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no prospects at center

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11-28-2012, 10:56 AM
  #1
jessejames
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no prospects at center

As rich prospect-wise as the Blues are now, there seems to be a glaring hole at the center position in the development program.
RW: Tarasenko, Rattie, Jaskin [he can play all three forward spots though], Wannstrom, Kurker
LW; Schwartz, Tesink, Veilleux, Andronov, Maceachern
LD; Cole, Fairchild, Ponich, Cundari
RD; Edmundson, Hakanpaa, Schmaltz
G; Allen, Binnington

Other than Lehtera, who I doubt will come over or would make the team if he did, there isn't a viable option in the system at center, not in my opinion.

Flame away

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11-28-2012, 11:53 AM
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MattyMo35
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Well, I wouldn't call Phil McRae a bust yet. I still think he has a decent shot to be a 3C one day. Grachev, in my opinion, has an even better shot at being a 3C one day. He has all the tools, but can't seem to put it all together. Other than that, you're correct. We really don't have a prospect at center. This is pretty common knowledge though, so I'm not sure how this warrants its own thread.

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11-28-2012, 12:17 PM
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Yes, the Blues are lacking at center but they have shown that by drafting the best player available that can make a deal to upgrade in an area of need. (Tarasenko) The Blues appear to be in good shape with prospects everywhere other than center. Lets hope they can get lucky in the draft.

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11-28-2012, 01:31 PM
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h22prelude93
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Nigro, Gardiner, Tardy, and Seaman are all center prospects for the Blues. But, you're right that we don't really have any very promising ones. That's why I'm fairly confident that the Blues will target a centerman in the upcoming draft. Would be nice if we could snag a Top 10 pick, but honestly I'd still be happy with us landing anywhere in the Top 20. That is, of course, assuming the season is lost.

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11-28-2012, 01:41 PM
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We are gonna end up with the #1 pick and get MacKinnon.

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11-28-2012, 01:41 PM
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jessejames
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You're right, Matty, the subject probably doesn't warrant a new thread, but it's a day off and I'm bored. Then again, perhaps it does deserve a new thread, as it's odd that a team assembles a pretty impressive stable of prospects without having one that can be considered other than a long-shot at best.
I don't see McRae as a possible 3C, not for a contending team. He's not quick, he's not physical, and neither his defense nor scoring is noteworthy. If you go by numbers, how often does a center score barely a ppg in the CHL as a 19 yr old, and that was on an elite team, and make it in the NHL as other than a defensive specialist, which he is not. He's got good size and he's good in the face-off circle. That's about it.
Gratchev, I don't understand how he can even be considered a prospect. He's done nothing in Peoria. In St. Louis he was a winger and did nothing.
Both these guys are 22. They're hockey players, not baseball players. They're forwards, not goalies. At their present rate of development, they might be 30 before they enjoy another cup of coffee in the show, if it ever happens.
I like Mr Weir's remark about the Blues being able to make moves with prospects to acquire draft picks, as was done in the case of the Tarasenko pick. I really like Rattie and Jaskin coming up behind Tarasenko and Schwartz, but the center ice thing has to be addressed.
The current Blues have Backes, a converted winger, as their 1C. He's great at what he does, but he's not the traditional 1C. Berglund is 2C or 3C-- and I consider him something of a disappointment to date. Steen is penciled in as 2 or 3C, but hasn't played there much in a few seasons. Sobotka is maybe the ideal 4C. Thinking Nichol will be gone by next year. Beyond that, there's uh, uh, uh ...
A package trade of prospects/picks and there's a shot at an early pick in what promises to be a good draft year for centers.

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11-28-2012, 01:59 PM
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H22 -- you can't be serious!! Nigro, Tardy, Gardiner, Seaman

Nigro -- okay, on an emergency basis he might see a game or two but I doubt it

Gardiner -- so far off in the future, if ever

Tardy -- does he even dress for his college games

Seaman -- a friend told me he looked good prior to his injury last season, but he isn't making a difference this season

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11-28-2012, 02:07 PM
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I say keep with selecting best player available. Worst case scenario, you have too many quality wingers/dmen and need to trade some for a center. That's pretty much where the Blues are right now. We are trying to convert some wingers into Centers, if that doesn't work, Army will go out and get one. Backes and Berglund are not elite at 1C and 2C respectively, but they are both solid. 3Cs can be found either through the draft, free agency, or trade. I really don't think it's that big of a concern. If the Blues didn't have anyone to trade of any value, I'd be a little worried. However, the Blues have D'Agostini, Schwartz, Rattie, Sobotka, Jaskin, Steen or Stewart that could be moved without doing significant damage to the team now and in the future. Obviously some of those players are more valuable than others, which would bring us back a greater return. Might be able to use a package of those players, plus some picks or lesser prospects to get the LD that we need along with a center prospect/young NHL center. Army has a lot of options and there is no better GM in the league. I have faith he will fill the necessary positions. If Steen proves he is able to play center competently in the NHL, then the need for a center prospect goes down even more. That would be three fairly young, talented players down the middle. 4C is not really anything to be concerned about because they are easy to find.

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11-28-2012, 02:15 PM
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h22prelude93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessejames View Post
H22 -- you can't be serious!! Nigro, Tardy, Gardiner, Seaman
Did you even read past the first sentence? I was pointing out that we do have some center prospects in the system, but that they aren't very promising.

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11-28-2012, 02:20 PM
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jessejames
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H22- sorry that I jumped all over you. My bad. I just don't consider any of them prospects, except maybe Gardiner, who I don't know anything about


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11-28-2012, 03:11 PM
  #11
Thekidline
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We do have a lack of depth at center but our top 3 centers (backes berglund sobotka) are all young and backes signed a long term extension so the lack of depth organizationally isnt a huge problem imo.

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11-28-2012, 03:42 PM
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We talked about this before the last draft. Partly why I wanted Scott Laughton (who was already off the board when the Blues picked). There's Backes and Berglund, basically, and then a lot of versatile wingers but almost zero true centers as realistic prospects. So far we're doing the annual "hope Berglund improves A LOT" routine (if we ever have a season which we probably won't) but it's the biggest organizational weakness by a lot.

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11-28-2012, 05:15 PM
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There are options...like Oshie or McDonald at Center...though it would be nice to get a blue-chipper in the prospect-pool for sure. Armstrong definitely has all of the chips required to re-balance the forwards if he sees fit, so I'm not particularly concerned at this point. If something needs to be done, he's proven he's not afraid to address the situation.

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11-28-2012, 05:26 PM
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I was desperate for us to get Grigorenko or Hertl at the last draft, but we obviously didn't feel it was worth the cost of moving up.

The situation is what it is, we have to draft the best player available and those guys aren't centres at the moment. We'll be able to address that issue down the line if the guys we do pick develop as we hope. I don't think it is anything to be bothered about, but it would be nice if the position we were lacking wasn't the most expensive to acquire via trade!

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11-28-2012, 05:57 PM
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rumrokh
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This is why, if there is no season, there's a silver lining because despite being one of the best teams in the league, the Blues have two balls in the lottery. That's a legit shot at a top 10 pick in a draft that's deep with centers.

Scoring-line centers are just not easily found. Check out recent drafts:
2006: I think it's safe to ignore the EJ selection - it was fairly unanimous that he was the best choice and he looked like the absolute right call after his rookie year. After that, they grabbed Berglund, who is easily the best center picked from his slot, onward.
2007: they chose Eller, whose only competition after he was chosen is Jamie Benn. Everybody missed him and he has only made the transition to center this last year - Ott still took a ton of his faceoffs for him. Eller has not shown the ability to consistently play above the third line. He will continue to grow, but he's not the center the Blues need.
2008: The Blues missed Stepan in the 2nd and Henrique in the 3rd, and it's possible Loktionov, from the 5th, becomes notable. A couple of good centers slipped by the Blues and every other team - I like Henrique, in particular.
2009: After Rundblad, the centers of note are Johansson, O'Reilly, and later, Kruger, and possibly Craig Smith, neither of whom are a big deal. I would not give up Tarasenko for them, but, I agree, it would be nice to have Johansson or O'Reilly.

After that, no centers available to the Blues have made an impact or have emerged as clearly superior prospects. Out of the available centers in those drafts, who would improve the Blues in the next, oh, four years? Berglund and Eller were very keen selections, and I would not give up Halak for Eller or Tarasenko for Johansson or O'Reilly. Stepan and Henrique are the only slip-ups. That's actually outstanding drafting. Unfortunate that they haven't been in a position to get a better center through drafting, but it hasn't been due to the drafting, itself.


Last edited by rumrokh: 11-28-2012 at 06:28 PM. Reason: clarity
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11-28-2012, 06:57 PM
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Crumblin Erb Brooks
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It becomes much less of an issue if we can acquire another NHL level center. We have some options, but Steen, Sobotka and Oshie seem to be more natural on the wing. Id love to get a playmaking center to play with Stewart.

I dont the door is completely shut on Lehtera coming over, and he certainly has NHL level skills. Not sure if his skating and defense are up to par, but if you can score in this league, there is a place for you.

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11-29-2012, 01:42 AM
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jessejames
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rumrokh -- good analysis. thanks

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11-29-2012, 07:29 PM
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Bluesnatic27
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As much as the center issue is a problem on our team, it isn't a crisis as of yet. This upcoming draft has so many top end centers that even a pick in the top 15 will get you a number one. I think the Blues are in a very good spot now and shouldn't rush into any deals that could come back to haunt us down the road.

Personally, if we get in the top 5 in this draft, Monahan is the perfect guy for our team. Has the height, size, and two-way play that the Blues love to see. And better yet, we would have our own Toews, so it's like the 2006 draft never happened

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11-29-2012, 10:50 PM
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TK 421
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
This is why, if there is no season, there's a silver lining because despite being one of the best teams in the league, the Blues have two balls in the lottery. That's a legit shot at a top 10 pick in a draft that's deep with centers.
Scoring-line centers are just not easily found. Check out recent drafts:
2006: I think it's safe to ignore the EJ selection - it was fairly unanimous that he was the best choice and he looked like the absolute right call after his rookie year. After that, they grabbed Berglund, who is easily the best center picked from his slot, onward.
2007: they chose Eller, whose only competition after he was chosen is Jamie Benn. Everybody missed him and he has only made the transition to center this last year - Ott still took a ton of his faceoffs for him. Eller has not shown the ability to consistently play above the third line. He will continue to grow, but he's not the center the Blues need.
2008: The Blues missed Stepan in the 2nd and Henrique in the 3rd, and it's possible Loktionov, from the 5th, becomes notable. A couple of good centers slipped by the Blues and every other team - I like Henrique, in particular.
2009: After Rundblad, the centers of note are Johansson, O'Reilly, and later, Kruger, and possibly Craig Smith, neither of whom are a big deal. I would not give up Tarasenko for them, but, I agree, it would be nice to have Johansson or O'Reilly.

After that, no centers available to the Blues have made an impact or have emerged as clearly superior prospects. Out of the available centers in those drafts, who would improve the Blues in the next, oh, four years? Berglund and Eller were very keen selections, and I would not give up Halak for Eller or Tarasenko for Johansson or O'Reilly. Stepan and Henrique are the only slip-ups. That's actually outstanding drafting. Unfortunate that they haven't been in a position to get a better center through drafting, but it hasn't been due to the drafting, itself.
Would someone mind explaining why we have a second ball in this theoretical.

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11-29-2012, 11:21 PM
  #20
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Would someone mind explaining why we have a second ball in this theoretical.
The way they did it last lockout, every pick was assigned three balls and lost a number of balls depending on how its original owner performed in the last four years, with a minimum of one ball per pick. A pick/team loses a ball for each time they've made the playoffs in the last three years and each time they've picked first overall in the last four years.

Also worth noting that it's a snake draft, not 1-30, repeat.

Assuming they do it the same way this time around, the Blues lose one ball for making the playoffs last season and that's it. There are seven teams with three balls, six teams with two, and seventeen teams with one ball each, for a total of 50 balls, two of which represent a single selection for the Blues.

I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I think that gives the Blues over a 50% expected chance of being chosen by pick 13 and for as good as they were, a monstrous chance of landing in the top 10 (not quite 40%). Nearly as cool, they have Ottawa's 2nd rounder from the Ben Bishop deal and Ottawa would only have one ball in the lotto, and because of the snake-style draft, that could give the Blues a high second rounder.


Last edited by rumrokh: 11-29-2012 at 11:35 PM. Reason: clarity
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11-30-2012, 01:03 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I think that gives the Blues over a 50% expected chance of being chosen by pick 13 and for as good as they were, a monstrous chance of landing in the top 10 (not quite 40%). Nearly as cool, they have Ottawa's 2nd rounder from the Ben Bishop deal and Ottawa would only have one ball in the lotto, and because of the snake-style draft, that could give the Blues a high second rounder.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but right now I believe the 1st pick would be the only one we can really figure a percentage on(4%)since our odds would gradually increase depending on which teams were chosen before us and how many balls those teams were assigned. But, in the 2005 draft nearly 40% of balls were gone by the first 10 picks and nearly 60% were gone by the first 15. Also, in this case, 7 teams would have 3 balls and 6 teams would have 2. So, those teams would account for 66% or 2/3 of the total ball count. I think that could possibly result in more balls being removed early on giving us an even higher chance of recieving a top pick. BTW that's awesome that we have Ottawa's 2nd round pick. I completely forgot about that. There are sure to be some definite sleepers in this draft class.

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11-30-2012, 02:26 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
The way they did it last lockout, every pick was assigned three balls and lost a number of balls depending on how its original owner performed in the last four years, with a minimum of one ball per pick. A pick/team loses a ball for each time they've made the playoffs in the last three years and each time they've picked first overall in the last four years.

Also worth noting that it's a snake draft, not 1-30, repeat.

Assuming they do it the same way this time around, the Blues lose one ball for making the playoffs last season and that's it. There are seven teams with three balls, six teams with two, and seventeen teams with one ball each, for a total of 50 balls, two of which represent a single selection for the Blues.

I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I think that gives the Blues over a 50% expected chance of being chosen by pick 13 and for as good as they were, a monstrous chance of landing in the top 10 (not quite 40%). Nearly as cool, they have Ottawa's 2nd rounder from the Ben Bishop deal and Ottawa would only have one ball in the lotto, and because of the snake-style draft, that could give the Blues a high second rounder.
Interesting. I didn't realize it was/would be a snake draft.

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11-30-2012, 04:10 AM
  #23
rumrokh
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Originally Posted by h22prelude93 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but right now I believe the 1st pick would be the only one we can really figure a percentage on(4%)since our odds would gradually increase depending on which teams were chosen before us and how many balls those teams were assigned. But, in the 2005 draft nearly 40% of balls were gone by the first 10 picks and nearly 60% were gone by the first 15. Also, in this case, 7 teams would have 3 balls and 6 teams would have 2. So, those teams would account for 66% or 2/3 of the total ball count. I think that could possibly result in more balls being removed early on giving us an even higher chance of recieving a top pick. BTW that's awesome that we have Ottawa's 2nd round pick. I completely forgot about that. There are sure to be some definite sleepers in this draft class.
It is correct that with each pick, if the Blues aren't selected, the chance of the next pick being the Blues is higher.
So, they have precisely a 4% chance of being first overall. Assuming they don't get the first pick, there are three scenarios for the second pick: 49 balls remain, 48 balls remain, or 47 balls remain. In each scenario, the Blues have just over a 4% chance to get the second pick.
However, if you're looking at their total chance of getting the second pick, it's actually under 4% because of their chance of getting the first pick.

The numbers I mentioned in the previous post are the chance that they'll be picked by a certain point, not their chances of having a particular pick, assuming they have not yet been selected.

As a matter of fact, a friend of mine recently cooked this up:


x axis represents picks and y axis represents the chance of selection. Red is 3 balls, blue is 2 balls, and black is 1 ball. Two balls, as with other things in life, are awesomely (technical term) better than one is.

But knowing the Blues' historical luck, they'll implement a new system.

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11-30-2012, 05:50 AM
  #24
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I believe it is called the curse of Scott Stevens.... Our balls will definitely sink to the bottom. I also like the idea of continuing to pick the best player available regardless of position. Remember Rundblad turned into Tarasenko. We didn't necessarily need another offensive d-man at that time, but he gave us some talent to trade.

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11-30-2012, 01:19 PM
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MattyMo35
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At this point, assuming they use the same system that they used in the previous lockout, I would honestly prefer not having a season. Sacrificing one season for a potentially great player to add to the organization is a trade I'm willing to make.

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