ST. LOUIS – After moving three high-profile players in as many weeks, the St. Louis Blues might not be done making moves before Friday’s NHL trade deadline. The biggest mystery of all… What’s next?

The St. Louis Blues moved three key forwards from their Stanley Cup core – Vladimir Tarasenko, Ryan O’Reilly and Ivan Barbashev – with plenty of time before the trade deadline. Noel Acciari and Niko Mikkola also departed via trade.

All five players were pending free agents at the season’s end, and the moves aren’t surprising, with the Blues further away from playoff contention than years past.

Those haul from those deals so far…

  • Two first-round picks
  • One second-round pick
  • One third-round pick
  • One fourth-round pick
  • Forward Sammy Blais (reacquired after 2021 trade)
  • Five prospects, headlined by first-round asset Zach Dean

The next few days leading up to the trade deadline present an intriguing opportunity for the Blues, who can explore a few more moves to give the team a stronger identity beyond this season. Draft picks and young players (26 or under) have been the primary focus for general manager Doug Armstrong in recent trades, so the Blues might continue to add similar assets onto that.

Though Armstrong mentioned at the beginning of the year he did not like the concept of “rebuilding” or “retooling,” the Blues certainly seem to be heading in one of those directions.

St. Louis has moved many of its most-coveted assets already, leaving fans to wonder, who else might be moved in the upcoming days? There are several names worth watching no the trade front in the upcoming days…

Thomas Greiss

Jordan Binnington’s backup has been limited to just 16 games this season. Greiss only signed a one-year deal with the Blues and wouldn’t eat up much cap space. After leading the New York Islanders in playoff pushes from recent years, some contender might value Greiss as an experienced depth piece.

A roster with aging or injury-prone goaltenders might take a chance for a late draft pick or a prospect. Recently turning 37 years old, Greiss still has plenty to offer, making at least 30 saves on nine occasions this season. He does not have a trade clause attached, and the Blues could promote youngster Joel Hofer for good if they deal Greiss.

Josh Leivo

Another cup-of-coffee candidate for the Blues could offer some speed and sharp passing to a contender in need. Leivo enjoyed a strong AHL campaign last year with 46 points over 54 games en route to a Calder Cup. The Blues liked what they saw in the title round against their affiliate Springfield Thunderbirds, leading to a one-year contract.

Leivo started the year off showing some nice chemistry with Ryan O’Reilly, but after the ex-captain’s trade and injury, his production hasn’t quite been the same. The 29-year-old has only produced 14 points over 41 games and has been scratched several times in February. Still, he might represent more depth at a cheap cost for a team in need.

Maybe a defenseman

As mentioned in a write-up last week, the Blues are at a bit of a crossroads with their defense. Four players are locked up with no-trade clauses beyond next season. While many are nearing prime ages for their athletic careers, the results have not been there consistently. By many metrics, the defense is on pace for one of its worst seasons since the 2005-06 lockout.

How might the Blues solve that problem? Experienced defensemen aren’t always easy to come by in this league, let alone at trade deadline. St. Louis might expedite talks with other teams near the playoff bubble to check on interest. But moving a defenseman would require two tricky steps… One team willing to take on a lengthy contract and the player of interest being willing to break terms of his no-trade clause.

Colton Parayko has picked up interest from the Ottawa Senators in recent weeks. Torey Krug has been linked to the Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers, though it’s unclear if talks have happened on that regard. Marco Scandella or Robert Bortuzzo might be more realistic to move, though both have one year remaining on their current deals and might not yield as large of a return.

A surprise player

Most of the obvious trade chips for the Blues have already been moved, but St. Louis has been known to make deadline day surprises in the past. In particular, one in which the team traded former first-overall pick Erik Johnson to the Colorado Avalanche for Kevin Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart. Though Johnson has stuck around with the Avalanche longer, the Blues enjoyed some strong years from Shattenkirk and Stewart.

It’s hard to draw up the framework of something similar, but perhaps one player worth following in that regard is veteran forward Brandon Saad. The veteran is under contract through 2026 and does have a limited no-trade clause. A recent Sports Illustrated report links Saad as a possible option for the Pittsburgh Penguins after the Blues claimed Kasperi Kapanen from Pittsburgh off waivers.

Sammy Blais, although the Blues just reacquired him, might be worth monitoring as he is an unrestricted free agent at the season’s end. Same with Tyler Pitlick. Moving anyone else not previously mentioned might come as much of a surprise as the 2011 trade with Johnson and Shattenkirk.

With more draft picks, the Blues might consider using some with a surprise player to leverage a trade for another big asset. St. Louis had been considered a possible destination for young star Timo Meier, who was just traded to New Jersey in a pick-heavy deal days ago.

Regardless what happens, devoted hockey fans in St. Louis and elsewhere will be scouring their social-media feeds often to stay on top of the action. The NHL trade deadline officially is set for 2 p.m. CT Friday.