The St. Louis Blues made another big trade ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline Friday night, trading former top draft pick Erik Johnson and Jay McClement to the Colorado Avalanche for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk. Johnson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft; Jay McClement, a Game Time favorite, was a 2001 second-rounder who’d played for the Blues since 2005.
Chris Stewart gives the Blues a much-needed scoring threat. He’s got 30 points in 36 games a year after scoring 28 goals and putting in 36 assists, and at 23 he’s still got some time to develop. Shattenkirk, a rookie defenseman, has shown some scoring ability as well.
For all his talents Johnson’s slow development made him frustrating for Blues fans, and Alex Pietrangelo’s sudden emergence as a No. 1 defender at 21 years old made him expendable. Joe Barker of Game Time sums this move up like so: “The Blues were idling and needed a shakeup.” Over the last two days it’s clear they’ve gotten just that.
The NHL Trade Deadline falls on Feb. 28, 2011, at 2 p.m. CST. The Blues haven’t been shy so far about using it.