Potential Blues Targets in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft
Tomorrow's Blues Online with Brian Weidler
In this report, and the ones to follow, your Game Time Prospect Department will spotlight seven players whom we feel are (or should be) the Blues' primary targets in each round of the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.
We will spotlight potential selections in the first, second, third, fourth, and sixth rounds; the Blues do not currently have a selection in the fifth round (traded to LA for T.J. Fast in 2008) or the seventh round (traded to LA for a pick that the Blues used to select Paul Karpowich in 2008).
First, let's review the selections that the Blues have made in the fourth round of each draft in the Jarmo Kekalainen Era (since 2003):
|...||Avg Sel||Avg Ht||IN||CM||Wt (lb)||Wt (kg)||In NHL||.....|
As we can see from the chart, the Blues' most likely selection in this round has historically been an Amerian defenseman, followed by a Canadian forward, since Jarmo Kekalainen's first picks for the Blues at the 2003 Draft.
After the break, we'll put the spotlight on seven players whom we expect to figure in the discussions when the Blues' turn to draft comes up at 108th overall on June 27.
Based on the current rankings of the players by NHL Central Scouting and other scouting services, and on the results of several mock drafts conducted by NHL.com and at the "Hockey's Future" website, the following seven players are projected to be available in the range (+/- five spots) in which the Blues will be drafting in the fourth round:
|ANDRONOV, Sergei||LW||L||6-02||189||07-19-89||Moscow, Russia||Lada Togliatti (KHL)||47||8||4||12||22|
|CHIAROT, Ben||D||L||6-03||214||05-09-91||Hamilton, ON||Guelph (OHL)||67||2||10||12||111|
|DAUGHERTY, Ryan||RW||R||6-02||192||04-16-91||San Dimas, CA||Omaha (USHL)||46||6||10||16||52|
|GALLIMORE, Burke||RW||R||6-00||199||01-08-91||Edmonton, AB||Saskatoon (WHL)||71||26||27||53||15|
|LEE, Anders||C/W||R||6-02||215||07-30-90||St. Paul, MN||Edina (HS-MN)||25||20||46||66||22|
|REMPEL, Brendan||D||R||6-03||205||04-24-91||Rockville, CT||USNTDP U-18||54||2||7||9||87|
|STASTNY, Andrej||LW||L||6-03||201||01-24-91||Povaszka Bystrica, Svk.||Trencin Jr. (Svk. Jr.)||43||17||30||47||28|
The scouting reports below are composited from five major sources -- NHL.com, International Scouting Services' monthly "Future Stars" reports, the "McKeens Hockey Prospects" website, the "Russian Prospects.com" website, and the "Hockey's Future" website.
|Andronov Scouting Report -- Andronov played on both the top line and top power play unit for Team Russia at the U-20 World Juniors. A gifted player with very nice puck distribution skills and very good hockey sense, Andronov complimented drafted linemates Filatov and Grachev perfectly. He has great hands and is able to weave around defenders to create space. Not a big hitter, but he doesn't shy from contact. An overage player who has been overlooked in the last couple of drafts, Andronov has seen his draft stock rise in the second half of the season. His speed, technique and game without the puck makes him a prospect worthy of attention, and the kind of experience he gained in the last two seasons make him a more NHL-ready prospect. Ranked fifth-best prospect in Russia for the 2009 Entry Draft by the "Russian Prospects.com" panel of Russian junior, elite, and KHL coaches.|
|Chiarot Scouting Report -- First and foremost, Chiarot is a no-nonsense, stay-at-home defenseman. He has raised his draft stock in the second half by playing a simple, all-purpose game. Has learned to settle down the puck and use his size advantageously to buy some time to make a play; will still occasionally make a poor decision with the puck when under pressure, but his vision and on-ice awareness is improving. A decent skater with sound positional awareness on defense, Chiarot will use his agility to eliminate passing lanes. Stays with his man defensively and utilizes his reach to pry away loose pucks. Physical and aggressive, he lacks top-end speed but uses his body to take as much room on the ice as possible. An excellent character guy with an ideal frame for an NHL defenseman.|
|Daugherty Scouting Report -- A big player who is a good skater, Daugherty could still improve his quickness in his first couple of skating strides. He goes hard to the net, and with his good size is difficult for defenders to contain. An up and down winger who gets in the on the forecheck well and finishes his checks. Displays some shot power; both wrist shot and slapshot have force. Has an NHL-size frame and plays with a tough guy attitude, maybe too much at times. Needs to develop additional lower body strength in order to improve his acceleration and top-end speed, and to lower his center of gravity in order to become stronger on his skates. Daugherty is scheduled to have left knee surgery in the off-season and faces a summer of rehab. He is slated to return to Omaha next season, and has committed to Northern Michigan for the 2010-11 season|
|Gallimore Scouting Report -- Gallimore is a very offensively-gifted forward, that plays top line minutes. Had a tremendous start in his rookie season with 10 goals in his first 11 games, but slowed down after that as opposing teams started to take notice. He has a nose for the net, plays a physical game, and has great offensive vision and instincts. Gallimore finds the open seams and creates scoring opportunities, but would benefit from putting the puck on net more often, stopping in front for rebounds. His shot, anticipation, and work ethic are all well above average. Also works hard on defense; he plays well without the puck, has a low center of gravity, and finishes his checks. The big question with Gallimore is his skating; he will need to improve all aspects of his skating (starts, mobility, separation and overall speed) in order to take it to the next level. Developing his leg strength could help him to be a force at the WHL level and possibly higher.|
|Lee Scouting Report -- Lee is a big, steady, aggressive player from one of Minnesota's top high school programs. His strengths include his vision for open pockets of ice, his quick decision making skills with the puck, excellent puck distribution skills, and his fast release of his shot in quality scoring areas of the offensive zone. Lee has excellent on-ice awareness, and provides his defense with quality support in his own end. He has good foot speed and does an equally impressive job of digging the puck out of the sidewall and corners, where he makes plays that create scoring chances. His physical ability is solid in all areas of the ice; he knows when to step up the physical game, and consistently uses his size and strength. Lee is a solid offensive player that will be a good top five round pick as a skilled forward who will improve in the college ranks. Committed to Notre Dame for 2010-11, and will play at Green Bay (USHL) next season.|
|Rempel Scouting Report -- Rempel is big, mobile, and physical, and thinks the game at an elite level. He plays with calmness under pressure, and makes smart decisions with the puck. An excellent defensive d-man, Rempel is tough to beat one-on-one and along the walls. Has very good size and hockey sense, and closes out his player in the neutral zone very well. His acceleration and turns are swift and fluid for a larger defenseman, and he is comfortable and effective lugging the puck up ice. Picks his spots well when pinching deep into the offensive zone or when joining the rush. Displays good timing defensively, and his anticipation gives him the ability to land big open-ice bodychecks. Effectively short-circuits oncoming rushes, fronts the puck well and is a strong shot-blocker. Owns a long reach and utilizes it aptly.|
|Stastny Scouting Report -- May have some conditioning issues; in the later stages of many contests he can become a non-factor, and he will need to get stronger and tougher in all areas of the ice to succeed at the next level. A methodical skater with very little speed; however, his hockey sense and passing skills help to advance the puck. He makes heads up plays with the puck and does not like to give it up. Stastny wore the C for Slovakia during the recent World U18 Championship. He has good size and a strong frame. Stastny has a great shot and gets it off well and is not afraid to challenge defenders with the puck. A smart player with good hockey sense, Stastny jumps into holes well and protects the puck very well also. Very tenacious around the puck, he has good hands and is a talented offensive scoring threat.|
The following table spotlights where each of these players is, or has been, ranked by various scouting services throughout the year.
Key: CSS = NHL Central Scouting Service. ISS = International Scouting Services. McK = McKeen's Hockey Prospects.
|CSS Midterm||24 Eur||100 NA||68 NA||75 NA||70 NA||85 NA||42 Eur|
|CSS Final||24 Eur||79 NA||78 NA||71 NA||118 NA||98 NA||42 Eur|
|ISS Oct||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||20 USA||NR|
The Last Word from your Game Time Prospect Department
The trend chart shows that the Blues are most likely to take an American-born defenseman in this round, based on past history during the Kekalainen drafts, and we've found an American-born defenseman who fits nicely into this range. We've also found a number of solid forward prospects, from all over the globe, who may well influence the Blues to buck the trend when their pick comes up here at #108
Rempel, the American, and Canada-born Chiarot are both solid defensive defensemen who play a strong physical and positional game. Rempel, however, probably has a higher offensive upside than Chiarot, and that's probably enough to tip the scales in his favor when comparing two otherwise evenly-matched blueliners.
Stastny, Gallimore and Daugherty are all considered solid offensive prospects with grit as well as offensive instincts. All three, however, have a deficiency that will count against them on draft day. Gallimore's skating is said to be poor, and in need of a lot of work, while Daugherty faces off-season knee surgery and rehab. Stastny, meanwhile, may have issues with his conditioning, as he has been known to fade late in games.
These deficiencies are not insurmountable, and the Blues have overcome these challenges with drafted players before. The depth of this draft may work against both Gallimore and Daugherty here, as they are not clearly head-and-shoulders above the rest of the players expected to be available at this stage of the draft.
Stastny is probably a cut above both Gallimore and Daugherty in terms of his offensive upside, but his conditioning issues may keep his draft stock low. Also, little is known about his intentions regarding the timing of his journey to North America, or even if he intends to come across the pond at all.
Anders Lee is a player that we here at the Game Time Prospect Department were very high on last year when he was first draft-eligible. Lee was passed over in last year's draft, and came back this year with another solid season to show that his numbers from last year were no fluke.
Lee is a player that is in short supply in the Blues' system right now: a player with size and grit who has solid offfensive skills. Most of the Blues' current forward prospects either have the size and grit, but are lacking in their offensive skillset, or else they have the requisite offensive skills, but less-than-ideal size. Lee could very well be a steal at this stage of the draft, but several other teams, including a couple of division rivals, are said to be interested in him.
Like Avtsyn in the previous round, Sergei Andronov is an intriguing wild card in this round. He has two years of experience in the top Russian league, playing against top competition, and distinguished himself at the World Juniors. He would be age-eligible to play in the AHL next season, and if the Blues could get him signed and commited to North America, he would be a very solid addition to Peoria's lineup for next year, perhaps in partnership with a returning Nikolay Lemtyugov.
As previously noted, drafting Russians is always a gamble, but like Avtsyn in the previous round, Andronov may well be a gamble worth taking for the Blues at this stage of the draft, if they can get a good read on his intentions for next season.
Ultimately, we at the Game Time Prospect Department see the Blues' options in this round whittled down to a choice between Rempel and Andronov, with Lee a strong third in this race. Seeing as how Kekalainen has gone on record as preferring to draft defensemen over forwards when all else is equal -- and seeing as how Rempel is almost an ideal fit with the Blues' draft trend chart in this round -- we're going with the American blueliner here.
Your GTPD Pick for the Blues at 108th overall: Brendan Rempel, D, USNTDP.
Who should the Blues select in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft?
Sergei Andronov, LW, Lada Togliatti (KHL) (3 votes)
Ben Chiarot, D, Guelph (OHL) (4 votes)
Ryan Daugherty, RW, Omaha (USHL) (4 votes)
Burke Gallimore, RW, Saskatoon (WHL) (1 vote)
Anders Lee, C/W, Edina HS (Minnesota HS) (12 votes)
Brendan Rempel, D, USNTDP U-18 (6 votes)
Andrej Stastny, LW, Trencin Jr (Slovakia Jr) (8 votes)
38 total votes