Drafting Skill: St. Louis Blues

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

St. Louis Blues

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Colorado in the deal that sent out Erik Johnson and brought in Kevin Shattenkirk, amongst other pieces. This turned out to be a good trade for both teams, as the top pieces has worked out well for both teams. Shattenkirk was traded this year to the Capitals, while Johnson remains with the Avalanche.

Round 2 – Ty Rattie (RW) 32nd overall – Ty Rattie has the makeup of a great NHL player, but has never found the dominance he had in junior. He’s only played a total of 35 NHL games since being drafted in 2011 – that puts him 73rd in number of games played from that draft. That’s far too little, considering how early he was drafted in round 2. He’s scored at a good pace at the AHL level, so there is still some hope in the Blues organization that he will eventually find his game at the NHL level.

Round 2 – Dmitrij Jaskin (LW) 41st overall – Jaskin doesn’t possess much of a scoring touch, and found himself a healthy scratch for a lot of the time this year, especially in the playoffs. At 24 years old, it’s tough to see Jaskin improving much in any area of his game. The even tougher look of this pick is that the four players taken after Jaskin have blossomed into better NHLers – Brandon Saad, Victor Rask, Brett Ritchie and Markus Granlund.

Round 2 – Joel Edmundson (D) 46th overall – Edmundson is the sole bright spot of the Blues 2011 Draft. He’s currently playing top 4 minutes for the Blues, albeit thanks in large part due to the departure of Shattenkirk. He plays a tough game, and is very responsible in his own end. He lacks some offensive punch, but makes a great first-pass out of his own end. A nice, solid find for the Blues in round 2.

Round 3 – Jordan Binnington (G) 88th overall – Binnington is currently grooming in the AHL, however it’s hard to imagine him as more than a backup, especially with Jake Allen currently at the reins in the NHL. He played in 32 AHL games this year, posting a GAA of 2.71, and a SV% of 0.911. Both are solid numbers for an AHL starter, however this wasn’t enough to earn him the starting goalie position in the playoffs. Ville Husso has emerged as the next great thing for the Blues as far as goalie prospects go. Binnington will have to continue to improve to get a shot as even a backup in the NHL.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Jordan Schmaltz (D) 25th overall – Schmaltz has yet to make an impact at the NHL level, and has been quickly passed by fellow 2012 draftee Colton Parayko. Schmaltz put up impressive numbers this season, with 25 points in only 42 AHL games. He’ll have a hard time making the team out of camp next season, as all of the current blueline will be back – barring anyone being plucked by Vegas. He could push the likes of Bortuzzo out of a spot on the 3rd pair if he comes in and has a great camp. The clock is ticking for Scmaltz in St. Louis.

Round 2 – Sam Kurker (RW) 56th overall – Kurker was never signed by the Blues, and appeared in only 1 game for the Albany Devils in the AHL this year. He’s got the make-up of a bust. Not much to see here.

Round 3 – Mackenzie MacEachern (LW) 67th overall – MacEachern had a great final year in the NCAA in 2015-2016, putting up 30 points in 37 games. He followed that up with a disappointing 11 points in 55 AHL games for his first year as a pro. He’ll take some seasoning, but has good skill for a big-bodied left-winger. He still has the potential to make the big club, but he’ll have to adjust the pro game, and quickly.

Round 3 – Colton Parayko (D) 86th overall – Parayko is exactly what you hope for when you’re picking late. He has a big booming shot, and has excelled in his first 2 seasons in the NHL. He put up back to back 30+ point campaigns, and plays in all situations for the Blues. He logs big minutes, and is a towering defender to play against. Look for him to emerge even more, again with the departure of Shattenkirk.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded in the deal that brought in Jay Bouwmeester. This turned out to be a great trade for the Blues. Bouwmeester has been a top pairing d-man for the Blues since coming over. He logs big minutes, and is easily the best player of this trade.

Round 2 – Tommy Vannelli (D) 47th overall – Vanelli hasn’t grown into a worthy prospect. He’s currently playing in the ECHL, and doesn’t look like he’ll make the jump to the NHL at any point in his career.

Round 2 – William Carrier (LW) 57th overall – Carrier made his NHL debut this year, but with Buffalo. He was shipped out in the deal that brought in Ryan Miller. He hasn’t grown into much of a highly-touted prospect, as he managed only 8 points in 41 NHL games this year. No big miss for St. Louis here.

Round 3 – Pick was traded as part of a draft picks package that landed the Blues the other 2nd round pick (William Carrier).

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Robby Fabbri (C) 21st overall – Fabbri has a high skill level, and a work-ethic to match. He looks to be a solid top-6 forward for the foreseeable future. He was injured late in the season, but had managed at that point to put up 27 points in 51 games in his 2nd pro season. He should continue to grow offensively as he becomes more confident.

Round 2 – Ivan Barbashev (C) 33rd overall – Barbashev got his first taste of the NHL this year, putting up 12 points in 30 games. He showed flashes of brilliance, the same that the Blues saw when he scored 45 goals in 57 games in his final year in the QMJHL. He was having a great season in the AHL (37 points in 46 games) before being called up. Look for Barbashev to take an increased role next season, and is a potential candidate to have a breakout year.

Round 2 – Maxin Letunov (F) 52nd overall – Letunov just finished his final season in the NCAA. He managed 27 points in 33 games, which is great for a college player. He’ll get his first taste at pro hockey next season, which will give us more of an idea of what to expect. He’s a big body, standing at 6’4”. If he can adapt well, he could make the jump in the next couple of seasons.

Round 3 – Jake Walman (D) 82nd overall – Another NCAA player for the Blues, who managed 25 points in 39 games this season. He got a small taste with the AHL club at the end of the year, but not enough to really understand what type of player he’ll be.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded as part of the package that brought in Ryan Miller. He was brought in to hopefully push the Blues over the top and win a Cup. That didn’t happen. He played well for St. Louis, but quickly departed after their playoff run.

Round 2 – Vince Dunn (D) 56th overall – Dunn got his first taste of pro hockey this year, and put up great numbers for a first-year defender. He scored 13 goals and 45 points in 72 games. He has the skill that should make him an everyday player in the near future. He doesn’t shy away from the rough stuff either, putting up 71 penalty minutes as a 19/20 year old.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Edmonton in the deal that sent out David Perron, brought in a couple picks and Magnus Paajarvi. Perron has bounced around since being traded, and has made his way back to the Blues where he put up 46 points this year. Paajarvi has bounced between the AHL and NHL in recent years, but with only essentially a 3rd rounder being lost, it’s a small price to pay.

Overall, the Blues haven’t had great luck at the Draft. Some of it comes from being a top seeded team a lot in recent years, but some of it has been poor selections. They’ll again pick low in round 1 of the draft this year, but will have 2 picks with Washington sending over their 1st for Kevin Shattenkirk.

 

(Research mostly done on hockeydb.com and http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm)

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