By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
BLUES TAKING AN OFF-ICE APPROACH TO PROSPECT DEVELOPMENT:
In the last several summers, the Blues held a Prospect Development camp shortly after the NHL Entry Draft. Prospects would come to town to participate in a week's worth of on-ice drills, culminating in a scrimmage (which was always well-attended) to close the week. But, as Jeremy Rutherford noted in the Post-Dispatch this past week, under GM Doug Armstrong, the team has decided to try a different approach:
In years past, the club held a "development" camp in which the Blues did suit up the prospects for on-ice drill, even a scrimmage game to wrap up the week. But last summer, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong canceled the ice time, saying that he didn't believe it was beneficial for players to ramp up their skating in the middle of the summer. Bill Armstrong, the Blues' director of amateur scouting, who is no relation to the GM, agrees.
"I think you get more out of them when you don't overwhelm them," Bill Armstrong said. "You just kind of say, 'Hey, listen, this is what you're learning here ...' If you're all over the map and you're trying to run practices and three-on-three tournaments, then you're trying to educate them ... sometimes it's too much information to absorb. So by doing it this way, they're simply focused on their off-ice training."
The prospects also learned another important off-ice aspect of being a pro hockey player: how important it is to get involved in the community. Several of the team's top prospects, including Europeans Teemu Eronen, Jani Hakanpää, Dmitrij Jaskin (who will play in the QMJHL this season), and Sebastian Wännström (who will skate for Peoria this year), conducted a street hockey clinic at City Academy in North St. Louis on Wednesday, introducing a new generation of Blues' fans to the game and making memories that, for some of the kids and the prospects, will last a lifetime.
SUMMER 2012 "GAME TIME" BLUES' PROSPECT RANKING CONTINUES:
The results are in, and by nearly a two-to-one margin over the next closest competitor, "legacy" prospect Philip McRae is "Game Time's" choice for the Blues' number six prospect.
Due to the closeness of the race behind McRae, I don't feel justified in naming the second-highest vote getter as the Seventh Son. There was significant interest in each of the four other prospects listed in last week's poll, so they return again this week for your consideration.
I have added some new names to the list, and I am eliminating the "Other" category for this poll, since in the two previous polls, exactly three people took the trouble to explain who they were voting for with a vote of "Other."
In place of the "Other" catgeory, I'm asking all respondents to provide the name of the player you feel should be included in next week's [poll, since at least one (and perhaps two) of the ten names listed below will come off next weekend.
The top vote-getter in this week's poll will be named the Blues' number seven prospect, and if the runner-up in this week's poll has clearly separated himself from the pack, making it essentially a two-horse race, he will be ranked the Blues' eighth-best prospect next week as well.
Cast your vote and make your voice heard, "Game Time" fans...
ST. LOUIS BLUES TOP 20 PROSPECTS (1 THRU 6):
|RW, shoots L. 5' 11, 210 lbs. Born 12-31-91, Novosibirsk, RUS.||STL 2nd pick (16th overall) in 2010 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Sibir/SKA (KHL)||54 GP, 23-24-47, plus-18, 15 PM, 7 PPG, 0 SHG, 6 GWG. 0.870 Pts/Gm.|
|LW, shoots L. 5' 10, 180 lbs. Born 06-25-92, Melfort, SK.||STL 1st pick (14th overall) in 2010 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Colorado College (WCHA)||30 GP, 15-26-41, plus-6, 18 PM, 5 PPG, 0 SHG, 4 GWG. 1.367 Pts/Gm.|
|RW, shoots R. 5' 11, 170 lbs. Born 02-05-93, Airdrie, AB.||STL 1st pick (32nd overall) in 2011 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Portland (WHL)||69 GP, 57-64-121, plus-23, 54 PM, 26 PPG, 4 SHG, 9 GWG. 1.754 Pts/Gm.|
|D, shoots L. 6' 01, 225 lbs. Born 02-21-89, Ann Arbor, MI.||STL 2nd pick (18th overall) in 2007 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||St. Louis (NHL)||26 GP, 1-5-6, plus-7, 22 PM, 0 PPG, 0 SHG, 0 GWG. 0.231 Pts/Gm.|
|G, catches L. 6' 02, 195 lbs. Born 08-07-90, Fredericton, NB.||STL 3rd pick (34nd overall) in 2008 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Peoria (AHL)||37 GP, 2088 Mins, 99 GA, 1203 SA, 2.84 GAA, 13-19-2, 1 SO, 0.918 Sv %.|
|C, shoots L. 6' 02, 200 lbs. Born 03-15-90, Apple Valley, MN.||STL 2nd pick (33rd overall) in 2008 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Peoria (AHL)||71 GP, 23-16-39, minus-10, 26 PM, 7 PPG, 0 SHG, 2 GWG. 0.549 Pts/Gm.|
"Game Time" readers, who is the Blues' Seventh Son, the seventh-best prospect in St. Louis' deep and talented developmental system? Make your voice heard here. This poll closes Friday, July 20, at 11:55 PM.
Joel Edmundson, D/L, 6' 5, 190. 56 GP, 4-19-23, plus-13, 91 PM (Moose Jaw, WHL) (11 votes)
Cade Fairchild, D/L, 5’ 11, 190. 68 GP, 8-26-34, plus-26, 32 PM (Peoria, AHL) (29 votes)
Jani Hakanpää, D/R, 6' 5, 218. 41 GP, 5-7-12, plus-6, 30 PM (Blues Espoo, FIN) (9 votes)
Sam Kurker, RW/R, 6' 2, 198. 24 GP, 32-28-60, even, 23 PM (H/S; Boston Univ 2012-13) (4 votes)
Anthony Nigro, C/L, 6’ 0, 180. 75 GP, 13-12-25, plus-12, 36 PM (Peoria, AHL) (8 votes)
Brett Ponich, D/L, 6’ 7, 225. 61 GP, 0-5-5, even, 47 PM (Peoria, AHL) (7 votes)
Jordan Schmaltz, D/R, 6' 2, 189. 55 GP, 10-31-41, plus-11, 29 PM (Green Bay, USHL; N. Dakota 2012-13) (23 votes)
Ryan Tesink, C/L, 5’ 11, 160. 36 GP, 13-27-40, plus-23, 54 PM (Saint John, QMJHL) (10 votes)
Yannick Veilleux, LW/L, 6’ 2, 190. 59 GP, 27-31-58, plus-21, 69 PM (Shawinigan, QMJHL) (9 votes)
Sebastian Wännström, RW/R, 6’ 0, 187. 43 GP, 8-7-15, minus-5, 20 PM (Brynäs, SEL) (13 votes)
123 total votes