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04-14-2013, 03:33 PM
STL fan in IA
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Players that I thought would do better:

Peter Sejna - I thought he would be a stud. He put up amazing numbers in Jrs and college but looking back at things, he was always a little older than most of his competition in Jrs and college. In the pro game, he was basically only useful on the PP when he wasn't being overly checked or pressured. He was undersized and was completely neutralized by physicality. Was never able to make the adjustment. He's playing in the Swiss league now.

Marek Schwarz - I remember being super excited about him falling down the 2004 draft and the Blues snagging him much later in the 1st round than he was projected to go. He was AMAZING at the WJC that year and I was really impressed with his reflexes and skills. Unfortunately, the most important aspect for a goalie is also the hardest to judge just by watch games on tv or online stream - mental toughness and that seemed to be Schwarz's weakness. He's now a backup/1B type goalie in the Czech league.

Carl Soderberg - I didn't know much of anything about him when the Blues selected him in 2004 but soon after, he established himself as one of the top players in the Allsvenskan and then the SEL...then the almost lost an eye, his team got demoted back to the Allsvenskan from the SEL with him missing from the lineup due to the injury and instead of signing with the Blues as planned, he decided to rehab and spend another year in Sweden testing the eye while also vowing to get his hometown team, Malmo, back into the SEL...and then vowed that year after year until the Blues traded him for Toivonen. Soderberg eventually gave up on getting Malmo back into the SEL and signed with Linkoping 2 years ago (Jonas Junland's old team). Now it seems he's finally willing to try his game in the NHL with the Bruins. I hold no ill will towards him. That eye injury changed everything and a guy has a right to play at home for less money than in the NHL for more money if he wants to. He had and still has a ton of skill. 2nd line center potential.

Hannu Toivonen - another flameout goalie and again, the issue seemed to be mental toughness more than a lack of skills. He appears to be a Finnish league backup now after bouncing around the N.A. minors and Sweden as well.

Erik Johnson - still a quality NHLer but obviously didn't reach the potential pretty much everybody said he had. That ACL & MCL injury really hurt his skating IMO (his best asset) but his hockey sense is also average.

Brett Sonne - I never overrated him after his 100 pt season like many did thinking he would be an NHL top-6 forward but he played a gritty and hard working game in Jrs and I thought he projected to be a good 3rd or 4th line NHLer in time. Now even that seems out of reach for him. I think he tried to be a scorer when he turned pro as he seemed to completely abandon the gritty, hard-working, blue-collar game that carried him in Jrs. A real shame.

Players that developed better than I expected:

David Perron - I'll admit it, I wasn't a fan of the Blues drafting him in 2007. I thought he was a whiny, selfish player that held onto the puck too long and his skills wouldn't translate to the pro game. While I was fairly correct about his skills/style of play, he's definitely translated it better than I expected. If only his awareness matched his stick skills...he could be a top player but I think what we see is what we get - an NHLer but a sometimes frustrating one.

Ben Bishop - he's still establishing himself but I was never all that high on him. He was beat way too often up high for someone of his height and also has a huge 5-hole with such long legs. He seems to have pulled it together though. He seems like a very nice kid so I'm more than happy for him...even if his success is happening elsewhere.

T.J. Oshie - at least at first. I didn't follow the draft back then nearly as closely as I do now so like most, when the Blues drafted Oshie I was like, WHO???! Once I saw him play as a freshman on UND though, I was fully on the Oshie bandwagon. A great risk pick by the Blues there.

Late round guys like Polak, Nikitin, Stempniak, etc. are ones I obviously never saw coming as well.

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