Stewart, Shattenkirk make strong switch to St. Louis

The St. Louis Blues made one of the biggest trades of the season on Feb. 19. The Blues sent defenseman Erik Johnson and forward Jay McClement to the Colorado Avalanche for winger Chris Stewart and rookie defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. This was a reasonable trade for both teams, but the Blues got the better half of the deal; in future seasons, these players will prove instrumental to the Blues success.

Shattenkirk was invited to participate in the skills competition on All-Star Weekend, in spite of the fact that he is only a 22-year-old rookie. He was second in the League among rookie defensemen with 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) before the trade. Stewart, only 23, led the Avalanche last season with 28 goals and 64 points. And this is why the Avalanche are losing more than they’re getting. In the first 17 games with the Blues, Stewart already has nine goals and Shattenkirk has a goal and six assists. They continue to prove their domination for more than a few games at a time. With numbers like these, these players will be significant for the Blues in the coming years.

On the other hand, Johnson had a mere five goals and 14 assists before being dealt. In the 14 games with the Avalanche since the trade, Johnson has a mere three goals and four assists. Also included in the trade, McClement is a veteran on the young Avalanche team, being 27-years-old. He brings experience to the forward position where he had six goals and ten assists before being dealt. Since the trade, he has no goals or assists. Already, it can be seen that the Blues are getting more bang for their buck.

Since Stewart is only in his third season and Shattenkirk in his rookie season, the Blues have young talent they need for the future. The Blues are too far out to get back in the playoff hunt this season, but in the next few years, with the help of these new young key players, they will be in a good position.

Andrew Curran