In losing David Backes and Troy Brouwer this offseason, the Blues lost a duo of forwards who provided them with a combined 39 regular season and 15 playoff goals. While they brought back David Perron, who collected 12 goals in 2015-16, to help offset the loss, the Blues are going to need someone from their returning group of forwards and help replace the production of Backes and Brouwer. At this point, the most obvious guy to do that is Dmitrij Jaskin.
Jaskin had about as bad of a sophomore slump as one can have in 2015-16, scoring just four goals in 65 games and even receiving a brief demotion to AHL Chicago in the season following a rookie campaign during which he scored 13 goals in 54 games. However, after breaking into the Blues’ lineup late in their second-round series against the Stars, he did find some success, collecting a goal and an assist in six games.
The large majority of Jaskin’s goals two seasons ago came with Paul Stastny as his center, and when he was paired with less-skilled players last season, his production went down. This season, Jaskin’s expected to get more action at center (and more time in a top-nine role) than he’s ever had before, and it’s squarely on him to sink or swim. Jaskin now has the benefit of having 139 NHL games under his belt, and he’ll likely get more chances to shoot the puck than he’s ever had before, but the pressure is on for him to show that his 2014-15 production was a true sign of things to come, rather than just being a testament to Stastny’s superior ability to create great scoring opportunities for his linemates.