31 in 31 Series, July: St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues have been quite active this summer making a slew of moves to stay competitive in the Central division. The arrivals of Pat Maroon, Tyler Bozak, and Ryan O’Reily dominate the headlines but that doesn’t mean the Blues have ignored the youth of the club.
A number of prospects are coming into the season on one year deals looking to impress and make an impression. The Blues have some major decisions to make on bubble young pros Dmitrij Jaskin, Nikita Soshnikov and Jordan Binnington next summer but for now let’s take a look at the most recent draft.
1st Round: 25th Overall: Dominik Bokk, RW
A German prospect who’s received plenty of praise by anyone that’s been able to watch him, Bokk could be an impact player in a few seasons time. Having spent last season in Sweden, the Blues have loaned him out back to the Vaxjo Lakers for this coming year. Last year Bokk put up 41 points in 35 games for the Lakers’ U-20 squad while also dressing for the main club for 15 games.
2nd Round: 45th Overall: Scott Perunovich, D
Perunovich may be an “overager” but the defensive prospect had himself a very productive first season with Minnesota-Duluth in NCAA. A solid example that talent carries more value than size, the 19-year-old continues to grow into his game each and every season. The Blues are incredibly deep on the back end so there’s no rush in his development. Few more seasons at the college level will do him wonders.
4th Round: 107th Overall: Joel Hofer, G
Drafting goaltenders could be as hard as it gets but the Blues took Hofer in the fourth round. The Winnipeg native put up strong numbers on a solid Swift Current Broncos team, look for the 17-year-old to be back in the WHL for a few more seasons.
5th Round: 138th Overall: Hugh McGing, LW
McGing is yet another in the growing list of Blues college prospects. The left wing prospect was also another player who has been draft eligible for a bit now but that shouldn’t be seen as a slight. McGing put up 30 points in 36 games last year and will be looking to build on that in his junior season for Western Michigan.
6th Round: 169th Overall: Mathias Laferriere, RW
In the sixth round the Blues headed to the “Q” and selected Laferriere from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The 18-year-old made massive strides last season from the year before. Going from 12 points on the year in 2016-17 to 41 points in 67 games last season.
7th Round: 200th Overall: Tyler Tucker, D
The last pick of the day by the Blues is a player every team has at least one of. A defensive prospect who just loves to throw his body around. Tucker likely isn’t going to light the lamp often but at 6-1 and already over 200 pounds, he likes to put the opposition through the boards.
Robby Fabbri (signed)
Dmitrij Jaskin (signed)
Oskar Sundqvist (signed)
Beau Bennett (signed contract in KHL)
Mackenzie MacEachern (signed)
Joel Edmundson (signed)
Jordan Schmaltz (unsigned)
Petteri Lindbohm (unsigned)
Jordan Binnington (signed)
The Blues have most of their summer deals wrapped up with the exception of defensive prospects Jordan Schmaltz and Petteri Lindbohm. Schmaltz had himself yet another strong season in the AHL and should be slotted in that seventh defenseman role for this coming year. When it comes to Lindbohm, there are a few question marks on whether he can elevate his game amongst his peers. An injury kept him on the shelf and with just 23 games to his name last year with the Chicago Wolves, the 24-year-old Finn continues to fall down the depth chart.
Patrik Berglund (Buffalo)
Vladimir Sobotka (Buffalo)
Tage Thompson (Buffalo)
Carter Hutton (Buffalo)
Kyle Brodziak (Edmonton)
Scottie Upshall (UFA)
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