He was drafted too soon. But that isn't Magnus Paajarvi's fault. The Swedish winger was never an elite player, even back to his days in the SHL. His highest production in Sweden was in 2009-10 for Timra IK, putting up 29 points in 49 games. He went on to take the honors for having the most goals for a junior player, 12.
It has been an interesting case when it comes to Paajarvi, a tenth overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft. A player who should be slotted in a depth role yet at the same time due to when he was drafted, fans have always expected more.
But despite the frustration many have had in him, there may be light at the end of the tunnel. This came in the way of a former teammate of his. A player who had the same pressures and expectations, even more so as he was drafted first overall in 2012. Nail Yakupov could very well bring out the best in Paajarvi.
It didn't take long for the two to find chemistry, they were easily on the best line against Minnesota. There does seem to be a spark Paajarvi has, the speed has always been there but the hands and drive was lacking. Maybe it's due to the fact he is currently on the lowest contract of his young career of 700,000. Or possibly it just took the right player to wake him up on the ice. Regardless of the reason, Paajarvi does look a bit different,
This doesn't mean more opportunities will be coming his way though. You can't exactly say he's a "lock" in the lineup, as Jaden Schwartz returns from injury.
So where do the Blues go from here? Paajarvi is still an RFA after this season, so they still hold his rights whether he plays great or not. But maybe this new found chemistry with Yakupov could be used as a way to raise his stock. A true "win-win" for both sides. Paajarvi gets an opportunity to get a bigger contract elsewhere while the Blues make room for other players they can slot in bottom six roles. He honestly isn't a terrible player but for what Paajarvi can bring to the table, the Blues have other options and someone has to go.