How did the Blues' main group of forwards fare during the 2014-15 season? We break down their individual performances and provide overall season grades. By Elisabeth Meinecke
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY SportsBrace Hemmelgarn
Vladimir Tarasenko: A+
He was tied for fifth in the NHL with 37 goals scored, set a career high with 73 points, made the league's All-Star team and scored six postseason goals. At 23, he's one of the league's brightest stars.
NHLI via Getty ImagesScott Rovak
Ryan Reaves: A
Reaves was one of the Blues' best players. He knew his role as a fourth-liner and performed it well. He led the team in hits and had a career-high 12 points.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsJerome Miron
Jori Lehtera: A-
Lehtera's passes were like a Midas touch to Vladimir Tarasenko, although the Finnish center underwent some bumps and bruises during his first full season in the NHL after playing in the Kontinental Hockey League. Lehtera helped boost Tarasenko to an elite scoring level in the NHL, and the tandem should be fascinating to watch for several more seasons.
Jaden Schwartz: A-
A so-so postseason was the only downside to a banner year for Schwartz, who had a career-high 63 points and formed a dynamic combination when paired on a line with Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko. Schwartz had the team's best shooting percentage during the regular season.
Alexander Steen: B+
Steen had a fantastic regular season, setting a career high with 64 points (second on the team) and again breaking the 20-plus goal marker -- and he did it while being shuffled around in various line combinations. Along with other core guys such as David Backes and T.J. Oshie, Steen couldn't sustain the production in the playoffs.
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY SportsChris Humphreys
David Backes: B
In his eighth full NHL season, Backes hit a career high in assists (32) and finished with his second-most productive offensive campaign (58 points). The captain also has turned scoring the blue-collar, crash-the-net goal into an art. But the strongest element of his game vanished in the postseason (one goal, one assist).
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY SportsJoe Camporeale
Marcel Goc: B
Goc joined the Blues in a midseason trade with Pittsburgh and eventually played well enough to eat away at other centers' ice time. But his playoff situation proved uneven. He was scratched for two of the Blues' six postseason games (both St. Louis losses).
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY SportsJasen Vinlove
Dmitrij Jaskin: B
Unable to crack a roster spot out of training camp, Jaskin proved his staying power once the Blues recalled him in late October. In essentially a third-line role, he played 54 games and had 18 points. In the postseason, he tied for third-most hits on the team, showing he knows how to contribute even while on an offensive learning curve.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY SportsJeff Curry
T.J. Oshie: B
Despite getting off to a slow start, Oshie had the second-best regular season of his career offensively (55 points, fifth on the Blues). He finished with only two postseason points, though his lone goal was a greasy netter that gave the Blues a spark in an elimination Game 6, and he was one of the few Blues who looked alive in that game.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY SportsJasen Vinlove
Paul Stastny: B
Stastny went through an adjustment period in his first season in St. Louis after coming over from Colorado. Though his scoring (46 points) fell short of expectations, he contributed in other ways, leading the Blues in faceoff percentage and game-winning goals. But after scoring 10 points in seven playoff games for the Avalanche a year ago, he produced only one point in six games for St. Louis.
Steve Ott: B-
Ott, a fourth-liner, succeeded in making his presence felt in the postseason, though his physical play failed to rattle the Wild and he had no postseason points (after scoring 12 in the regular season).
Chris Porter: C
Porter spent some of the season on injured reserve and played in only 24 games, scoring two points. It was his first season without spending time at a Blues minor league affiliate.
Patrik Berglund: C+
Berglund, who played primarily on the third line with Paul Stastny and Dmitrij Jaskin, finished with only 27 points in the regular season but was one of the few Blues forwards who improved his game as the postseason approached. From a third-line perspective his season was solid, though not what was expected of the 25th overall pick in the 2006 draft.