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Favorite All Time Blues Prospect That Didn't Pan Out

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Old
12-13-2012, 04:10 AM
  #26
Robb_K
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Based on this thread's title, I guess Barulin would be the best fit. He'd have been a good NHL goalie, but just didn't want to leave The KHL.

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12-13-2012, 01:20 PM
  #27
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Marek Schwarz, Carl Soberberg, Jonas Junland and Petr Sejna.

Schwarz – when he fell to the Blues in that draft when he was projected to go much higher, I was overjoyed. Now I wish someone else would’ve taken him so the Blues wouldn’t have had the option! Marek had great reflexes and a lot of promise but never seemed to improve his angles (relied way too much on his reflexes) and seemed to only have so-so work ethic and mental toughness as well. He’s now toiling in the Czech league – currently ranked 21st in that league in SV% and 23rd in GAA.

Soberberg – probably the most disappointing of the 4. He easily had the potential to be a very solid top 2 line NHL center. His serious eye injury changed everything IMO. He seemed set to take his game to N.A. while scoring at a pt/game pace as a 21 yr old in the SEL (very good stats) when all of a sudden, at the end of the season, he took a stick to the eye which resulted in quite a bit of lost vision and almost ended his career. As a result of him being out of the lineup, his hometown Malmo Redhawks performed so poorly down the stretch that they ended up getting demoted from the SEL to Allsvenskan. Soderberg then pledged to recuperate and recover in Sweden and then help Malmo get back into the SEL before going to N.A. Well…that never happened as Soderberg toiled in Malmo in Sweden’s 2nd tier league for years as Malmo was never good enough to gain promotion back to the SEL. He eventually gave up on that as he signed with SEL Linkoping last season. This season, still with Linkoping, he’s the 3rd leading scorer in the league with 39 pts in 31 games, a pts/game pace of 1.26. I’ll note that Alex Steen currently has 23 pts in 20 games in the SEL, a 1.15 pts/game pace. Maybe Soderberg eventually tries his game in the NHL but I seriously doubt it. He seems quite comfortable being a star back home.

Junland was just disappointing. He had the talent but just seemed to feel entitled and not want to put in the work necessary. After turning down the Blues guaranteed one-way deal for $500k to play in the SEL for approx. $400k (A LOT for the SEL), he performed poorly and the fans turned on him. He then took his game to the KHL but performed poorly there too and was released earlier this season by Barys Astana. He’s now playing for the Pelicans in SM-Liiga.

Sejna was very hyped but in hindsight, the warning signs were there. Basically, he put up a lot of pts in Jrs and in college but he was always a good 2 years older than most of his competition. He’s still revered here in Des Moines as a great former Buccaneer as he put up 94 pts in 58 games in 1999-00 but he was 20 while most players in the USHL are 16-19. He then put up very good numbers in college too but it soon became clear that Sejna was really only effective on the PP. With time and space, he was deadly. At 5 on 5, he was virtually useless in the pro game. Even in the AHL, he was mostly just a PP specialist. Sejna is an excellent example as to why you can’t scout and project based purely on stats. He lacked in a few key areas which killed his pro potential. In a lot of ways, TJ Hensick reminds me of Sejna in terms of their style of play and strengths/weaknesses. Today, Sejna is playing in the NLA (top Swiss league) where he has 18 pts in 28 games so far this season.

Honorable mention goes to Simon Hjalmarsson. He has a lot of talent and actually plays a decent two-way game as well but he lacks the size, strength and physicality to make it in N.A. and also seems to lack the desire to bother trying his game in N.A. . He’s offensively gifted though as he’s currently 11th in SEL scoring.

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Old
01-03-2013, 07:59 AM
  #28
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Several guys come to mind from the 1980s - David Roberts, Denny Felsner, Robert Dirk, Michael Dark. Of these four, only Dirk had any significant time in the NHL.

Someone above mentioned Gene Carr, and that was a good call.


Mitch Babin was a leading light in the minors at one time, but never played in the NHL.

A guy who stated off strong and disappeared was Bob Hess.

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01-03-2013, 09:06 AM
  #29
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Bob Hess -- good call. I was pretty young then, but I never understood what happened with that guy. He seemed to have so much promise. He was 19 (I think) and put up something like 39 points in his rookie season with a very mediocre hockey team. Remember him and Larry Sacharuk on the points for the pp.

Pierre Plante is another from that era who didn't live up to his promise -- granted he didn't come up with the Blues exactly. One year he played on a line with Wayne Merrick and Jack Egers, if I remember right, and scored 26 times. The next season Merrick was dealt early in the year and Plante flopped. I seem to recall Garry Unger being pretty miffed about the Merrick trade (Larry Patey came in return).

Here's one who hasn't been mentioned: Ed Staniouski. He wasn't a flop, but he didn't have anywhere near the career that the Blues and others were forseeing.

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01-03-2013, 11:21 AM
  #30
PocketNines
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I was once in some sweet seats at center ice for a Blues-Sabres game (Blues won big) and Robert Dirk gave Rob Ray one of the most savage beatdowns I have ever seen. So he panned out for me.

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01-03-2013, 11:43 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessejames View Post
Bob Hess -- good call. I was pretty young then, but I never understood what happened with that guy. He seemed to have so much promise. He was 19 (I think) and put up something like 39 points in his rookie season with a very mediocre hockey team. Remember him and Larry Sacharuk on the points for the pp.

Pierre Plante is another from that era who didn't live up to his promise -- granted he didn't come up with the Blues exactly. One year he played on a line with Wayne Merrick and Jack Egers, if I remember right, and scored 26 times. The next season Merrick was dealt early in the year and Plante flopped. I seem to recall Garry Unger being pretty miffed about the Merrick trade (Larry Patey came in return).

Here's one who hasn't been mentioned: Ed Staniouski. He wasn't a flop, but he didn't have anywhere near the career that the Blues and others were forseeing.
Merrick was a top pick and Patey well he was like a last round draft pick though he had a decent year with the Seals. Merrick had more skill, but Patey is one of the best penalty killers and defensive forwards in Blues history.

Pierre also was in a deep position for the Blues. We picked up Claude LaRose and had Jerry Butler too. Not a bad player, just not enough ice time or decent centers to go around.

Bob Hess was deemed the next Bobby Orr and well....didn't quite get there. He was fun on the penalty kill. Bob would grab the puck and nobody could catch him or take it from him. He was like the 3 Russians all in one, but defense just wasn't his thing... The offensive Paul Coffey/Steve Duchesne type defenseman came later. They were both (Hess and Sacharuk) ahead of their time.

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Old
01-03-2013, 11:48 AM
  #32
dr robbie
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Anyone remember David Roberts? I really thought the guy would be a great for some reason in the early 90s. Didn't really pan out that way (though he still had a decent career I suppose). I was 6 at the time, so I probably had a skewed view of him.

Jim Campbell also comes to mind. One of the nicest guys ever and lots of potential... but kind of had a drinking problem.

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01-03-2013, 11:49 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
I was once in some sweet seats at center ice for a Blues-Sabres game (Blues won big) and Robert Dirk gave Rob Ray one of the most savage beatdowns I have ever seen. So he panned out for me.
He was the player in the Canuck deal that I felt we did not need to lose. (Caron was HORRIBLE....) I am not so sure Manson would have fought Stevens. He would have had to fight Dirk. Dirk was as tough as they come. Losing that element really hurt the Blues. He was a Matt Walker type who could fight very well and play a good defensive shutdown game. Dirk was a giant killer. In other words, the tough guys didn't go looking for him and often left him alone.


Last edited by PerryTurnbullfan: 01-03-2013 at 12:02 PM. Reason: adding
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Old
01-03-2013, 12:10 PM
  #34
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Hess skated well and offered some offense but he was a fineness player who others teams forwards just loved to take runs at. Larry Sachurak had one of the best slaps shots from the point I've seen. He couldn't play a lick of defense though. Pierre Plante wasn't bad but to trade Moose DuPont for him was a terrible deal. Robert Dirk was a tough SOB, he and Tony Featherstone came up about the same time. Two big tough D Men. Back problems derailed his career. Rob Ray got the worst beating I saw when the Twister virtually broke his face. Both went to the box. At the first whistle Ray came out and went to the locker room and on to the hospital. In that short time his head had groteskley swelled to almost the size of a pumpkin.

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01-03-2013, 02:08 PM
  #35
Mike Liut
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I remember thinking Zezel and Hrcac were going to be really good.

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01-04-2013, 10:02 PM
  #36
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I am nominating the top three picks of the 1973 draft. So much potential in each, none of whom reached that full potential:

(1) John Davidson (what ever happened to that guy?). Stellar performance in Calgary (WCHL). I had him as a "can't miss" and was absolutely THRILLED when the Blues drafted him. I thought he would be tending goal for the Blues for a long time. He would play about 300 games in the NHL but was never the star he was projected to be. Basically, done in by his own size, too much bulk to be effective long-term and caused knee problems. A much, much better announcer and franchise re-builder than player. (One of the Blues players who was a client of time gave me ice level tickets for JD's first game back in St. Louis as a Ranger because he knew I was a big JD fan!)

(2) George Pesut. Also came out of the WCHL (Saskatoon). He was one of the best defensemen in the league his draft year and received the award for "best skating defenseman". Never signed with the Blues. Entered the NHL with the California Golden Seals and had 13 assists in 47 games in his rookie year, but then spent of the rest of his time in the minors or in Europe.

(3) Bob Gassoff. Need I say more? Another WCHL product. Initially, I really thought he was nothing more than an enforcer and tough guy. But, once he proved to every other tough guy in the NHL that he was one of the toughest, if not THE toughest, he then concentrated on improving his overall game. And improve it he did. He totally won me over. Gassoff was developing into one of the rising stars of the NHL. I firmly believe that, through his determination, dedication and drive, Gassoff was headed to stardom in the NHL. His death at such an early age was tragic on so many levels. I will never forget one game I attended at the old Arena during his last season. Not only did he win a fight, destroying the other fighter, but also scored a goal on an end-to-end rush that would have made Bobby Orr proud. (His legacy was proudly carried on by his son of the same name who quietly and courageously serves (served?) as a Navy Seal in defense of this country. )

Between Gassoff and Pesut, I thought the Blues had their "thunder and lightning" on defence for years.

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Old
01-04-2013, 10:15 PM
  #37
Robb_K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Liut View Post
I remember thinking Zezel and Hrcac were going to be really good.
Peter Zezel was a pretty solid player. The problem was that he moved quickly through Dr. Ron Caron's revolving door.

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01-04-2013, 11:12 PM
  #38
stlweir
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Originally Posted by Robb_K View Post
Peter Zezel was a pretty solid player. The problem was that he moved quickly through Dr. Ron Caron's revolving door.
Well put Robb_K, Caron, loved to deal. He made some of the best and worst deals in Blues history.

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Old
01-05-2013, 06:57 AM
  #39
JustOneB4IDie
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1981 1st rounder Defensemn Marty Ruff was a bust I'll add, never played a game in the NHL.

Bob Gassoff was not a bust!!! how can you say that when a Mortorcycle Accident took his life out Memorial Day weekend 1977?

I'l also agree on other already mentioned busts from the 70s and 80's, Carr Scott Campbell, Osborne, and of course that bust of a Goalie from 2004 Marek Schwarz...

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