Many "observers" of the Stewart/EJ trade keep going on and on about the trade but very few pick up on the fact that the Avs acquired St. Louis' first rounder this year or next. I'm not going to go into the other pieces of the trade but the first really is very important. Many would think to brush off the pick if it ended up a 2012 pick as the Blues are bound to be better... right?
Not so fast...
St Louis currently sits within the Bottom 10 teams on the outside looking in (to the playoffs). This gives the option to St Louis to swap their 2012 1st round pick for the Avs 2012 2nd round pick. But WILL they? The 2012 draft is considered to be much deeper than the 2011 draft. If the Blues end up in the top 10 picks, would it be better to give that pick up instead of gambling with their 2012 pick? If they are in the 8-10 range... it may very well be.
St Louis had a great start to the season and have tailed off since then. As Avs fans, we know how that is. If you erase the great start by the Blues, you have an under .500 team for the past 50+ games. Apply that over 62 games and you have a team around the 55-58 point area. That would put them LOWER then the Avs this year. Sure teams have streaks and deal with injuries but this is a team that has moved a lot of good solid players and are set to go with younger players with potentially higher upsides... and again we all know how that can go. Could St Louis continue their below .500 ways next year? These next 20 games will go a long way to determining what the Blues may want to do with their 2011 pick if they have the option between this year or next.
But one thing remains clear... that St Louis 1st rounder is very important.