Blues Top 25 Prospects

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  1. Dr.Sens(e)

    Dr.Sens(e) Registered User

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    Blues Top 25 Prospects
    With 18 picks in the last two years, including 10 in the first three rounds, the Blues have re-stocked their prospect base while also showing patience with their top picks of previous years. Below is a listing of the top 25, all of whom interestingly enough, were draft by the Blues (versus being acquired via trade or free agency).

    Blues draft picks already graduated and still playing in St. Louis: Dany Heatley & Chuck Kobasew

    1. David Bolland, 1st round, 27th overall, 2004 Entry Draft
    Bolland has steadily moved up the Blues prospect list over the last two seasons and slips into the top spot by a hair based on his recent performance at Blues training camp. He needs another year in the AHL to beef up, but it seems the Blues finally have a legitimate scoring center prospect to groom. Tons of talent combined with tremendous hockey savvy, leaves Bolland’s slight frame as the only significant area of concern.
    HFNHL ETA: As early as 2007-2008.

    2. David LeNeveu, 3rd round, 77th overall, 2002 Entry Draft
    He ascended the prospect ranks pretty quickly after being drafted and is still the Blues anointed goaltender of the future, but some of the shine has been taken off Lenny over the last year. That said, not many 23 year old goalies crack the NHL, so the Blues will continue to remain very patient here. LeNeveu possesses a stoic and unflappable persona combined with world class fundamentals.
    HFNHL ETA: 2007-2008 but will see some call-up time this season.

    3. Daniel Paille, 1st round, 16th overall, 2002 Entry Draft
    An absolute buzz-saw the Blues love, Paille may not possess the upside of the rest of the top 5, but he is undoubtedly the closest to a sure thing of the bunch. The question that remains about Paille is whether he will be a career third liner or whether he can emerge as a scoring line role player mentioned during Selke talk. Regardless, at worst he figures to be a major contributor on the Blues checking line and short-handed squad for years to come.
    HFNHL ETA: 2007-2008 full-time, but will be a call-up this season.

    4. Guillaume Latendresse, 1st round, 18th overall, 2005 Entry Draft
    Like Bolland, he has continued to move up the list with his stellar play at training camp. Initially drafted as a project with a high ceiling, it is now more of a question of “when” Gui will arrive versus “if”. As a potential first line power forward, he is generally considered to possess the highest ceiling of all the Blues prospects.
    HFNHL ETA: 2008-2009.

    5. Andrew Cogliano, 2nd round, 33rd overall, 2005 Entry Draft
    Able to handle the puck while still utilizing his blinding speed, this Michigan Wolverine also possesses elite level upside. With his work ethic, the risk with Cogliano has diminished somewhat, as he has turned into a stellar penalty killer and a consistent high energy player. Still, he is a small with a lot of areas in need of refinement.
    HFNHL ETA: 2009-2010.

    6. Josh Gorges, 6th round, 176th overall, 2002 Entry Draft
    A cerebral over-achiever, this late round gem by the Blues has continued to defy his critics by consistently producing at a level well above the sum of his individual parts. While he will never be a Norris trophy candidate, he is the kind of player who is most appreciated over time and the Blues hope he will be a complimentary member of their top 6 for many years to come.
    HFNHL ETA: 2007-2008, but will be a call-up this season.

    7. Adam Pineault, 2nd round, 38th overall, 2004 Entry Draft
    Pineult made a break through last season, emerging as a bonafide power forward with his elite level shot, high end speed and the type of consistent energy in his game Blues scouts had been pleading for. Pineault will continue to develop his game in the AHL this season and is expected to be a checking line scorer further down the line.
    HFNHL ETA: 2008-2009.

    8. Chris Summers, 1st round, 29th overall, 2006 Entry Draft
    The prize possession from this past draft, the Blues rolled the dice by trading down in the 1st round anticipating the player they coveted most would still be available – and Summers was. He brings the type of intensity and energy to the game the Blues love and has a skating stride that is second to none. While he is a long way from playing with the Blues, it is anticipated he will become the Blues top rated defensive prospect in short order. Like Paille, Summers is seen as being future captain material.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    9. Dennis Persson, 2nd round, 42nd overall, 2006 Entry Draft
    Another defensive gem, Persson has the slick skating and offensive game that has become all the more valuable in the new NHL. Like Summers however, he is still several years away as he develops his overall game in the Swedish elite league over the next few years.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    10. Brendan Mikkelson, 1st round, 28th overall, 2005 Entry Draft
    Another blueliner with elite skating ability, Mikkelson suffered through an injury riddled year last year, but hopes to bounce back in Vancouver of the WHL and potentially join Team Canada at the WJC. Big and mobile, Mikkelson remains a bit of an unknown given he essentially lost all of last year.
    HFNHL ETA: 2009-2010.

    11. Dustin Byfuglien, 3rd round, 91st overall, 2003 Entry Draft
    The Blues surprised many observers when they used a 3rd round pick on “Bubba”, but he has shown the fortitude and discipline to overcome his weight problems and take advantage of his substantial natural talents. The polar opposite of Gorges, Byfuglien is currently in a dead heat with Josh for the 7th spot on the Blues defensive depth chart. With a booming shot, an enormous frame, a strong skating stride and tremendous athleticism, the Blues will have hit a home run if his game ultimately becomes the sum of its individual parts.
    HFNHL ETA: 2007-2008, but will be a call-up this season.

    12. Ben Maxwell, 2nd round, 31st overall, 2006 Entry Draft
    An elite level skater, Maxwell began to show late last season that his offensive game was just emerging and the Blues hope he continues to flourish in Kootenay, and possibly, with Canada’s WJC in the coming years.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    13. Jhonas Enroth, 3rd round, 71st overall, 2006 Entry Draft
    There were varying opinions on Enroth going into last year’s draft, but not in the Blues camp. He was considered on par with the very best in his goaltending class by Blues scouts, a fact underscored with his play in International events. Of course, patience is an absolute must with European goalies, as those who do come over, usually don’t arrive for several years.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    14. Garth Murray, 3rd round, 82nd overall, 2001 Entry Draft
    Murray is the consummate character player, albeit with limited upside. His play last season on the penalty kill and as part of energy lines has solidified his future with the Blues. He will be a solid depth and physical presence with the team for years to come.
    HFNHL ETA: 2007-2008, but will be a call-up this season.

    15. Nate Hagemo, 3rd round, 88th overall, 2005 Entry Draft
    Like his draft-mate Mikkelson, Hagemo’s 2005-2006 year was all for naught after an injury cut his season short last fall. But Hagemo is a tremendous skater with a stocky frame and the Blues hold high hopes for him in the years to come.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    16. Cody Burki, 2nd round, 48th overall, 2006 Entry Draft
    Burki possesses a solid all-around offensive game the Blues believe is underated. He is expected to lead his Brandon squad once again this season. Burki was also the top forward at the CHL prospects game last year and was one of the only 2006 drafted players invited to Canada’s summer WJC camp. Seems to play his best against the best.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    17. Colin McDonald, 3rd round, 89th overall, 2003 Entry Draft
    McDonald’s progress has been slow and steady in the NCAA, but with his size and hands, the Blues have been patient to see how he emerges as a prospective NHL forward. This is a big year for McDonald in Providence.
    HFNHL ETA: 2008-2009.

    18. Oskars Bartulis, 5th round, 134th overall, 2005 Entry Draft
    His speed and size were always intriguing, but Bartulis has really shown well in training camp and HFNHL pre-season scrimmages with the team. Bartulis returns to Cape Breton of the QMJHL where he is expected to be one of the league’s top blue-liners.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    19. Fredrik Pettersson, 5th round, 149th overall, 2005 Entry Draft
    This diminutive sparkplug has quickly become a fan favorite with every team he has been on and the Blues believe he can eventually become a speedy role player in the HFNHL due to his substantial skills, speed and spunk.
    iHFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    20. Derek LaPoint, 3rd round, 79th overall, 2006 Entry Draft
    LaPoint is as long-term a project as can be found, starting in Green Bay of the USHL this season and committed to North Dakota in the NCAA for 2007-2008. As Wisconsin’s high school player of the year last year, he has a tremendous skill-set and the Blues are anxious to see how he develops in the years to come.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    21. Paul Bissonette, 3rd round, 82nd overall, 2003 Entry Draft
    After a stunning training camp performance a few years ago, Bissonette has hit a plateau in the AHL the past two years, seemingly unable to take that next step in becoming a defensive rock to anchor a team’s blueline. With his strength and intangibles though, the Blues will likely give him a few more years to see how his game matures in the AHL.
    HFNHL ETA: 2008-2009.

    22. Michael Garnett, 2nd round, 58th overall, 2001 Entry Draft
    The subject of several trade rumours this year, Garnett finds himself firmly behind LeNeveu at 4th on the Blues goaltending depth chart. Logic would dictate Garnett is trade bait given so many teams are without a back-up goalie, but given Garnett is only 23 and waiver exempt for the next three years, the Blues are in no rush to move him.
    HFNHL ETA: 2008-2009, but likely a call-up this year and going forward.

    23. Ryan Garlock, 2nd round, 51st overall, 2004 Entry Draft
    Garlock is a solid two-way and gritty forward, but it is unclear whether he has the offensive game to be an NHL scorer, nor quite the intangibles and grit to be a checking line forward. However, he had a solid training camp this past month, which has seemingly bought him more time in the Blues development pipeline.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    24. Jared Boll, 6th round, 159th overall, 2005 Entry Draft
    Boll is the first true enforcer in the Blues prospect pool since their trading of Ben Eager a few years ago. With a goal scorer’s touch and a menacing presence whenever he hits the ice, Boll will look to refine his offensive game this year with a bigger role in Plymouth of the OHL.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    25. Timo Seppanen, 4th round, 111th overall, 2006 Entry draft
    Seppanen is an intriguing Finn, who along with his country-mate Tommi Leinonen, has a solid International resume. That said, he remains a suspect as much of a prospect, albeit with a decent upside.
    HFNHL ETA: Long-term.

    Honourable Mention: Zach Fitgerald, Jan Mursak, Tommi Leinonen, Denis Denisov, Richard Demen-Willaume
     
  2. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    Great review... some interesting prospects there!
     
  3. Brock

    Brock Registered User

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    That's a solid collection of prospects to go along with a team that's always competitive.

    Good write up too.

    Kudos Nick.
     

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