St. Louis Blues Forward Zach Sanford Earning His Spot in Lineup

OTTAWA, ON - MARCH 14: St. Louis Blues Winger Zach Sanford (12) during warm-up before National Hockey League action between the St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators on March 14, 2019, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Zach Sanford, a fourth line forward for the St. Louis Blues, is fighting for a permanent spot in the lineup. The past few games, two forwards have been in the press box: Robby Fabbri and Mackenzie MacEachern. Sanford has beaten out MacEachern lately for the left wing spot on the fourth line.

Zach Sanford’s 2018-19 Season

This season, Sanford has eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points and 21 penalty minutes in 55 games. He averages 12:46 of ice time per game. In his last four games, Sanford has one goal and four assists for five points. Sanford has averaged more than a point a game for the last four games, which is great for a first or second line forward, let alone a fourth liner. He has been playing on the fourth line with Ivan Barbashev and Alex Steen.

Sanford has his linemates to thank for why he has been playing well lately. Barbashev has 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points and 15 penalty minutes in 74 games this season. In his last four games, he has four goals (including a hat trick) and one assist for five points. Steen has eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points and 14 penalty minutes in 59 games this season. In his last four games, he has one goal and three assists for four points.

MacEachern, on the other hand, has just five points and 10 penalty minutes in 29 games in his rookie season. He averages 8:02 of ice time per game, all of which are inferior to Sanford’s statistics, which is why Sanford has played in nine straight games.

Zach Sanford’s Career

Sanford was drafted 61st overall in the second round by the Washington Capitals in the 2013 NHL Draft. He played 26 games and had only two goals and one assist for the Capitals before being traded to the Blues with forward Brad Malone, a Capitals first round pick in the 2017 NHL draft and a conditional second-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft for defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk and goaltender Pheonix Copley.

What Zach Sanford Can Do In the Future

With only six regular season games left for the Blues, this is the perfect time for Sanford to be on a hot streak. The playoffs are unpredictable. If Sanford can remain a point a game player or more for rest of the regular season, he could really help the Blues in the playoffs.

He is in the midst of the best season of his career. The best could be yet to come for Sanford. If he continues to play well in the regular season and can put up points in the playoffs, he could get promoted to the third line next season, which could increase his point production even more.

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