St. Louis Blues: Projecting the Opening 23-Man Roster


With the St. Louis Blues’ final roster cuts reportedly coming up on Tuesday, it’s time to take one final guess at who will be on the club’s opening roster when they cut from 27 to the maximum 23 players. These predictions take into account the way players have been used during the preseason, the groupings of players over the past few days during the Blues’ team bonding trip in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and general performance in the lead-up to the regular season.


Alexander SteenPaul StastnyVladimir Tarasenko

Jaden SchwartzJori LehteraRobby Fabbri

Dmitrij JaskinDavid BackesTroy Brouwer

Scottie UpshallKyle BrodziakRyan Reaves

Extras: Steve Ott, Magnus Paajarvi

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It’s still highly possible that Paajarvi, who was waived by the team earlier this week, will end up back in the AHL to start the season. With that said, having him around as an extra makes more sense than keeping 22-year-old Ty Rattie in the press box on a nightly basis, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to add professional tryout player Scott Gomez to the payroll if he’s not going to be in the regular lineup.

Though they’ll likely rotate based on the looks of opposing teams, it looks like the Blues’ other remaining tryout player, Scottie Upshall, has passed up Steve Ott and will be part of the fourth line to start the season. Upshall should provide a little bit more of an offensive presence than Ott, and along with newly-acquired Kyle Brodziak, he’ll increase the skill of the fourth line. Since Reaves has struggled to get back up to speed following an injury, it’s possible that all 14 of the Blues’ forwards could get solid playing time during the early going.


Alex PietrangeloJay Bouwmeester

Carl GunnarssonKevin Shattenkirk

Colton ParaykoRobert Bortuzzo

Petteri Lindbohm

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I originally had Chris Butler making the team with Petteri Lindbohm going back to the minors, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Jeremy Rutherford quoted GM Doug Armstrong on Sunday as saying that two defensemen among Lindbohm, Colton Parayko, and Joel Edmundson were likely to make it. Edmundson, who appears to be the player still most in need of seasoning among the trio, is the odd man out in this scenario.

It’s still quite easy to see a scenario where Edmundson makes the team, because he’s a lefthanded shooter while Parayko shoots from the right. With that said, Parayko was arguably the Blues’ best player in the preseason and provides a much more unique skill set than that of Edmundson, so he deserves to be in the opening night lineup. With Gunnarsson rebounding from an injury and less impressive overall than the Blues thought he would be, the Blues will likely rotate Gunnarsson, Parayko, Bortuzzo, and Lindbohm during the early going to get everyone involved. That, of course, will require the participation of Ken Hitchcock, who typically is reluctant to switch up his lineup early on if it brings success.


Jake Allen, Brian Elliott

There’s no word as to who will get the opening night start between Allen and Elliott, but it figures that it would be Allen considering that he finished last season as the starter and had success in two starts against Edmonton last season. Either way, they’ll both get a good amount of work during the first month of the season.

Next: Blues Facing Tough Roster Decisions as Camp Wraps Up