By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
With their last two picks in the 2012 Entry Draft, the Blues made an obligatory tip of the team cap to former draft guru Jarmo Kekalainen before coming back to North America to take a player that could be a potential late-round gem.
In the sixth round, at 176th overall, the Blues selected Finnish defenseman Petteri Lindbohm from the Jokerit Helsinki organization, where Kekalainen now serves as general manager, and with their final selection of the draft at 206th overall in the seventh round, selected rugged forward Tyrel Seaman from the WHL's Brandon (MB) Wheat Kings.
Lindbohm was ranked the 46th-best prospect in Europe for the 2012 Entry Draft by the NHL's Central Scouting Service, up eight spots from 54th at Midterm. Lindbohm was not ranked in the Top 100 by "The Hockey News" in their 2012 Draft Preview, but was ranked 118th overall by International Scouting Services in their 2012 Entry Draft Preview.
The big blueliner is the Blues' second pick in as many years from the Jokerit organization, joining 2011 draftee Teemu Eronen, and the third Finnish defenseman selected in the last three drafts by the Blues.
The ISS scouting report on Lindbohm reads as follows: "A big physical defender who has some good upside around the puck, Lindbohm is still very raw at this point. His skating is still very average but has room for technical development, especially in terms of quickness and overall speed. He is poised around the puck and seems to thrive in physical situations. He can protect the puck well, has a strong shot, is very hard to knock off balance and generally gets the puck up ice successfully but does have a tendency to run himself out of room on rushes at times. Defensively, he is very aggressive, loves to play the body and is not afraid to push and shove around the net or after the whistle."
Seaman was ranked the 104th-best prospect in North America for the 2012 Entry Draft by the NHL's Central Scouting Service, down a whopping 54 spots from a Top 50 ranking at Midterm. The farmer's son from Choiceland, Saskatechewan was ranked 91st overall by "The Hockey News" (who called him a "beastly center (who) skates well and is not afraid to get his nose dirty") in their 2012 Draft Preview, and was rated the 115th-best prospect overall by International Scouting Services in their 2012 Entry Draft Preview.
The ISS scouting report on Seaman reads as follows: "A big, hard shooting, physical forward Seaman is still very much a work in progress but has great potential as an effective power forward at the next level. Seaman's huge frame still has a ton of room to build on and that added power and strength should help improve his already formidable puck protection and hitting skills. He is an average skater who still needs to develop power and balance in his stride. Seaman didn’t get an opportunity to play in a lot of crucial situations with a strong Wheat King forward group but should see that quality ice time improve and with that he could be primed for an offensive explosion."
Seaman was on track for a pretty decent season in his draft year before suffering a concussion on Nov. 25 against Moose Jaw and missing all but one game for Brandon through mid-March. After his return, the big forward picked up a pair of assists on St. Patrick's Day in a 7-2 shellacking of the Regina Pats, but made minimal impact on the scoresheet in the playoffs (0-1-1, minus-2, 6 PM in 9 games) as Brandon eliminated Calgary in the first round before falling to eventual league champion Edmonton in the second.