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St. Louis Blues Top Prospect #12

View Poll Results: #!2
Brett Ponich, D 6 15.00%
Sam Kurker, RW 12 30.00%
Joel Edmundson, D 6 15.00%
MacKenzie MacEachern, LW 1 2.50%
Dmitrij Jaskin, RW 2 5.00%
Jori Lehtera, C 12 30.00%
Yannick Veilleux, LW 0 0%
Sergei Andronov, RW 1 2.50%
Cody Beach, RW 0 0%
Ryan Tesink, C/LW 0 0%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
08-27-2012, 11:10 AM
  #1
bluesfan94
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St. Louis Blues Top Prospect #12

Evgeny Grachev grabs the 11 spot with 38.10% of the vote

Top Prospects
#1 Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, 6'0, 191, 12/13/1991 (92.16%)
#2 Jaden Schwartz, LW, 5'9, 179, 6/25/1992 (92.5%)
#3 Ty Rattie, RW, 6'0, 167, 2/5/1993 (57.38%)
#4 Ian Cole, D, 6'1, 225, 2/21/1989 (75.61%)
#5 Jake Allen, G, 6'2, 195, 8/7/1990 (73.33%)
#6 Jordan Schmaltz, D, 6'2, 170, 10/8/1993 (38.1%)
#7 Jani Hakanpaa, D, 6'5, 218, 3/31/1992 (64.71%)
#8 Cade Fairchild, D, 5'11, 175, 1/15/1989 (61.7%)
#9 Philip McRae, C, 6'2, 200, 3/15/1990 (57.89%)
#10 Sebastian Wannstrom, RW, 6'1, 183, 3/3/1991 (30.95%)
#11 Evgeny Grachev, C/LW, 6'4, 225, 2/21/1990 (38.10)

Please vote and comment on who you'd like to be added.
Anthony Nigro is my next though

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08-27-2012, 11:52 AM
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Hmm...it's between Kurker, Edmundson and Jaskin for me. Going to think about it a little while first though.

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08-27-2012, 12:18 PM
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Went Lehtera, the last 4 picks have been lower ceiling guys that are fairly close to the NHL and I think he belongs in that group. Kurker and Edmundson would probably be my next two, Ponich and Jaskin had poor seasons and MacEachern is far, far away.

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08-27-2012, 01:37 PM
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I don't know if Jaskin had a poor season or if he was just a kid put in a position where he was bound not to perform well. Praha put him on the 4th line and he for very few minutes. After being loaned out to Berounsti Medvedi of the Czech 2nd tier pro league, he scored 8 pts in 10 games. He then returned to Praha for the playoffs and scored 4 pts in 7 games (after scoring 2 pts the entire regular season). He also had 6 pts in 3 games for the Czech U-19 team last season and already has 4 pts in 3 games for the U-20 team this season. I'm hoping he has a breakout season for Moncton this year.

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=65564

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08-27-2012, 02:48 PM
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I gave Kurker the edge over Edmundson, Jaskin and Lehtera, as he projects to be a halfway decent power forward, and needs less things to go right than Edmundson (as a defenceman), Jaskin(whose game has to improve in several areas, and Lehtera (whose game has to improve more significantly in some crucial areas).

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08-27-2012, 08:22 PM
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Ponich got my vote. I actually thought that he played very well for Peoria; he and Fairchild were about the only two defensemen who had plus stats. He brings all sorts of intangibles that I don't think Edmundson has (Ponich was a team captain for the Winterhawks and is better defensively). I honestly don't believe that Lehtera will ever come over. And I won't vote for Kurker or MacEachern just yet.

Also considered Edmundson and Veilleux.

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08-28-2012, 05:35 AM
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Ponich got my vote. I actually thought that he played very well for Peoria; he and Fairchild were about the only two defensemen who had plus stats. He brings all sorts of intangibles that I don't think Edmundson has (Ponich was a team captain for the Winterhawks and is better defensively). I honestly don't believe that Lehtera will ever come over. And I won't vote for Kurker or MacEachern just yet.

Also considered Edmundson and Veilleux.
I agree. Also went with Ponich for the same reasons. Check out Ponich vs Bollig (remember what he did to Reaves?) on hockey fights. This is what else Ponich can bring to the table. You need a guy that can stand up for your teammates and not hurt you everytime he touches the ice (Twist or Janssen).

Edmundson may eventually be an upgrade over Ponich. Veilleux is intriguing too.

Everytime I consider voting for Kurker, or MacEachern, I think Max Gardiner, Max Tardy, Travis Erstad or Trevor Nill and several other high schoolers that stalled at the next level. More flounder than move on to the pros or next level in the Blues past history. Give them a year in a decent league. Lehtera is hard for me to vote for as well. I would be more tempted to vote for Eronen, since he came over once already this year for the Blues. Jaskin is closing in on my radar too.

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08-28-2012, 10:20 AM
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I agree. Also went with Ponich for the same reasons. Check out Ponich vs Bollig (remember what he did to Reaves?) on hockey fights. This is what else Ponich can bring to the table. You need a guy that can stand up for your teammates and not hurt you everytime he touches the ice (Twist or Janssen).

Edmundson may eventually be an upgrade over Ponich. Veilleux is intriguing too.

Everytime I consider voting for Kurker, or MacEachern, I think Max Gardiner, Max Tardy, Travis Erstad or Trevor Nill and several other high schoolers that stalled at the next level. More flounder than move on to the pros or next level in the Blues past history. Give them a year in a decent league. Lehtera is hard for me to vote for as well. I would be more tempted to vote for Eronen, since he came over once already this year for the Blues. Jaskin is closing in on my radar too.
I don't think it's very fair to compare Kurker to two guys drafted in the 7th round and a guy drafted in the 4th round who killed his own development by playing DIII hockey just because they were all drafted from HS. I can't recall a recent Blues 2nd rd HS draftee but Oshie was a late 1st rounder drafted out of HS. HSers are definiely harder to project than those playing Jrs but I don't think they should all be lumped together ignoring where they were taken in their respective drafts. Kurker was drafted in the 2nd rd for a reason and is said to have top-6 potential and plays a similar style to Backes and compares well to him at the same age. We really won't know what we have in Kurker and MacEachern until we get to see how they adapt to the college game but I don't think they should be discounted THAT much.

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08-28-2012, 10:23 AM
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Went with Kurker. He's a ways away but is a big boy whose game compares favorably to Backes. He could really skyrocket up these polls if he has a good freshman season at Boston U.

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08-28-2012, 11:25 AM
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I don't think it's very fair to compare Kurker to two guys drafted in the 7th round and a guy drafted in the 4th round who killed his own development by playing DIII hockey just because they were all drafted from HS. I can't recall a recent Blues 2nd rd HS draftee but Oshie was a late 1st rounder drafted out of HS. HSers are definiely harder to project than those playing Jrs but I don't think they should all be lumped together ignoring where they were taken in their respective drafts. Kurker was drafted in the 2nd rd for a reason and is said to have top-6 potential and plays a similar style to Backes and compares well to him at the same age. We really won't know what we have in Kurker and MacEachern until we get to see how they adapt to the college game but I don't think they should be discounted THAT much.
Since 1985, the Blues have drafted 31 high school players. They have one top six forward. The most successful is Mike Grier in carving out any kind of NHL career. The highest drafted TJ Oshie will surpass him. The 2nd highest Craig Johnson didn't quite pan out to be the scorer he was projected to be, even though he scored well in the NCAA. Only these three spent anytime (150 games) in the nhl. I just can't get too excited about high school guys. WAY TOO hit and miss....remember Brian Lawton? I'm excited about these guys do not get me wrong, but it's like the 16 year old central american signings that the Cardinals make. Get to A ball and maybe I'll start getting interested in them as a prospect.

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08-28-2012, 12:03 PM
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Perry, I agree. I hope the two high school kids show us the Blues made the right decision drafting them. As dicussed after the draft they are boom/bust picks. One thing about Ponich is that he offers next to nothing offensively.

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08-28-2012, 12:14 PM
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Perry, I agree. I hope the two high school kids show us the Blues made the right decision drafting them. As dicussed after the draft they are boom/bust picks. One thing about Ponich is that he offers next to nothing offensively.
If Jordan Schmaltz or Steve Duchesne, is your "defensive" partner, then you are going to need that....

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08-28-2012, 01:04 PM
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Perry, I agree. I hope the two high school kids show us the Blues made the right decision drafting them. As dicussed after the draft they are boom/bust picks. One thing about Ponich is that he offers next to nothing offensively.
I have a little more faith in Kurker, he is going to a good program at BU. MacEachern is already behind the developmental curve, and spending next year in the USHL is going to put him even further behind.

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08-28-2012, 01:27 PM
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I have a little more faith in Kurker, he is going to a good program at BU. MacEachern is already behind the developmental curve, and spending next year in the USHL is going to put him even further behind.
Completely disagree - Gardiner is a prime example of why kids like MacEachern shouldn't go to college before gaining more experience in a league like the USHL.

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08-28-2012, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
I don't think it's very fair to compare Kurker to two guys drafted in the 7th round and a guy drafted in the 4th round who killed his own development by playing DIII hockey just because they were all drafted from HS. I can't recall a recent Blues 2nd rd HS draftee but Oshie was a late 1st rounder drafted out of HS. HSers are definiely harder to project than those playing Jrs but I don't think they should all be lumped together ignoring where they were taken in their respective drafts. Kurker was drafted in the 2nd rd for a reason and is said to have top-6 potential and plays a similar style to Backes and compares well to him at the same age. We really won't know what we have in Kurker and MacEachern until we get to see how they adapt to the college game but I don't think they should be discounted THAT much.
A minor quibble, but Gardiner was our third-round pick in 2010. Or do you mean Nill or Erstad? I can never tell them apart...

I like the games of Kurker, MacEachern, and Parayko, don't get me wrong. I'd still rank all three of them above Andronov and Lehtera (although Lehtera is more because of reasons I've already stated). I'm just not willing to rank them over more established prospects with proven records (i.e., Ponich, Edmundson, Veilleux, Tesink, Jaskin, and Beach). It's the same reason why Schmaltz doesn't appeal to me at the moment. These kids are so far away from NHL-calibre play that, in my opinion, it makes no sense to vote them this high up at the moment or even include them in the poll.

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08-28-2012, 06:38 PM
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A minor quibble, but Gardiner was our third-round pick in 2010. Or do you mean Nill or Erstad? I can never tell them apart...

I like the games of Kurker, MacEachern, and Parayko, don't get me wrong. I'd still rank all three of them above Andronov and Lehtera (although Lehtera is more because of reasons I've already stated). I'm just not willing to rank them over more established prospects with proven records (i.e., Ponich, Edmundson, Veilleux, Tesink, Jaskin, and Beach). It's the same reason why Schmaltz doesn't appeal to me at the moment. These kids are so far away from NHL-calibre play that, in my opinion, it makes no sense to vote them this high up at the moment or even include them in the poll.
I guess I missed referring to Gardiner in that reply. Yes, Gardiner was a 3rd rd pick while Erstad was a 4th rd pick and Tardy and Nill were 7th rd picks.

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08-28-2012, 06:49 PM
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Completely disagree - Gardiner is a prime example of why kids like MacEachern shouldn't go to college before gaining more experience in a league like the USHL.
Agreed. It sounds like MacEachern is very skilled but also very raw. Some players are well rounded enough to make the leap from HS straight to college hockey but one of the worst things a player can do is try to bite off more than they can chew, not make the jump successfully and end up stunting their development in the process. Gardiner was set to play in the USHL the season after he was drafted with the agreement that he would go to U of Minn a year later but then a spot opened up that season and Gardiner went to U of Minn a year earlier than expected. He wasn't ready for that level of play yet, he only played a handful of games that season and it killed his development in the process. He'll be playing for Penn State this season (their first year with a NCAA DI hockey team) but I doubt he has mug if a chance at the NHL now.

MacEachern has a big hill to climb and most 3rd rd picks never make it no matter where they're drafted from but he's got a better shot of making it taking gradual steps up than potentially floundering by taking too big of a step up all at once IMO.

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08-29-2012, 05:54 AM
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Agreed. It sounds like MacEachern is very skilled but also very raw. Some players are well rounded enough to make the leap from HS straight to college hockey but one of the worst things a player can do is try to bite off more than they can chew, not make the jump successfully and end up stunting their development in the process. Gardiner was set to play in the USHL the season after he was drafted with the agreement that he would go to U of Minn a year later but then a spot opened up that season and Gardiner went to U of Minn a year earlier than expected. He wasn't ready for that level of play yet, he only played a handful of games that season and it killed his development in the process. He'll be playing for Penn State this season (their first year with a NCAA DI hockey team) but I doubt he has mug if a chance at the NHL now.

MacEachern has a big hill to climb and most 3rd rd picks never make it no matter where they're drafted from but he's got a better shot of making it taking gradual steps up than potentially floundering by taking too big of a step up all at once IMO.
The Blues have a very high success rate drafting right out of the USHL vs. high school. Backes, Schwartz, and Palushaj are all byproducts of that league. That was another factor in why I rated Schmaltz higher than the high schoolers. I personally like the MacEachern pick more so than the Kurker pick, but excited about both. Excellent long range talent.

I may have to rethink my view of the prospect pool now with Andronov in the states.

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08-29-2012, 10:09 AM
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I have a little more faith in Kurker, he is going to a good program at BU. MacEachern is already behind the developmental curve, and spending next year in the USHL is going to put him even further behind.
It's more about getting the proper playing time than being in a certain league. Playing bottom minutes for a top college program will not help anyone's development. Playing top minutes in the USHL would be much more beneficial, especially for someone who is a long-term project anyway.

This is why European Football clubs loan their young players to the bottom leagues. MacEachern just needs playing time.

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08-29-2012, 11:02 AM
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Went with Edmundson again

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08-29-2012, 11:34 AM
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Wasn't Gardiner high school player of the year in Minnesota?

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08-29-2012, 12:54 PM
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Wasn't Gardiner high school player of the year in Minnesota?
Well he didn't win Mr. Hockey, but he was a finalist. Jeff Taffe and Johnny Pohl did win the Mr. Hockey award.

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08-29-2012, 01:15 PM
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Wasn't Gardiner high school player of the year in Minnesota?
No, Nick Bjugstad won the Mr. Hockey award that year.

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08-29-2012, 02:15 PM
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I was going to go with Tesink, but it's kind of useless.

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08-29-2012, 03:40 PM
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Well he didn't win Mr. Hockey, but he was a finalist. Jeff Taffe and Johnny Pohl did win the Mr. Hockey award.
At least Taffe has carved out a lengthy pro career. He turned out to be a good depth guy. Just pretend he was drafted in the 6th round.

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