Buchnevich to STL for Blais and a 2nd in 2022
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 23, 2021
Pavel Buchnevich Traded to Blues From Rangers
Over his five-year NHL career, Buchnevich has only played for the Rangers. He has put up 79 goals and 116 assists for 195 career points in 301 career games. The Rangers originally drafted the 26-year-old Russian winger in the third round, 75th overall of the 2013 NHL Draft. He’s yet to score a post-season goal in a playoff and qualifying round appearance each.
Last season he scored 20 goals and 28 assists for 48 points in 54 games. He also added 42 minutes in penalties for the 2020-21 season. His possession numbers were 47.8 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of -0.7.
Buchnevich has also gotten international success with his home country at the IIHF World Junior Championships. He got bronze with his home country in 2014 and silver in 2015 for Russia.
As part of the deal, the Rangers get 2019 Stanley Cup Champion Sammy Blais and a 2022 2nd round draft pick. Blais is a solid player for the Blues but mostly on the bottom six. He played a critical role for the Blues en route to the Stanley Cup in 2019. Last season, Blais recorded 15 points with the Blues (eight goals and seven assists).
What This Means for the Future
Buchnevich was a key part of the Rangers’ offence, as he’s part of the KBZ line with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. The left-winger is a two-time 20-goal scorer and has recorded 40 points in three of the past four seasons. Buchnevich was set to receive a pay raise as an arb eligible RFA, but this is a head-scratcher for general manager Chris Drury. Buchnevich camp expected a long-term deal after he signed a bridge deal two seasons ago. In addition, the Rangers had $23.5 million in cap space with pending RFA’s Igor Shesterkin and Filip Chytil to sign as well. Buchnevich if he had stayed would have played a big role in new coach Gerard Gallant‘s offence. Kreider and Zibanejad have great chemistry with the young Russian but can play with other forwards if needed.
He’s also a solid penalty-killer and netted three shorthanded goals in the last campaign. That’s not bad considering his defensive game struggled at times when he was younger. Buchnevich is a great skater and can play all three forward positions if he has to. The Cherepovets, Russian native also has a tremendous shot that has netted double-digit goals four times in his career. Not to mention the Blues have been in contact with Buchnevich’s camp about an extension.
As far as Blais goes, the Rangers are looking to play with a new edge. Already bringing in Barclay Goodrow and signing him to a six-year deal. Goodrow played a big role for the Lightning in their runs to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles. And if Goodrow is paired with Blais that will be a tough line to play against for sure.