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Blues face Sharks in game 3

Blues left wing Sammy Blais tries to steal the puck from San Jose defenseman Erik Karlsson during Game 3 of the Western Conference Final at Enterprise Center. Photo by Colter Peterson, cpeterson@post-dispatch.com

After a busy offseason of player acquisition, Oskar Sundqvist was anything but a lock to make the opening-day roster a year ago. But after an offseason of hard work, Sundqvist broke out with 14 goals and 17 assists in the ’18-19 regular season and added four goals and five assists in the playoffs. He was one of the team’s top penalty-killers and even saw power-play duty in the regular season.

So who is this year’s breakout player? Sammy Blais, Zach Sanford and Robert Thomas are all candidates. In the 2014 draft, 175 players were taken before Blais, but he showed signs last season of combining physical play with scoring ability. Sanford displayed flashes of being an effective power forward. As for Thomas, he could make a significant leap from the nine goals he scored as a teenager last season.