The St. Louis Blues have signed winger Jaden Schwartz to a five-year, $26.75 million extension.
The contract will carry an annual cap hit of $5.35 million. Finalizing the contract terms before the weekend allowed both sides to avoid heading to an arbitration hearing, which was scheduled for July 20.
This extension is very positive for the Blues organization, especially since Schwartz is only beginning to realize his potential.
“He’s part of that core we have moving forward,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. “Schwartz and [Vladimir] Tarasenko, Robby Fabbri, Colton Parayko, Alex Pietrangelo, Jake Allen – we’re trying to build around these guys. Having Schwartz wrapped up in that group, we know we now have a core that we can build around and try to win a championship around.”
Unfortunately, Schwartz was limited to just 33 regular-season games in the 2015-16 season because of a fractured left ankle. However, he still managed to collect 22 points, including eight goals and 14 assists.
It was in this past postseason when people really started to notice the 24-year-old’s skill. Schwartz posted 14 points, including four goals and ten assists, in 20 playoff games, helping the Blues reach the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2001.
Schwartz is a gifted sniper who is already a two-time 25-goal man in his short NHL career. In 240 regular-season games, all with the Blues, Schwartz has 70 goals and 157 points. These impressive numbers illustrate his ability and explain why he is so deserving of the new contract.
Schwartz is someone you should be targeting in all fantasy hockey formats for this upcoming season. All signs point to increased productivity with Schwartz taking a bigger role on the team. If he remains healthy, 65 to 75 points is a real possibility.
Featured Image Credit: Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports