By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE:
OK, folks, I know you're all frustrated with the ongoing stupidity coming out of the NHL offices and the NHLPA headquarters.
But even if the NHL season is interfered with -- and it seems to be a virtual certainty that some interference is going to happen -- there's still an AHL season to think about, and still major junior, college, and European seasons gearing up.
The Blues' organization will have lots of players participating in play at all those levels, and focusing on that is what this weekly feature is all about.
So let's get to it...
VEILLEUX BREAKS THE ICE:
The first goal scored by a Blues' prospect in the 2012-13 season came from the stick of 2011 draftee Yannick Veilleux. The Ste-Hipolytte, QC native scored an insurance goal at 5:56 of the third period on Friday night as the Moncton Wildcats topped the Halifax Mooseheads 5-1 in preseason QMJHL play
Veilleux also tallied an assist on Allain Saulnier's power play tally later in the third period, and was a plus-2 with four PM in the game (two minutes for goalie interference, and two for roughting).
I ASK AGAIN...:
Under no circumstances do I claim to be an expert on contracts, or on what is and isn't allowed under a Collective Bargaining Agreement... but with a lockout a virtual certainty to start the season, does anyone know of any reason why the Blues should not load Peoria to the hilt with their young NHL-level talent?
I imagine there is some provision that would keep the Blues from sending young veterans like Oshie, Perron, or even Pietrangelo down... but why would they not be able to send Tarasenko, Schwartz, Shattenkirk and Sobotka down to start the season? Ian Cole and Evgeny Grachev are on the bubble anyway; send them down too. D'Agostini as well.
Let the Rivermen get off to a monster start in the AHL season with all that talent, and when the owners and players finally come to their senses and decide to get the NHL season under way, Peoria will (hopefully) have a cushion upon which to build the rest of their AHL season with the guys who were going to be there all along.
And, regarding Tarasenko playing in Peoria, here's what I had to say about it at the "Hockey's Future" site, for those of you who might occasionally go there:
He wouldn't be playing in the AHL for the entire season, unless the owners and the NHLPA are both truly, titanically stupid and piss away the entire year.
I can't see a lockout going past American Thanksgiving; if it goes any longer than that, the NHL might as well fold their tents, because they'll never be taken seriously in the US as a major professional sport again. They'll be ranked somewhere below MLS or the WNBA in terms of appeal to the general public.
The Blues may not be "officially" allowed to speak to Tarasenko in this circumstance, but I would think that they have "connections" who could put a bug in T-90's ear that just showing up in Peoria and saying, "I'll play here until the big boys get their shit together" would go a long way towards making him the face of the Blues' franchise going forward.
What better way to say, "I bleed Blue, not Russian Red," than to do that? Every Blues' fan alive would kiss the ground he walks on if T-90 showed that kind of Plager-like devotion to this franchise.
Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.
PROSPECT POLLING CONTINUES:
A small player with big upside is the winner of this week's "Game Time" Summer Prospect Poll, and takes his place as the #15 prospect in the Blues' organization.
See who this week's winner is, and vote for the coming week's top prospect, after the jump.
ST. LOUIS BLUES TOP 20 PROSPECTS (1 THRU 15):
|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 (34th 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.|
|D, shoots L. 5' 11, 190 lbs. Born 01-15-89, Duluth, MN.||STL 7th pick (96th overall) in 2007 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Peoria (AHL)||68 GP, 8-26-34, plus-26, 32 PM, 2 PPG, 0 SHG, 3 GWG. 0.500 Pts/Gm.|
|D, shoots R. 6' 02, 189 lbs. Born 10-08-93, Verona, WI.||STL 1st pick (25th overall) in 2008 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Sioux City/Green Bay (USHL)||55 GP, 10-31-41, plus-11, 29 PM, 5 PPG, 1 SHG, 2 GWG. 0.745 Pts/Gm.|
|C, shoots L. 6' 00, 189 lbs. Born 01-11-90, Toronto, ON.||STL 9th pick (155th overall) in 2008 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Peoria (AHL)||75 GP, 13-12-25, plus-12, 36 PM, 2 PPG, 1 SHG, 1 GWG. 0.333 Pts/Gm.|
|D, shoots L. 6' 07, 225 lbs. Born 02-21-91, Edmonton, AB.||STL 2nd pick (48th overall) in 2009 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Peoria (AHL)||61 GP, 0-5-5, even, 47 PM, 0 PPG, 0 SHG, 0 GWG. 0.082 Pts/Gm.|
|D, shoots L. 6' 4, 211 lbs. Born 03-31-92, Kirkkonummi, FIN.||STL 5th pick (104th overall) in 2010 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Blues Espoo (FIN)||41 GP, 5-7-12, plus-6, 30 PM, 1 PPG, 0 SHG, 0 GWG. 0.293 Pts/Gm.|
|D, shoots L. 6' 02, 187 lbs. Born 04-11-94, Edmonton, AB.||STL 5th pick (106th overall) in 2012 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Everett (WHL)||62 GP, 6-12-18, minus-27, 95 PM, 3 PPG, 0 SHG, 1 GWG. 0.290 Pts/Gm.|
|RW, shoots R. 6' 05, 190 lbs. Born 08-08-92, Nanaimo, BC.||STL 6th pick (134th overall) in 2010 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Moose Jaw (WHL)||58 GP, 15-41-56, plus-12, 229 PM, 7 PPG, 0 SHG, 2 GWG. 0.966 Pts/Gm.|
|D, shoots L. 6' 04, 191 lbs. Born 06-28-93, Brandon, MB.||STL 2nd pick (46th overall) in 2011 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Moose Jaw (WHL)||56 GP, 4-19-23, plus-13, 91 PM, 0 PPG, 0 SHG, 2 GWG. 0.411 Pts/Gm.|
|C, shoots L. 5' 11, 160 lbs. Born 05-21-93, Saint John, NB.||STL 6th pick (162nd overall) in 2011 Entry Draft.|
|2011-12||Saint John (QMJHL)||36 GP, 13-27-40, plus-23, 54 PM, 2 PPG, 3 SHG, 3 GWG. 1.111 Pts/Gm.|