2 Trade Targets For the St. Louis Blues

There has been very little drop-off since the Blues won their franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup in 2019. They went from a team destined for the draft lottery to playoff contenders on a consistent basis. This year is no different. The Blues currently sit second in the Central Division with a 19-10-5 record, and although the teams chasing them have several games in hand, St. Louis looks as though they will comfortably make the playoffs once again. Despite that, there is always room for improvement. A few players on the Blues' roster haven't carried as much weight as might be expected of them, and GM Doug Armstrong is no stranger to tinkering with his lineup to help his team find success. Here are two players who could help the Blues down the stretch this season.

Jakob Chychrun

The asking price from Arizona for this player is reportedly very high, but the Blues are competing now and shouldn't be too worried about mortgaging some of their future. Their left side on defence is noticeably weaker than the right side, and although Colton Parayko hasn't looked quite like his elite self for the last couple of seasons, he is still outscoring last year's performance in just two more games played. That said, Justin Faulk and Torey Krug have been carrying much of the load on defence, and while they have been stellar, the Blues would enjoy the opportunity to spread that work around a bit. Chychrun is a perfect candidate to take on some of that responsibility. He would help steady Parayko's pairing and bring some added offence to their blueline. Similarly, Chychrun would benefit from not being the only reliable defender on his squad and could defer to his teammates more than he has the opportunity to do currently in Arizona. The package would be steep, but the Blues have the assets to make a deal here work, and Chychrun's low cap hit and extended term would make it well worth the price.

Bryan Rust

If there's one player who looks like he may need a change in scenery on the Blues, it's Brayden Schenn. Currently playing third-line minutes alongside Ivan Barbashev and Pavel Buchnevich, Schenn has just 5 goals and 14 points in 20 games. He's a far cry from the five-time 20-goal scorer that he's been in the past, and at 30-years old one wouldn't expect him to fall off so significantly at this stage of his career. He seems primed to benefit from a change of scenery. Meanwhile, although injuries have plagued him, Bryan Rust currently has 7 goals and 17 points in 14 games played this season. He's a shade younger than Schenn at 29-years old, and while he benefits from lining up alongside Sidney Crosby, a decrease in his playing time would help Rust stay healthy over a longer period. The Pens probably won't renew Rust's contract, whatever his price may amount to, but it would likely come in at around what Schenn is making now: $6.5 million. Rust, meanwhile, currently makes just over half of that as a pending UFA at $3.5 million. The difference is that Schenn is locked up for 6 more years after this one, and could step right into that spot alongside Sid and Jake Guentzel for the foreseeable future. Schenn is making too much to play on the Blues' 3rd line for six more years, but the issue here is he has a full No-Trade Clause which he'd have to waive to go to Pittsburgh. If anything would encourage that, it's the opportunity to play with the great Sidney Crosby. Maybe he'd like to see what the other side of the Battle of Pennsylvania looks like.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports