger replacement for a second-round pick and a fourth-liner is a great deal. The next step is extending the restricted free agent Buchnevich. He could command in the $5-$6 million range long-term.

Buchnevich, 26, scored 20 goals with 28 assists for 48 points in 56 games for the Rangers in 2020-21. In his NHL career, all for New York, Buchnevich has scored 79 goals with 116 assists for 195 points in 301 games.

Published by carterhud

Carterhud.com. SI Kids Kid Reporter, Prime Time Sports Talk writer

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