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St. Louis Blues Top Prospect #11

View Poll Results: #11
Brett Ponich, D 2 4.76%
Sam Kurker, RW 9 21.43%
Joel Edmundson, D 5 11.90%
MacKenzie MacEachern, LW 1 2.38%
Dmitrij Jaskin, RW 2 4.76%
Jori Lehtera, C 7 16.67%
Yannick Veilleux, LW 0 0%
Evgeny Grachev, C/LW 16 38.10%
Sergei Andronov, RW 0 0%
Cody Beach, RW 0 0%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
08-25-2012, 09:58 AM
  #26
ChicagoBlues
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I know what you mean about Grachev, but I it all depends on your method of selection. HF has their own formula and mine is quite different, which is why I have Schmaltz and Kurker way, way down. My method has changed, however, since last year's polls. It seems that perhaps you use a formula/method similar to HF's. They have Grachev at a 7.0 D, however.


Last edited by ChicagoBlues: 08-25-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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08-25-2012, 10:03 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Celtic Note View Post
Grachev seems much too high here for me. If we were rating players by HF standards then I would put him at 5.5C.
Grachev is a top prospect with size, a physical presence and good hands. An above average skater with a pro shot and the ability to protect the puck, Grachev has transitioned from being a center to being a winger. Expected to be a power forward at the next level, Grachev will need to work on giving the team a consistent effort throughout the game, but ther eis no question that he has all the skills to be a top-six forward in the NHL.

By their analysis, they seem to think he has the skills to be a top six. I don't disagree. He just has to put his whole game together.

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08-25-2012, 10:03 AM
  #28
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Pretty much!!

As mentioned, however, each of us has his/her own way of selecting and, for me, it is how close they are to actually playing on NHL ice with any sort of consistency and not just a Della Rovere call-up.

He has played in the NHL, but is nowhere near our top-15 prospects in these polls. So, I know that my method is a little shoddy.
I'm not even sure what the hell I meant by that.

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08-25-2012, 10:13 AM
  #29
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Interesting thing about Grachev, though, is that he was voted as the Blues' #6 prospect and he had just come on board. We sure get excited, don't we?!

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08-25-2012, 11:38 AM
  #30
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Grachev seems much too high here for me. If we were rating players by HF standards then I would put him at 5.5C.
See, for me, Grachev is either top-6 or nothing. Maybe 3rd line, but definitely not 4th line. By that token, if he is to make it in the NHL as a top-6 forward, he'd have to be at least a 6.5 by HF standards, probably a 7.0

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08-25-2012, 12:04 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by PerryTurnbullfan View Post
Grachev is a top prospect with size, a physical presence and good hands. An above average skater with a pro shot and the ability to protect the puck, Grachev has transitioned from being a center to being a winger. Expected to be a power forward at the next level, Grachev will need to work on giving the team a consistent effort throughout the game, but ther eis no question that he has all the skills to be a top-six forward in the NHL.

By their analysis, they seem to think he has the skills to be a top six. I don't disagree. He just has to put his whole game together.
I don't see Grachev as having top-6 potential at all. I see him as having the potential to be a Russian equivalent to Brad Winchester. In not overly high on Grachev but I do think he has a decent shot of becoming a full-time NHLer...if he's willing to stick it out that is. He's already paid his dues in Jrs and the minors more that most Russians typically seem willing to do but he's going to have to pay some more dues IMO and even then likely won't be a big time player IMO so I could see him eventually returning to Russia. Many Russians are good enough for the NHL but return to the KHL to play a bigger role there in their home country for as just as much money.

What I really find funny here though is that I voted for Grachev in this poll but don't think overly highly of him while a few who seem positive about his future and potential voted for someone else!

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08-25-2012, 01:06 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
I don't see Grachev as having top-6 potential at all. I see him as having the potential to be a Russian equivalent to Brad Winchester. In not overly high on Grachev but I do think he has a decent shot of becoming a full-time NHLer...if he's willing to stick it out that is. He's already paid his dues in Jrs and the minors more that most Russians typically seem willing to do but he's going to have to pay some more dues IMO and even then likely won't be a big time player IMO so I could see him eventually returning to Russia. Many Russians are good enough for the NHL but return to the KHL to play a bigger role there in their home country for as just as much money.

What I really find funny here though is that I voted for Grachev in this poll but don't think overly highly of him while a few who seem positive about his future and potential voted for someone else!
I don't know about that. Grachev's still only twenty-two years old, and we all know that the bigger players - especially European players - normally take much longer to develop than their smaller counterparts. He's a skilled player on offense (although he does need to start using his size more), and his defense and effort, from what I saw, weren't lacking at all. Aside from that, he's stuck it out through the Canadian Juniors (unlike other players like Kabanov) and two AHL teams (unlike Filatov and Tikhanov) without ever going to Russia.

I don't think he's a top-six player by any means, but he brings so much more to the table than Winchester, and I think that he's much more willing to make a career in North America than a few other Russians I could mention. In my opinion, he's earned this spot.

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08-25-2012, 01:12 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
I don't see Grachev as having top-6 potential at all. I see him as having the potential to be a Russian equivalent to Brad Winchester.
What I really find funny here though is that I voted for Grachev in this poll but don't think overly highly of him while a few who seem positive about his future and potential voted for someone else!
Voting for him in THIS spot, doesn't mean we think he'll end up as a Top 6 forward in The NHL. I think he can be a good 3rd line winger if he can get better at scoring (which SHOULD happen-IF he puts the work towards it).

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08-25-2012, 01:40 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
I don't see Grachev as having top-6 potential at all. I see him as having the potential to be a Russian equivalent to Brad Winchester. In not overly high on Grachev but I do think he has a decent shot of becoming a full-time NHLer...if he's willing to stick it out that is. He's already paid his dues in Jrs and the minors more that most Russians typically seem willing to do but he's going to have to pay some more dues IMO and even then likely won't be a big time player IMO so I could see him eventually returning to Russia. Many Russians are good enough for the NHL but return to the KHL to play a bigger role there in their home country for as just as much money.

What I really find funny here though is that I voted for Grachev in this poll but don't think overly highly of him while a few who seem positive about his future and potential voted for someone else!
IKR!!! (Oh! That means, "I know, right?!" and you have to say it like a Borinqueña from Humboldt Park, Chicago)

It's funny how wildly inconsistent we are in how we select the prospects. But now that I've accepted how lame these polls are and how my methods are constantly changing it makes them more fun!

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08-25-2012, 09:35 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by PerryTurnbullfan View Post
Stick Grachev, Tarasenko, and Stewart out there and see what happens. Grachev fails, shuffle the deck... Stewart can make sure Tank stays alive and doesn't get run. I like Grachev's size and skill. Tank's a playmaker too. Maybe the tool box gets opened.....
That line wouldn't work. Stewart and Tarasenko both play on the right. In place of Stewart how about Steen or Perron?

Perron-Backes-Oshie
McDonald-Berglund-Stewart
Grachev-Steen-Tarasenko
Sobotka-Nichol-Langenbrunner/D'Agostini

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08-25-2012, 10:03 PM
  #36
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Grachev showed some serious defensive commitment when he was in the Blue note last season. I remember him blocking shots and putting effort into every shift. The only knock on him was that he was a black hole offensively. I think he could become someone like Paul Gaustad under the right coach.

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08-26-2012, 09:58 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by ChicagoBlues View Post
But he's (Schmaltz) a skinny punk who is three years away at least.
What was Alex Pietrangelo in 2008?

No, I'm not saying that Schmaltz definitely = Pietrangelo, but the Blues' scouting staff has a good track record of finding quality defensemen in spots where the "conventional" wisdom might think otherwise.

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08-26-2012, 10:04 AM
  #38
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Went with Kurker, because I see him as having the most long-term upside of any of the other players listed at this point. He has good size, a good track record, and will be developing under a coach and program that has a very good track record of putting quality players into the NHL.

Grachev is closer to NHL-ready right now, and that seems to be the determining factor for most of us, but I can see Kurker becoming a much better player than Grachev in the long run.

Add Anthony Nigro, who, very quietly, was by far the most improved player on the Rivermen last season.

Ryan Tesink is a good choice to add, also.

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08-26-2012, 10:41 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Prussian_Blue View Post
What was Alex Pietrangelo in 2008?

No, I'm not saying that Schmaltz definitely = Pietrangelo, but the Blues' scouting staff has a good track record of finding quality defensemen in spots where the "conventional" wisdom might think otherwise.
Pietrangelo was an elite Junior, with a well-rounded game. Schmaltz has a big deficit in the defensive zone. That is not to imply that he won't improve that part of his game and become a solid NHL defenceman with super offensive skills. But, he has a MUCH farther way to go than did Pietrangelo. He should be compared more to a "Steve Duschene" type, or, loosely, perhaps, to Rundblad. I don't think that Schmaltz will ever reach where Pietrangelo is now. But, he may become adequate in his own zone (perhaps even slightly above average there). And, in combination with a super offensive game, he might become a multiple-year all star at his position. I don't think, however, that he'll ever be the elite defenceman that Pietrangelo looks to become.

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08-26-2012, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Robb_K View Post
Pietrangelo was an elite Junior, with a well-rounded game. Schmaltz has a big deficit in the defensive zone. That is not to imply that he won't improve that part of his game and become a solid NHL defenceman with super offensive skills. But, he has a MUCH farther way to go than did Pietrangelo. He should be compared more to a "Steve Duschene" type, or, loosely, perhaps, to Rundblad. I don't think that Schmaltz will ever reach where Pietrangelo is now. But, he may become adequate in his own zone (perhaps even slightly above average there). And, in combination with a super offensive game, he might become a multiple-year all star at his position. I don't think, however, that he'll ever be the elite defenceman that Pietrangelo looks to become.
The way I read PB's reply, he's only comparing Schmaltz and Petro in terms of them both being skinny kids at the time of their respective drafts. Nothing more.

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08-26-2012, 12:19 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
The way I read PB's reply, he's only comparing Schmaltz and Petro in terms of them both being skinny kids at the time of their respective drafts. Nothing more.
That makes perfect sense.

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08-26-2012, 12:45 PM
  #42
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That line wouldn't work. Stewart and Tarasenko both play on the right. In place of Stewart how about Steen or Perron?

Perron-Backes-Oshie
McDonald-Berglund-Stewart
Grachev-Steen-Tarasenko
Sobotka-Nichol-Langenbrunner/D'Agostini
I don't think it's very likely at all that Grachev beats out both D'ags and Schwartz for a 3rd line spot. Maybe if there are a number of injuries but I don't see Grachev as having much if a shot of making the team out if camp.

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08-26-2012, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
I don't think it's very likely at all that Grachev beats out both D'ags and Schwartz for a 3rd line spot. Maybe if there are a number of injuries but I don't see Grachev as having much if a shot of making the team out if camp.
Right. I see Schwartz in that spot. If he starts in Peoria, then I see D'Agostini starting in that spot, and schwartz taking over after 25-30 games. Grachev would be farther down the forward depth chart.

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08-27-2012, 01:46 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
I don't think it's very likely at all that Grachev beats out both D'ags and Schwartz for a 3rd line spot. Maybe if there are a number of injuries but I don't see Grachev as having much if a shot of making the team out if camp.
I agree. Those lines were just hypothetical.

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08-27-2012, 05:01 AM
  #45
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I agree. Those lines were just hypothetical.
I agree. The biggest problem for Grachev is that the Blues are a contender with lots of talent upfront. Unless the injury bug hits, he isn't going to be in St. Louis this year. We probably ought to listen for a deal involving a pick or a team wanting to swap their enigma for him.

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08-27-2012, 05:18 AM
  #46
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
I don't see Grachev as having top-6 potential at all. I see him as having the potential to be a Russian equivalent to Brad Winchester. In not overly high on Grachev but I do think he has a decent shot of becoming a full-time NHLer...if he's willing to stick it out that is. He's already paid his dues in Jrs and the minors more that most Russians typically seem willing to do but he's going to have to pay some more dues IMO and even then likely won't be a big time player IMO so I could see him eventually returning to Russia. Many Russians are good enough for the NHL but return to the KHL to play a bigger role there in their home country for as just as much money.

What I really find funny here though is that I voted for Grachev in this poll but don't think overly highly of him while a few who seem positive about his future and potential voted for someone else!
I don't personally think Grachev is going to make it. Hockeys future put the 7d label on him. I think the d is more realistic off of the 7. I was being more hypothetical in that you could see what he would do around talent (Stewart and Tarasenko), but I think his preseason coming out party came and went.... Really at this point in our voting. His talent and tweener status had to make him the favorite, whether I really wanted to vote for him or not. It's like bluesfan94 said....It's either top 6 or possibly top 9. The problem is what level the Blues top 9 are at versus the lesser of the pack teams of the NHL. Grachev is going to pull a Tonya Harding, if he wants to play.....

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08-27-2012, 08:26 AM
  #47
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Originally Posted by Prussian_Blue View Post
What was Alex Pietrangelo in 2008?

No, I'm not saying that Schmaltz definitely = Pietrangelo, but the Blues' scouting staff has a good track record of finding quality defensemen in spots where the "conventional" wisdom might think otherwise.
LOL!!! I guess he was!!! I remember back than that I was worried that Pietrangelo wasn't that interested in ice hockey and wanted to possibly pursue other things -- all according to a post-draft interview. It wasn't a big deal, but he made it seem that ice hockey wasn't everything in his life and he still had to decide in which direction to go. For a fan that was a lot of hand wringing, but for him it was a very healthy thing to do. He chose ice hockey for now.

However, the Blues' scouting staff is due for another Schwarz-like bust. Not saying Schmaltz is gonna bust, but simply playing the contrarian gnat.


Last edited by ChicagoBlues: 08-27-2012 at 03:39 PM. Reason: SCHMALTZ
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08-27-2012, 08:33 AM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Robb_K View Post
Pietrangelo was an elite Junior, with a well-rounded game. Schmaltz has a big deficit in the defensive zone. That is not to imply that he won't improve that part of his game and become a solid NHL defenceman with super offensive skills. But, he has a MUCH farther way to go than did Pietrangelo. He should be compared more to a "Steve Duschene" type, or, loosely, perhaps, to Rundblad. I don't think that Schmaltz will ever reach where Pietrangelo is now. But, he may become adequate in his own zone (perhaps even slightly above average there). And, in combination with a super offensive game, he might become a multiple-year all star at his position. I don't think, however, that he'll ever be the elite defenceman that Pietrangelo looks to become.
He's responding to my superficial argument about Schmaltz being a skinny punk who is three years away. My comment about Schmaltz was in reference as to why he was voted the #6 Blues prospect. He's not even in my Top-12, but I understand why he's much further up in the majority's eyes.


Last edited by ChicagoBlues: 08-27-2012 at 03:41 PM. Reason: not again!! SCHMALTZ!!
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08-27-2012, 08:39 AM
  #49
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Originally Posted by Prussian_Blue View Post
Went with Kurker, because I see him as having the most long-term upside of any of the other players listed at this point. He has good size, a good track record, and will be developing under a coach and program that has a very good track record of putting quality players into the NHL.

Grachev is closer to NHL-ready right now, and that seems to be the determining factor for most of us, but I can see Kurker becoming a much better player than Grachev in the long run.

Add Anthony Nigro, who, very quietly, was by far the most improved player on the Rivermen last season.

Ryan Tesink is a good choice to add, also.
For now that is how I vote.

RE: Nigro

He's another hard-worker who will get his shot at spot duty in the NHL if he keeps it up. Again, it might not be with the Blues, but I could see him choosing to sign elsewhere following this upcoming season (his ELC expires).

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08-27-2012, 10:35 AM
  #50
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I don't think any of us are world-class scouts, otherwise that's what we'd be doing and not talking about it here.

My general rule of thumb is rate players with high ceilings high, until they show that it is doubtful that they reach that ceiling. Schmaltz IMO is a high prospect because his ceiling is something similar to Mike Green. I put him ahead of Fairchild because even though Fairchild seems like a lock to be a NHL regular, he will only play a Kris Russell role. Grachev will be very low for me because he isn't productive enough for the top 9 and isn't suited for the 4th line.

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