St. Louis Blues – Offseason Prospect System Review

Pat Quinn

2018-08-25

 

The St. Louis Blues’ off season could be summed up in the prospect world as:

Blocking all of the good prospects from playing in the NHL

 

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OFF SEASON MOVES

 

While the team moved out Berglund, Sobotka, and Thompson for O’Rielly, they signed Bozak, Maroon, Perron, Thorburn, and Nolan, with the latter two being signed for no reason other than to take up contract space and cap dollars (side note: I know Thorburn was signed to a two-year deal but my statement still applies). Add in a (hopefully) healthy Robby Fabbri, plus Zach Sanford, and there is just no room for any of St. Louis’ fantastic prospects (not like I have a bet with Cam Robinson on Robert Thomas making this team or not). The Blues even added Chris Johnson in net blocking soon-to-be starter Ville Husso and forcing him to compete in the AHL with Jordan Binnington.

 

Let us not forget a big thing for the Blues this upcoming season: The team has its own AHL-affiliate in the San Antonio Rampage, and can now actually focus on developing their AHL-level prospects properly. Last season they had to split with Colorado and send other players around the AHL, so many prospects played in different systems.

 

 

GRADUATING PLAYERS

 

Honestly, with the signings this off season it is very hard to see any forwards graduating and unless the Blues move out Bouwmeester and/or Gunnarsson no defensemen are making it outside of the seven they have signed, plus Schmaltz who is a RFA. Vince Dunn may be on a two-way deal but there is no chance he gets sent down. People could have seen Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou and possibly Sammy Blais had the Blues not signed all of the UFAs.

 

The Blues have 13 forwards signed to one-way deals, and two-way deals for Barbashev, Nolan, and Sanford. The graduating players essentially are Barbashev and Sanford if they manage to stay up all season, which they should as I am a fan of both players. Sanford is more a good two-way bottom-six forward, but Barbashev has skill to score in a top-six role if given the opportunity.

 

 

RISERS

 

Robert Thomas – Simply put Thomas was a stud this season in the prospect world. He rocketed up many charts due to his fantastic OHL season, good World Juniors, and fantastic OHL playoffs sadly losing in the semi-finals of the memorial cup. He would likely be a shoe-in for a top nine centre spot on 28 NHL teams, sadly one of the teams he would not is the St. Louis Blues. Expect another season of dominance in the OHL for Thomas before the Blues have a big decision on its hands.

 

Jordan Kyrou – How do you follow up a prospect like Robert Thomas, well by obviously having another prospect that could arguably be better than him. Kyrou had better stats in the World Juniors, and during the OHL season, but ultimately fell flat in the playoffs with four points in 12 games. Kyrou’s 109 points in 56 games ultimately led him to win the Red Tilson Trophy which is awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player as voted by the writers and broadcasters. Kyrou has the skill and ability to make the Blues this season as well but there is just no room (as described above), and he will likely play out another season in the AHL.

Edit: Updated with the information as Kyrou can play in the AHL next season (according to twitter commentators)