How Jordan Kyrou is turning heads this year for the Blues

St. Louis Blues Hockey

Dan Buffa

Jordan Kyrou signed a junior hockey contract with the Sarnia Sting just two months after he turned 16. No one will hand out gold medals for putting up 60 goals and 181 points in three seasons of the OHL, but Kyrou didn’t waste any time proving that, in his case, talent was always ahead of his potential. 

Potential in a young athlete is a blinded Hail Mary toss most of the time. There’s just no way to tell if talent can make the climb in the pros. For the Blues and Kyrou, there was certainly a lot of hope and potential when he was selected 35th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, which took place just a little over two years after that signing with the Sting.

Kyrou ripped off another 109 point season before making his American Hockey League debut with the Chicago Rampage in the 2018-19 season, netting 43 points in 47 games. OHL or AHL, it didn’t matter. Kyrou could compete. 

Here’s the thing. I placed most of my chips next to Kyrou when he and Robert Thomas started heating up the prospect train for the Blues. As Thomas ascended quickly, assisting on a playoff series-clinching goal against Dallas, Kyrou was finishing up his first minor league season in San Antonio. These days, the two are young guns on a team quickly showing the NHL that they have plenty of offensive firepower. 

Against Anaheim on Saturday, Kyrou scored 20 seconds into the game. He has five goals and five assists through the team’s first nine games in this pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season.

He collected three points on Saturday in less than just 13 minutes of ice time. Kyrou was playing with Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn that night. Another line had Mike Hoffman and Thomas. The top line had Zach Sanford, Ryan O’Reilly, and David Perron.

Can you imagine when Vladimir Tarasenko is gearing up to return next month, and someone on Twitter saying, “But where is Kyrou going to play?!” That’s how fast things are moving with Kyrou and the Blues, a team with four legit lines that can hurt another team. Just ask the Ducks. 

Kyrou’s ten points are two shy of his NHL total, which spans 53 games, and already loom over the nine points he put up last year in 28 games. Ten points in nine games versus nine in 28 doesn’t make the 22-year-old kid an instant legend, or something you can easily expect to see duplicated in the next 10-15 games, but it’s a promising start from a kid who knew how to play the game with bigger bodies at a very young age. The learning curve for this kid isn’t as vast as it is for the average NHL player under 25. 

You wouldn’t put his goals into the “lucky bounce” category either. Kyrou is making goaltenders look foolish for wearing so much padding and stopping so little. He flies in, swoops around defenders like traffic cones, and doesn’t forget about his teammates. One of the best things about Kyrou is that he isn’t selfish with the puck, and he helps his teammates flourish.

Big talent isn’t programmed to do that; that’s where a brain comes into play. Kyrou plays with intuition and smarts out there, making every second count. That’s why you see him playing with vets like Schwartz and Schenn. 

Once again, he’s just 22 years old. A raw birth certificate didn’t stop Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly from giving Kyrou the biggest compliment a young player could receive.

In an article by Jeremy Rutherford for The Athletic, O’Reilly called #25 “the real deal.” The veteran ginger-bearded leader went on to say that Kyrou is a “big piece for us.” He was talking about a slick but confident play in a game against Vegas last week.

In a play that ended up becoming a slam dunk meme on former Blue and current Golden Knight defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, Kyrou stripped the former Blues captain of the puck, and raced past him down to the net for the finish. Just another day at the office for the kid who is everywhere at the moment. 

This is the perfect season to see what a kid like Kyrou has in store. The 56 game schedule doesn’t let up that much from here on out, creating a deficit for teams that aren’t as young, athletic, and versatile as the Blues. When you can dress a “third line” like the Blues did against Anaheim over the weekend, the deck is already set against the opposition.

Kyrou will just be there to outskate, outthink, and outperform the other team’s fine young star. I wouldn’t call it a breakout just yet, but it’s starting to look like that for the Blues and Kyrou. Potential can be a toss-up, bringing out the good, bad, and ugly in a talent. 

So far, so very good with Jordan Kyrou.