The St. Louis Blues are stacked at centre. Paul Stastny and KHL star Jori Lehtera (who looks like he’ll be a top-nine forward immediately) join a group that already had a pretty good quartet in David Backes, Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund and Max Lapierre.
It’s been suggested that the Blues would probably be very willing to move Berglund. Is he a fit in Edmonton?
By offence, Berglund isn’t really a second-line centre. On average he scores about 1.6 points per hour at even-strength and places around 183rd among NHL regular forwards in that category. That makes him an exceptional third-liner (which is the role he was in with the Blues), but a decidedly below-average second line player.
chart via somekindofninja.com
Decent if unspectacular totals here. Berglund outperformed the team mostly in years where it wasn’t very good, with 2013-14 being the exception to the rule; it’s also worth noting that he’s done much better when spotted in the offensive zone rather than being asked to do defensive zone lifting (no surprise there).
Everything here points to a really good third-line pivot to me. The Blues have been an awfully good team the last few years and Berglund’s been in the range (give or take a little) of what we would expect in terms of Corsi over the last three years.
Other Stuff Worth Noting
- Berglund has some history with David Perron – in 2008-09 in particular the pair had a pretty decent run together against good opponents.
- Berglund’s a nice acquisition in at least two other ways. He just turned 26, so he’s still in the prime years of his career, and at 6’3”, 217 pounds he helps the Oilers with their desire to add size.
- St. Louis has been a top-10 team on the penalty kill for three consecutive seasons (second in the NHL in 2013-14). Berglund has averaged about 1:30 per game with the Blues shorthanded in each of those three seasons.
- Berglund’s also been used on the power play, mostly on the second unit, where he posts consistently mediocre point totals but been part of a unit with decent overall effectiveness.
- Berglund’s faceoff win rate is consistently in the 47 percent range.
- Looking quickly at the NHL’s real-time stats, Berglund’s not an over-the-top hitter but he does land checks.
Patrik Berglund is a quality No. 3 centre at even-strength by virtually any measure, adds value on the penalty kill and is probably a replacement-level power play option. Given his age, he’s likely to stay at that level for some time to come. He’s not a good fit for the Oilers’ vacant No. 2 centre position, but is a strong candidate for the No. 3 job and could presumably be asked to play over his head for a season or two (though a contender wouldn’t do it).
The value on that player type fluctuates, but this isn’t a situation where Edmonton should even consider dealing a first round pick. Last year Perron fetched a good young NHL player (Magnus Paajarvi) and a second round pick in trade; Berglund plays centre but not as high up the lineup so a second round pick and a decent prospect would seem a reasonable deal.
St. Louis just added forwards at the draft and has a bunch of good right-shooting defensive prospects, but could use some lefties; the Oilers have a bunch and could certainly move one.
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