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Blues, Kyrou agree on two-year contract

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Colorado Avalanche vs St. Louis Blues

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Devan Dubnyk watches as St. Louis Blues center Jordan Kyrou brings the puck to the front of the net in the third period during a game between the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

Looking for bigger and better things from Jordan Kyrou this coming season, the Blues have rewarded Kyrou’s breakout 2020-21 campaign with a bigger and better contract.

The 23-year-old forward has agreed to a two-year, $5.6 million deal. The annual average value of $2.8 million is close to four times Kyrou’s salary cap count from last season ($758,333).

The contract agreement was reached Tuesday morning with Kyrou talking with his agent, his father and Blues general manager Doug Armstrong to finish things off. When asked if a celebration was in order, Kyrou told the Post-Dispatch: “I don’t really have any plans as of yet, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something.”

Kyrou scored 14 goals with 21 assists in 55 games last season, including two-goal games against Anaheim (Jan. 30), San Jose (March 20) and Minnesota (May 13). He scored the game-winning goal in the Blues’ first two wins of the season.

Kyrou averaged a career-high 14 minutes 25 seconds of ice time. His goal total and point total both were fifth-best on the team.

Entering last season, Kyrou’s career bests were four goals, five assists and 28 games played. His immediate goal was to become an every-day player, which he achieved, missing only an April 17 contest at Arizona due to illness.

“Coming into last season, my biggest thing was I wanted to be consistent, be a consistent player in the lineup,” Kyrou said. “I feel like I made good strides last year. This year I gotta do the same thing.”

The Blues have made it clear they will Kyrou every opportunity to claim a top-six role this coming season. The new contract is a vote of confidence, and with Jaden Schwartz and Mike Hoffman both leaving in free agency, Kyrou has a chance to get additional time on the power play, and with that, more scoring opportunities.

“Obviously, with the Blues and the organization, all the staff, we have a really good connection with each other,” Kyrou said. “We feel really good about each other. I’m obviously excited to be back for sure. ... I love playing for St. Louis.”

As usual, Kyrou is spending his summer training in London, Ontario, about 1 ½ hours north of his hometown of Toronto. He gets back home on weekends to visit family and friends.

“I’m working on all parts of my game,” Kyrou said. “Work on strength, my speed. Pretty much same as always.”

Kyrou was a restricted free agent entering this offseason, and will still be an RFA coming out of this contract in 2023. He’s the third restricted free agent to re-up with the Blues in five days, joining Ivan Barbashev (Friday) and Dakota Joshua (Saturday).

The Blues now have only Robert Thomas, who is not eligible for arbitration, unaccounted for on their list of RFAs. Additionally, Zach Sanford has filed for salary arbitration, which means he will have a contract one way or another.

The team now has only $3.53 million of remaining cap space per CapFriendly, but in terms of the in-house to-do list, there’s not much left. It doesn’t appear the team has enough cap space to re-sign unrestricted free agent Tyler Bozak.

Defenseman Mitch Reinke, who’s on the fringe of the “varsity” roster, also is an unrestricted free agent, and currently is looking around to test his options.

And that’s basically it. All things considered, there will be a different look to the team with the departure of some veterans and the free-agent additions of forwards Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad.

“Buchnevich and Saad, they’re both really good players,” Kyrou said. “So great adds for us. It only helps us get better and helps us hopefully win another Cup this year.”

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