Leaving your date unattended at a dance is a risky move, yet that’s exactly what the Blues did with Perron. After he came back to the franchise that made him a 2007 first-round pick, St. Louis left him unprotected in the expansion draft, and he was subsequently picked up by the Golden Knights. Fans were surprised to see that the Blues elected to protect enforcer Ryan Reaves instead of Perron, especially after he veteran played every game last season and posted 46 points, good for fifth on the team. Perron was lethargic in the postseason, though, tallying just one assist in 11 games before being benched during the final game. Following the change of scenery, the 29-year-old winger could be due for his best season yet, as Vegas will lean heavily on him and James Neal for offensive production. Perron will play on the Golden Knights’ top line and clock substantial time on the man advantage, where he posted 13 points last season. He’s talented enough to capitalize on those opportunities, and if he can avoid injury, he could approach his career-high 57 points.
Which Perron will show up in 2016-17? The pathetic puppy that failed in Pittsburgh or the aggressive thoroughbred who starred on Anaheim's top line? Gulp. Last season was one of serious lows and delicious highs for this speed demon. Perron failed to find a fit with the Pens' stars and delivered a paltry 16 points and a minus-13 rating in his first 43 games. That earned him a trade to Anaheim where he almost immediately clicked with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, draining 20 points (with a plus-12 rating) in 28 games. Perron is back where it all started for him and he'll step straight into the top six for the Blues, in large part because the team has so few right shots after the departure of David Backes and Troy Brouwer. He's not a 60-point winger, but he could return to the 40-45 point plateau because he just loves to fire the puck. And he'll get you 150 shots, 100 hits and 50 PIM, too. Perron is a decent mid-range pick because of this versatility, but head-to-head owners need to swallow hard before picking him up. He still delivers in fits and spurts, and that's always a bad recipe in head-to-head formats.
After one successful season and half of a not-so-successful one with the Oilers, Perron escaped the doldrums of Edmonton for a chance to skate alongside Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh. He's likely to find himself playing sidekick for one of Pittsburgh's star centers -- probably Malkin -- in the top six, and while that's usually a formula for productivity, it's worth noting that Perron totaled a pretty modest 22 points to go with a minus-8 rating and 42 PIM in 43 games after coming over to Pittsburgh last year. While the inconsistency he's flashed throughout his career should make fantasy owners wary of spending a high pick on Perron, when he can stay healthy, he's a solid points-and-PIM guy, with additional upside from there.
It looks like all that Perron needed was indeed a change of scenery to reignite his stagnant career. Perron had clashed with management in St. Louis, but ended up being a gift from above for the Oilers when he delivered 28 goals and 29 assists last season. He will once again anchor the second line for the Oilers along with Nail Yakupov, who could finally be ready to blossom. It remains to be seen who might join Perron and Yakupov as the pivot for that line. Sam Gagner is no longer with the team, so Perron could find himself mentoring Leon Draisaitl (the Oilers’ top pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft) or flanking a rotating group of centers until someone steps up to claim the job. This is not the ideal situation for production, but Perron should still approach the 30-goal plateau and deliver eight-to-10 power-play goals.
Perron was acquired this offseason in a trade with the Blues. He has always been a solid point producer for the Blues, but could see that total go way up playing with a much more talented offensive team. And a possible gig alongside Nail Yakupov and Sam Gagner should have him and his fantasy owners absolutely giddy. Fifty-five points seems reasonable.
As a restricted free agent, Perron signed a multi-year deal with the Blues in the offseason and will return as the team's most potent scorer. After Perron proved he's past the concussion that wiped out his 2010-11 season, the Blues made him a top offseason priority. He scored a career-high 21 goals and did it in just 57 games. More than any other forward on the team, Perron is the one most likely to top the 30-goal mark. He's definitely top-six material, most likely on the top line with David Backes and T.J. Oshie, and he'll see time on the power play as well.
Perron remains the biggest question mark for the Blues entering the 2011-12 season. He never returned from a November concussion and his status is in limbo as we enter training camp. He was the Blues� scoring leader at the time of his injury and showing signs as a dangerous scorer (17.2 shooting percentage). The Blues have signed several veteran forwards as insurance, but are quick to point out we should not read anything into them relative to Perron�s health. Without him, the team has few capable of filling his role; with him, they have a legitimate top-line scorer.
Perron hit the 20-goal mark in 2008-09, making it the second straight season he's increased his scoring. But that was something to be expected from the 22-year-old, who saw his ice time increase as well. On a team in need of goal scoring, he's considered one of the Blues' top marksmen. If only he had a sense of the other parts of the game (defending, decision-making, maturity), the Blues really might have something special here. He's a top-six forward on this team, likely starting the season as the first-line left winger along with Andy McDonald and Brad Boyes.
Perron, 21, is another young guy that played well beyond his years in 2008-09. He will open the year as the right wing on a line with Andy McDonald and David Backes. This unit closed last season as the best line the Blues had. His 35 assists were second on the team last season, and he should continue to pile up points with these two proven scorers while getting an increase in ice time.
Perron wowed Blues fans with his flash and finished an amazing plus-16 as a rookie on a struggling club last season. (His closest teammate in plus-minus was Jay McKee at plus-2.) Perron seemed frustrated at times with the lack of talent around him which didn't sit well with coaches and teammates, but the team's brass claims Perron has shown leadership traits around the stock of young talent in the system. He will almost certainly improve on his 13-goal, 14-assist output of last season and could continue his rapid improvement over the last three successive seasons including: 1) Undrafted as an 18-year-old before going back to the QMJHL 2) 1st-round (26th overall) choice; and 3) 62 games of NHL experience.
Perron tore up the QMJHL last season with 39 goals and 44 assists for the Lewiston Maineiacs. He is a top-10 caliber prospect for the Blues with a decent shot of making the team out of training camp this season. However, he won't be thrust into a lead role right away even if he does make the team, so don't overrate him. A more likely scenario sees him returning to the minors, but for those of you in keeper leagues, this guy is one to watch.
Perron's play in the Memorial Cup opened a lot of eyes -- he's an extremely gifted stickhandler with loads of pure talent and speed. He gets pushed around a lot so he needs to bulk up but he could be a nice complementary scorer on a top line some day. Just remember, though -- he was passed over his first time through the NHL Entry Draft (he was eligible in 2006). He has great skill but he's also a year older than the rest of this draft class.