St. Louis Blues Captain Alex Pietrangelo had another spectacular season, as he led his team to a 42-19-20 record in seventy-one games played, good for the top spot in the Central Division and Western Conference. Should the NHL decide to resume play, the St. Louis Blues are in great positioning to defend their title, as they are undoubtedly one of the top teams in the Western Conference, and would most likely be the number one overall seed in the conference if the season were to resume directly with the playoffs. They were one of the hottest teams in the league before the stoppage, as they had an 8-2-0 record in their last ten games.
Pietrangelo played seventy-games for the Blues this season, in which he scored sixteen goals, and registered thirty-six assists for fifty-two points. Those thirty-six assists were the second-most on the team, behind only Ryan O’Reilly’s forty-eight. For more specifics regarding the incredible season O’Reilly had, check out our article here. Pietrangelo averaged a whopping twenty-four minutes, eleven seconds of average ice-time, which is incredible given he’s a thirty-year-old defenseman. In fact, he averaged about three more minutes more than Jay Bouwmeester, who averaged the second-most amount of ice time with twenty-one minutes, thirty-four seconds. Pietrangelo even had an even penalty taken/drawn ratio at 10:10, which is again impressive for his age and position. He also had an equally impressive 45:43 giveaway/takeaway ratio, which is among the best in the NHL for defensemen. Lastly, he finished the season +11 in +/-, which was tied for fifth-best on the Blues with Ryan O’Reilly behind Vince Dunn (+15), Marco Scandella (+14), Zach Sanford (+13), and Robert Bortuzzo (+12).
AB wise, Pietrangelo finished 2019-20 with a +2.13 individual AB score, which is an incredible number for a thirty-year-old defenseman. This score was the eighth-highest on St. Louis this season behind Ryan O’Reilly (+4.87), Jaden Schwartz (+3.94), Oskar Sundqvist (+3.13), Ivan Barbashev (+2.94), Vladimir Tarasenko (+2.77), Alexander Steen (+2.58), and Robert Thomas (+2.34). Pietrangelo even has a +1.74 career AB score, and a streak of five consecutive positive individual AB seasons. His +2.13 score this season was his highest since the +2.54 score he registered in 2017-18.
According to our arbitration analyzer, Alex Pietrangelo is the fourth-best defenseman in hockey behind Washington’s John Carlson, Nashville’s Roman Josi, and Tampa’s Victor Hedman, and he deserves to be compensated as such. Pietrangelo’s contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, making him an unrestricted free agent. Due to the fact Pietrangelo plays one of the most highly coveted positions in all of hockey right now (right-shot defenseman), he will absolutely have a large number of suitors should he hit the open market. Our arbitration analyzer confirms the belief that Pietrangelo should be the highest-paid defenseman in all of hockey, as we think he should exceed Drew Doughty’s $11 million AAV and Erik Karlsson’s $11.5. Pietrangelo is the real deal, and we could see him making anywhere from 10.5-11.5 million based on our projections. More to come.