Admission, top 35 prospects actually includes ALL my prospects. Figured I’d show the mistakes I continue to cling to, rather than just thesolid picks and more minor miscues which make up the top 20.
While having considerable depth, the Blues have a completely unbalanced prospect group after the graduation of Roman Josi, Ian Cole and Eric Gustafsson to the NHL, with forwards taking up the first eleven spots. The Blues will clearly be required to lean on their young defensive core, while relying on several of Cole, Gustafsson, Kundratek, Pelech, Albethauser and Butcher to emerge as bonafide NHL pros.
Goaltending remains a crap shoot and not a major focus of the Blues scouting department, whom are content to use a mid-round pick every other year on a goalie, and not much more.
Blues Top 35 Prospects
1. Johan Larsson (1) Unheralded in many circles, the Blues believe Larsson has top 6 upside and will be a two-way force in the years ahead. Captain material.
2. Mark Stone (4) Stone led Binghamton in scoring as a 20 year old rookie and seems destined for a scoring line in the future. Has been top scorer everywhere he has played, including for Canada at WJC.
3. Reilly Smith (6) Has done everything he can at the AHL level and ready to step up at the NHL after playing a depth roll in Dallas last year.
4. Nicolas Kerdiles (11) Shot up the rankings after dominating the NCAA’s as a freshman, after his early season suspension. Big offensive upside.
5. Kerby Rychel (NR) The Blues top pick last year is another scoring forward, albeit one with a higher element of toughness than any other forward in the top 10.
6. Stefan Noesen (5) Struggled with injuries and a suspension last year in the OHL so his rookie pro season this year will be a big one. Grinding two-way forward with offensive upside.
7. William Karlsson (8) Along with Larsson, one of the Blues rare center prospects who brings high end skills and offensive IQ to the table. Like Larsson, won the rookie of the year in the SEL as a 19 year old.
8. Shane Prince (10) Has seemingly been on the verge of vaulting up the rankings after showing high end skill in the AHL as a rookie, so he could easily enter the top 5 this year.
9. Sebastian Collberg (7) it was a tough season for Collberg as a depth player with Frolunda last year, but has shown tremendous offence against his peers when given the chance.
10. Charles Hudon (19) The biggest riser on this list, Hudon cracked a stacked Canadian WJC team while showing tremendous skill and hockey IQ along the way. Has top 6 upside.
11. Matthew Puempel (9) While his goal scoring returned last year, including during a brief end of season stint in Bingo, Puempel will look to establish his pro scoring credentials over the long haul this year as 20 year old AHL rookie.
12. Tomas Kundratek (15) Lit up the AHL as a d-man, and also put up some points at the AHL level, Kundratek looks to have decent upside as one of the Blues few defensive prospects.
13. Adam Pelech (17) Unheralded by most, Pelech put up tremendous numbers last year for a supposed defensive d-man in the OHL.
14. Will Butcher (NR) A 4th round pick for the Blues, who feel they got a steal in Butcher as a potential high end undersized offensive blueliner.
15. Anthony Duclair (NR) The lightning quick Duclair will hope to round out his offensive game in the Q this season, where it is hoped his hands and hockey IQ will catch up to his elite skating.
16. Konrad Albethauser (14) After dominating the Q last year, the big German is ready to jump to the AHL to see if his skills translate to the pro level. A potential Filip Kuba, albeit high risk.
17. Derek Grant (24) Made his NHL debut last season, after leading the AHL in SH goals. A bottom 6 forward, but has shutdown potential as a depth center.
18. Vincent Dunn (NR) Major pest potential with some scoring upside.
19. Joni Ortio (27) A wild card who made major strides in Finland last season as one of the league’s top goaltenders, has the potential to crack an NHL spot in the next few years. Who knows with goalies.
20. Gemel Smith (18) And up and down season for the speedy center, will have to step up his offensive game this season. Likely grinder at NHL level at best.
21. Michael Houser (21) Continues to be dismissed because of his unique goaltending style, but continues to stop pucks as well as any of his peers, this past year in the ECHL in his pro debut.
22. Cedric Paquette (NR) An overager the Blues drafted this season, who was a two-way force in the Q, Paquette will make his AHL debut this season
23. Blake Coleman (20) Regressed last year in the NCAA as he took on a different role with the team. Will look to bounce back offensively this year.
24. Corey Cowick (38) The Blues patience in Cowick is being rewarded as he made massive strides at the AHL level last year. While he only has bottom 6 upside, is starting to look like he might have NHL potential as a depth and character forward.
25. Maxim Goncharov (14) Finally returned to the KHL after several seasons in the AHL and unable to crack an NHL spot full-time. Quite likely to never return to NA, but the Blues will hold his rights for a few more seasons most likely.
26. Shawn Lalonde (22) Banished to Europe after an underwhelming season in the AHL last year. Likely a bust.
27. Zakhar Aramastev (32) Like many Russians on the Blues prospect list, his talent level is close to top 10, but the likelihood of Aramastev coming to NA seems remote.
28. Nikita Zaitsev (35) Came into his own in the KHL last year, but likely will stay there
29. Matt Lane (28) A struggle of a freshman campaign for Lane, a former USTP standout.
30. Billy Jenkins (29) A decent OHL season for Jenkins last year, but looks like a suspect still, more than a prospect
31. Mattieu Corbeil (25) Unlike Houser, Corbeil was unable to land an ECHL job as a 20 year old. I’m not sure what that means overall, but can’t be good. He is still really big, though.
32. Sergei Barbashev (33) Put up some points at the KHL level, and likely has never considered NA.
33. Nikita Dvurechensky (36) remind me to start trading my elite Russian players when they flourish at the WJC. Like many on this list, doing well and living well in the KHL. Nyet to NA, I suspect.
34. Anton Burdasov (37) The lowest on the list for my Russians, is negatively correlated to their love of the English language.
35. Jesse Forsberg (34) His lack of hockey IQ has continued to plague this talented pugilist. At least he didn’t quit hockey last year like his little brother. Of course, if he had, I could have just released him instead of hanging on to a guy likely not to get a pro hockey spot of significance this season. Did I mention he is available for a pick?
Last edited by Dr.Sens(e): 09-11-2013 at 03:07 PM.