Our boys have started off the season with a 5-1-0 record, but what makes this start even more remarkable is the group of players creating chances and producing points. The young guns, the baby faces, the players who are giving 110% every night to keep their spot in the NHL.
I remember thinking to myself before this season started, “how are these young players going to compete at the highest level?” It was a question I am sure most Blues fans were asking themselves. Young talent is at the forefront of future success, but could it create instant success?
The Blues have curated a team of new faces that is creating success right out of the gate. Jordan Kyrou is showing glimpses of superstar talent in the early stages of 2021-22. Rooster (Kyrou) had a highlight-reel tuck against Arizona that made my jaw drop. It was a play where we would have heard a patented Panger call, “He gave him the ol’ nine of hearts!”
Two weeks later, he is still leading the team in points with 9 through the first 6 games.
Another bright shining light is Klim Kostin. The Russian has only had a small chance to prove himself, but from what I have seen he is a great fit for the ‘Chief Berube system’ which we all know is about physicality and teamwork. He finally earned some quality minutes since James Neal took a seat against that battle with the Yotes. In that same game, Kostin mirrored Kyrou by lighting the lamp twice. It is not a coincidence that these two are hitting a stride. I always thought hitting stride is something that comes with time, effort, and patience, but it comes in a new face...
Jake Neighbours has hit stride immediately. He caught Chief Berube’s eye during training camp/preseason and has earned himself a spot on the starting lineup as a 19-year-old. There’s a quiet swagger to him that helps him on the ice, and if you haven’t noticed it yet... he is a stud. The kid squeezes himself into high-quality scoring chances, lays big hits, and has super soft hands that reminds me of a player like Matthew Tkachuk. Schenner, his current landlord and roommate, set him up for his first career goal in the Show and it was a beauty. He crashed the crease on an offensive zone line change and found the back of the net with a crisp snapshot.
A universal reaction had to be, “Wow, it couldn’t have gone any better than that.”
Before this season, I asked myself “how are these young players going to compete at the highest level?”
My new question is “how important are these young players going to be during our playoff run?”
So far, I couldn’t be happier watching these kids take the NHL by storm.
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