Blues acquire forward Buchnevich from Rangers, draft center Bolduc

Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

Buchnevich is a top-six winger, a sturdy player who won't shy away from scrums, with good hands. He scores most of his goals from close in.

He had a $3.25 million salary cap figure this past season, and currently is a restricted free agent (arbitration eligible).

"We agreed with Doug (that) we will have some talks after the draft weekend," Buchnevich's co-agent, Todd Diamond, told the Post-Dispatch.

"For Pavel, it's difficult. All he knows is the New York Rangers and has many close friends in that locker room. The Blues have a solid veteran core and I am sure will make him feel welcome when he gets into town."

Diamond added: "Trade talks have been going on for a few weeks but the reality of the draft and free agency/arbitration filings sped up the process. Doug is good at his job. He saw a rare opportunity and got it done."

Armstrong said he hopes to get a multi-year contract done with the newest Blue.

"I've worked with Todd Diamond on a number of contracts in the past," Armstrong said. "I've enjoyed working with Todd in the past. He's a straight shooter.

"That's the goal going in, is to see if we can get something done now or in the future on a long-term deal. At 26 years old, he's a player that's at a very good age."


A native of Cherepovets, Russia, Buchnevich was originally selected by the Rangers in the third round of the 2013 draft.

Blais, 25, had a career-high eight goals and 15 points for the Blues last season. In parts of four seasons with St. Louis, the former sixth-round draft pick had 17 goals in 119 games. The hard-hitting winger showed promise in both the 2019-20 season and this past season, but was slowed by injuries both seasons.

"At different times when he was just getting going, he was hit with the injury bug," Armstrong said. "It's unfortunate. We've had other players it's happened to in the past.

"I think Sammy's gonna be a really good player. I think there's more there. ... Sammy brought an edge to our team. He played with passion. He was an aggressive player that sought out contact in a league that doesn't have a lot of that any more."

Blais is scheduled to make $1.5 million this season, and then becomes an arbitration eligible restricted free agent after the 2021-22 season.

So with Buchnevich’s contract for this coming season unknown, the Blues currently are $18.8 million under the cap per PuckPedia.

©2021 Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.