I will admit that when the Blues announced their big off-season signing of David Perron this past summer, I was skeptical. I didn’t see how he would fit in with the Blues, at least in terms of the type of team they had last year. Then the Blues and coach Ken Hitchock announced they would be adjusting their style of play to a more up-tempo pace. I still was reserved in the signing because I did not think he would play a significant role on the team. But a quarter of a way through the season and I will admit, I was wrong.
David Perron has played his role with the Blues perfectly. Perron has shown he is versatile enough to play on any line, bouncing mainly between the second and third lines but also getting shifts with the top line when needed. On the year Perron is second on the team in points (15), tied for third in goals (6), and third in shot percentage. He is on pace for a 20-goal season, which would be the first time he reached that mark since the 2013-14 season. And while he is known to be a streaky player, and is currently on one of the streaks with an NHL best seven game active point streak and a total of 10 points during those games, it has been his play off the puck as well that has made an impact.
Many fans are like me who remember Perron from earlier this decade when he was the flashy skater always looking for a highlight reel play. However he has shown that he has rounded out his game during his time spent with Edmonton, Pittsburgh, and Anaheim. Perron has taken his high energy which was only noticeable during offensive rushes towards the net and put that in his fore-checking and defense. Perron actually ranks 6th on the team currently in hits (20) among forwards and is third on the team with 18 takeaways. While that may not seem like a huge number it is the fact that he combines that with his offensive skill, doing both jobs he is asked to do and filling his role as a two-way player with upside.
One needed to only watch last night’s shootout win over the Minnesota Wild to see what Perron brings to the Blues. Perron recorded two assists in the game and netted the deciding goal in the shootout period. In addition his energy on defense was noticeable, resulting in a team high three takeaways during the game, while adding a hit.
Perron may not have lived up to the hype when he broke into the NHL at 18 years old, after finishing second in the QMJHL among rookie goal scorers with 39 goals. (Prospect Story HERE) However as his career continued, of which he is now in his 10th season, he has shown that a player can grow and still be a valuable piece for a team. He set aside the talk of being a highlight reel offensive talent and went to work on the defensive side of his game to become an ideal two-way player. So while Perron may not be what teams and scouts thought he would be and wanted, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones, he may be what you need.