The St. Louis Blues headed into Wednesday's NHL expansion draft knowing they were guaranteed to lose a player to the Seattle Kraken. Now they know which player it'll be: defenseman Vince Dunn.
Dunn, 24, has at times provided an electric offensive presence since reaching the NHL in 2017-18. He was one of three Blues defensemen (along with Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo) to score double-digit goals during the 2018-19 season, tallying 12 goals with 23 assists. While he's somewhat undersized for an NHL defenseman at 6-foot and 203 pounds, he also played steady defense for his first three seasons in St. Louis, posting a plus-30 rating over that span. And he etched his name into Blues history in 2019, when he was part of the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship team.
Dunn struggled during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season, though, sitting out as a healthy scratch in late January and finishing with six goals, 14 assists and a minus-8 rating. He dealt with a series of injuries and didn't play after April 24 due to an upper-body injury, missing all four games of the Blues' first-round playoff series loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
The 2015 second-round pick finishes his Blues career with 32 goals and 70 assists in 267 games.
The Kraken chose not to select forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who was left unprotected by the Blues despite ranking fifth in franchise history in goals (218) and 10th in points (442). Tarasenko, 29, reportedly requested a trade earlier this offseason and has played in just 34 games over the past two seasons while undergoing a trio of shoulder surgeries.
Even with Dunn no longer in the mix, the Blues still have quite a bit of left-handed shooting defensive depth. Justin Faulk, Torey Krug, Niko Mikkola and Jake Walman all saw extensive NHL action during the 2020-21 season. Scott Perunovich, who won the 2020 Hobey Baker Award at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, is also expected to be an option on the blueline after undergoing shoulder surgery in Feb. 2021 and missing most of his first professional season.