Jay Bouwmeester
Jay Bouwmeester
36-Year-Old DefensemanD
St. Louis Blues
2019 Fantasy Outlook
A hip injury last summer is the only thing that kept Bouwmeester from being bought out of his $5.7 million contract, but luckily, the Blues had him around for their Stanley Cup run. The 35-year-old was a shutdown blueliner all season, and he led the team in ice time during Game 7 versus the Bruins. The Blues rewarded the veteran with a one-year, $3.25 million deal, as it's clear he still has plenty left in the tank. Obviously Bouwmeester will never be much of a fantasy contributor given he hasn't surpassed 20 points since the 2013-14 campaign, but his impact on the blue line allows players like Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko to take more offensive risks. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $3.25 million extension with the Blues in April of 2019.
Plays 1,200th game
DSt. Louis Blues
November 6, 2019
Bouwmeester skated in his 1,200th NHL game in Tuesday's 2-1 overtime win over the Canucks.
The Panthers selected Bouwmeester third overall in the 2002 NHL Draft, and he made a stop in Calgary before landing in St. Louis. He became the 111th NHL player to achieve the feat, and he has 88 goals and 418 points to show for it. Bouwneester has also played 75 postseason games, including 26 during last year's Stanley Cup run.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
A buyout candidate for the Blues before his hip injury, Bouwmeester will follow through with the final year of his $5.4 million AAV contract. It's a steep price to pay for a blueliner who played just 35 games last season and hasn't managed to surpass 20 points since 2013-14. Bouwmeester can quarterback the defensive zone, though, while allowing his blue-line partner to generate offense. However, the Blues like what they've seen in youngsters Colton Parayko, Vince Dunn and Joel Edmundson, so Bouwmeester could find himself on the third pair for opening night, shuttering him from the fantasy realm.
Once upon a time, Bouwmeester scored 42 goals over a three-season span, but that was almost a decade ago. These days, Bouwmeester is valuable to the Blues because of his defensive-zone coverage and ability to break the puck out of the zone -- two things with little fantasy impact. He scored one goal and added 14 assists in 81 games last season, and while his plus-6 rating is evidence of his defensive responsibility, the veteran has become a salary-cap albatross with two seasons left on his contract. After all, no player who’s failed to reach 20 points for three straight seasons is worth $5.4 million a year -- nor should he garner much (if any) attention from fantasy owners.
Even at 32, Bouwmeester has the sweetest wheels – he can be a one-man breakout who can dance the puck out of his zone like it's Velcroed to his stick. But gone are the days of offensive production. JayBo has evolved into a mobile defensive defenseman who hops the boards to face the toughest opposing forwards. He logs heavy minutes and kills penalties without complaint. In fact, you rarely even hear the dude speak – he leads by example. Bouwmeester's 19 points in 2015-16 were hard-fought and he'll probably settle into the same range in 2016-17. Unfortunately, his $5.4 million AAV contract through 2018-19 is just far too much for a guy in his role. A buyout may be looming next summer, or he may find himself exposed in the Vegas expansion draft. You should leave him on the table this season. There's way better value out there right now.
Last year season of frustration for Bouwmeester, who saw his iron-man streak come to an end as the result of a November groin injury while his production dropped dramatically from the prior year, all the way to a practically useless 13 points in 72 games. The drop in production may have been linked to the injury he suffered, though, and now that he's healthy, he'll have every chance to improve his results. However, he's also 31 years old and has been showing signs of decline for years, with 2013-14 looking like an outlier. As a member of their top defensive pairing, his potential resurgence is important to the Blues' success, but fantasy owners should be wary of a big investment in the veteran.
Since joining the Blues during the tail end of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, Bouwmeester has combined with the incomparable Alex Pietrangelo to form one of hockey’s top pairings. Though Pietrangelo does the heavy lifting of the two players, Bouwmeester’s no slouch on either end of the ice. In addition to helping stymie shot attempts from the opposition, Bouwmeester continued to see ample involvement offensively last season, finishing with four goals, 33 assists and a plus-26 rating. It’s that last number where Bouwmeester carries his greatest fantasy utility, and the plus-minus should continue to remain strong while the Blues’ roster remains as deep and as talent-laden as any in the league. Bouwmeester further bolsters his value simply by showing up; he hasn’t missed a game due to injury in ten years and averaged just over 24 minutes of ice time per contest last season.
This will be Bouwmeester's first full season in a Blues jersey. St. Louis sent Calgary a first-round pick at the deadline last year to get the slick-skating, former third-overall pick. The well-rounded defenseman immediately fit right in, scoring a goal and adding six assists in 14 regular-season games, and taking the puck-moving pressure off the Blues' other defenders. St. Louis' top-six defensemen are pretty strong, so Bouwmeester should not have to carry the group like he forced to do in Calgary. And he could average about 23 minutes of ice time and put up about 40 points and a plus-30 if the pace he was on last year carries over to this season. There's finally good fantasy value for JBo this season.
Bouwmeester caught a lot of flak in 2011-12 from the Calgary faithful for a lack of scoring and a minus-21 rating, especially since he’s earning $6.6 million a year. After averaging around 10 goals and 40 points with Florida before coming to Calgary, Bouwmeester has not eclipsed five goals or 29 points. He’s a decent defenseman, but his scoring ability has certainly taken a hit since arriving in Calgary. Expect single digits in goals and 25-30 points from him in 2012-13.
No active player has played more regular-season games without making it to the playoffs than Bouwmeester (635), who has only played for the Panthers and Flames in eight years of service time in the NHL. Making matters worse, the workhorse defenseman has had two consecutive disappointing seasons in Calgary, failing to reach the 30-point mark in each campaign, including career-lows in goals, with three and four scores respectively, in the past two seasons. Bouwmeester has not averaged 32 points a year by fluke, but it's clear that his fantasy stock is pointing downward.
Bouwmeester was among the biggest disappointments in all of hockey last season, posting just 29 points (and only three goals) in his first year with the Flames. As with other disappointing players on the Flames, the defense-first system has a lot to blame. Bouwmeester shot the puck on net only 130 times after averaging nearly 180 shots the last three seasons. Once it got on net, good things didn't follow, as Bouwmeester's shooting percentage was an unbelievably low 2.3%. Though he'll have to hold off the improving Mark Giordano to be the Flames' top point-man on the power play, Bouwmeester is probably as good of a turnaround candidate as anyone in the game, even if he doesn't achieve the 50-point upside many thought he once had.
Bouwmeester winds up in Calgary after spending the first six years of his NHL career with the Florida Panthers. This is an obvious upgrade for him and it should reflect directly in his production. He managed 42 points (15 G, 27 A) last year. Those numbers should be his floor this season with the 50-point plateau being a reasonable goal. Expect his ice time to go down but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. He will not have to carry the Flames on his back like he had done for so long with the Panthers. Look for Bouwmeester to have a career year in his new home.
Forty-point defensemen will have always have a fantasy home, thus Bouwmeester will always be roto relevant. The Panthers need him to be a 30-minute monster to anchor their zone — and it appears he can’t do that while putting up much more than 40 points at the same time.
The team continues to lean on Bouwmeester to anchor the defensive zone a little more each season — now to the tune of 25-28 minutes per game. By scoring 12 goals last season, Bouwmeester nearly matched his career totals from his previous three NHL seasons, but beware of overhyping those numbers. His assist and point totals dipped a bit, too. So while another 40-point season is certainly feasible, expecting a breakthrough 20 goals and 55 points is actually fairly unlikely.
What a bargain Bouwmeester will be in your fantasy league. He very quietly put up 46 points last season, because only five of them were goals. As he has steadied himself as the Panthers' best blueliner, his offensive upside will continue to blossom. He should be good for about 10/50/60 this season.
Perhaps one of the best-looking young defenseman in the game, look for Bouwmeester to continue to log a lot of minutes and put up solid numbers. If you can stomach a poor plus/minus rating, he's a real fantasy asset.
More Fantasy News
Consistent defensive role
DSt. Louis Blues
October 17, 2019
Bouwmeester is averaging 21:32 TOI and has two points in six games.
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Contributes assist
DSt. Louis Blues
June 12, 2019
Bouwmeester produced an assist, three hits and three blocked shots in Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Bruins in Game 7.
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Adds helper
DSt. Louis Blues
May 27, 2019
Bouwmeester notched an assist and went plus-2 in Monday's 4-2 loss to the Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
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Sparks offense in Game 3
DSt. Louis Blues
April 29, 2019
Bouwmeester notched two assists during Monday's 4-3 win over the Stars in Game 3 of their Western Conference second-round series.
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Racks up pair of helpers
DSt. Louis Blues
April 12, 2019
Bouwmeester had two assists, three hits and two shots in Friday's 4-3 win over the Jets for Game 2 of their first-round series.
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