Welcome to our annual 31-in-31 Summer Series here at DobberProspects! Every day in July we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s draft, notes from their development camp, and insights into their off-season moves so far. Following this up, the August 31-in-31 Series will dive into every team’s prospect depth charts with fantasy insights and implications for the upcoming seasons. Check in often, because we plan on filling your hockey withdrawal needs all summer long!
It only took 51 seasons, but the St. Louis Blues finally won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. It was quite literally a miracle run for the team that, on January 3 of this year (nearly halfway through the season), found themselves at the very bottom of the NHL standings.
Coming into the year the Blues were expected to be a contender and the big move they made in the offseason certainly spoke to that when they shipped off Vladimir Sobodtka, Patrik Berglund former first round pick Tage Thompson, their 2019 first round pick and their 2021 second round to the Buffalo Sabres pick to obtain the eventual 2019 Conn Smythe and Selke Award winner in Ryan O’Reilly.
The move obviously paid off, but ultimately left the Blues without a selection in the first 31 picks.
This year’s Blues draft class isn’t much to write home about just yet, but I think fans are more than happy with the tradeoff.
2019 Draft Selections:
Round 2, 62nd overall – Nikita Alexandrov, C
Alexandrov is about as old as a first-time eligible player can be. He started the season as a potential first round pick, but saw his stock fall as he had some trouble producing on a consistent basis. At his best Alexandrov is a deceptive puck carrier who disguises his shot well and can place it wherever he likes. He uses his strong frame to get inside the defense and wreak havoc in front of the net. His stride is somewhat choppy and inefficient, which affects his acceleration, but his top speed is fine.
Round 3, 93rd overall – Colten Ellis, G
Ellis failed to outperform his rookie season, but posted average numbers in his second full QMJHL season. However, he did find a way to raise his game in the playoffs and post a .919 save percentage. Ellis boats some translatable skills ins his ability to move side to side and stay square to his shooter.
Round 5, 155th overall – Keean Washkurak, C
Washkurak is only 5’10, but plays a power game. He’s a fast enough skater who is capable of beating defenders to the outside to make a power move to the net and slip the puck into the net. He’s quite strong, is difficult to move from the front of the opposing net and has the hands to finish in tight. He’s a somewhat limited passer in terms of creativity, but makes nice plays once he’s found a spot around the net to work from.
Round 7, 208th overall – Vadim Zherenko, G
The Blues continued to stock their goalie pipeline by selecting Zherenko in the seventh round. The Russian netminder finished second in the MHL among U18 goalies in save percentage (.936). Zherenko has not played for Russia internationally to this point.
Round 7, 217th overall – Jeremy Michel, RW
Michel had the distinct honor of being the last player selected at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Michel is a hard worker who is unafraid of taking a beating in the front of the net. He goes to the dirty areas and works hard. I don’t see a ton of skill or offensive upside to his game, but he brings some tools that translate to higher levels of play. It’s a bit of a long shot, but he could eventually work his way into an NHL role.
The Blues’ Prospect Camp featured many of their top prospects including three of their best prospects in Dominik Bokk (2018 first round pick), Klim Kostin (2017 first round pick) and Scott Perunovich (2018 second round pick).
By all accounts Bokk was a cut above the rest at camp. His elite skill and ability to process the game quickly was on display throughout the entire event:
Kostin showed some flashes of what made him a, once, highly ranked prospect. He’ll be pushing for a spot in the NHL:
Perunovich has been wildly successful in his short hockey career. Heading into his Junior year with Minnesota-Duluth the defender has already won two National Titles, an NCHC Championship as well as a World Junior Bronze. He showed off his fantastic skating, vision and hands throughout the entire camp:
Nikita Alexandrov (32)
Ben Copeland (74)
Casey Gilling (81)
Kevin Hancock (82)
Klim Kostin (37)
Nikolaj Krag (58)
Mathias LaFerriere (59)
Tyson McLellan (80)
Jeremy Michel (42)
Taylor Schneider (63)
Alexey Toropchenko (65)
Jared Kucharek (68)
Colin Swoyer (61)
Tyler Tucker (75)
Jakub Dobes (40)
Joel Hofer (1)
Mitchell Balmas (88)
Dominik Bokk (26)
Pat Curry (76)
Cam Donaldson (84)
Krystof Hrabik (89)
Robby Jackson (79)
Filip Helt (86)
Hugh McGing (56)
Connor Sodergren (72)
Keean Washkurak (36)
Scott Perunovich (47)
Griffen Mendel (60)
Jonas Arntzen (30)
Jack Caruso (45)
Colten Ellis (31)
The Blues have worked hard to bring back most of the players from the Cup-winning team, but still have two RFAs to be dealt with in Ivan Barbashev and Joel Edmundson. Nikita Soshnikov, Patrick Maroon and Chris Thorburn are their notable unsigned UFAs.
Jordan Binnington, G – 2 years, $8.8 million
Robby Fabbri, C – 1 year, $900k
Oskar Sundkvist, C – 4 years, $11 million
Sammy Blais, LW – 1 year, $850k
Zach Sanford, LW – 2 years, $3 million
Ville Husso, G – 1 year, two-way, $700k
Nick Lappin, RW – 1 year, two-way, $700k
Evan Polei, LW – 1 year, two-way $750k
Michael Vecchione, C – 1 year, two-way, $700k
Nathan Walker, LW – 1-year, two-way, $700k
Derrick Pouliot, D – 1-year, two-way, $700k
Jake Dotchin, D – 1 year, two-way, $700k
Chris Butler, D – Retired
Michael Del Zotto – Signed with Anaheim