Game Time Prospect Sunday, Sep. 16, 2012

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By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department


PEORIA NOTES:

Conspicuous by their absence from the list of players assigned to Peoria by the Blues the other day, were the names of veterans T.J Hensick, Chris Porter, and Jeff Woywitka.

Scratch Hensick’s name off that short list... the Blues have assigned the veteran center and AHL-level offensive powerhouse to Peoria, according to the AHL website.


WILL TARASENKO "PLAY IN PEORIA?"

The "official" word is still that the Blues and Vladimir Tarasenko will be meeting sometime in the next week to discuss the player's options. Many people -- including, apparently, Tarasenko's father -- think that the Blues’ top prospect will return to Russia and play there during the lockout:

Note, however, that the Tweet above was posted on September 13, a day before the Blues formally assigned Tarasenko to Peoria.

Some folks think it’s all about the money, as in, "why should Tarasenko play for peanuts in Peoria when he can get a big payday back home in Russia during a lockout?" While that stance certainly is understandable, I tend to believe that Tarasenko has more character than that.

He has committed to the Blues and the NHL, and came over here knowing that a lockout was a strong possibility, and that the Blues would likely ask him to go to Peoria in the event of a lockout. If he was not willing to go where the Blues sent him in the event of a lockout, why would he not have just remained in Russia and signed a contract there with an "out clause" that would allow him to come to America when the lockout issue was settled?

Tarasenko, like David Perron and other recent high-profile Blues draft picks, is a "rink rat" who plays the game because he loves it, and not necessarily because he’s motivated by knowing he can make a ton of money at it. He has shown loyalty to his team in Novosibirsk in the past, and there’s no reason to expect him to not be equally loyal to the Blues.


RIVS ROSTER UPDATE:

This is the best information I have at this time regarding the players that will be skating in Peoria when the Rivs open training camp here in about ten days:

LEFT WING: Stefan Della Rovere, Evgeny Grachev, Derek Nesbitt, Jaden Schwartz.

CENTER: Jay Barriball, T.J. Hensick, Philip McRae, Andrew Murray, Anthony Nigro, Trevor Nill, Brett Sonne.

RIGHT WING: Sergei Andronov, Cody Beach, Chris Bruton, Adam Cracknell, Anthony Peluso, Tyler Shattock, Tyler Shelast, Vladimir Tarasenko, Sebastian Wännström.

LEFT DEFENSE: Taylor Chorney, Ian Cole, Mark Cundari, Cade Fairchild, Jesse Perrin, Brett Ponich.

RIGHT DEFENSE: Scott Ford, David Shields.

GOALTENDER: Jake Allen, Paul Karpowich, Mike McKenna.


PROSPECT POLLING CONTINUES:

With the start of the regular season in the AHL and major junior just four weeks away, the Summer 2012 "Game Time" Prospect Poll is winding down.

Taking the majority of the fan votes this week is big Russian prospect Evgeny Grachev, interpreter (and possible Peoria linemate) for Vladimir Tarasenko. Grachev, acquired from the NY Rangers for a third-round pick in 2011 (with which the Rangers drafted Minnesota high schooler Steven Fogarty) was a former junior teammate of Anthony Peluso with Brampton of the OHL in 2008-09.

Vote for the 19th-best prospect in the Blues' system in the poll below.

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ST. LOUIS BLUES TOP 20 PROSPECTS (1 THRU 18):

VT BW 1. Vladimir TARASENKO
RW, shoots L. 5' 11, 210 lbs. Born 12-31-91, Novosibirsk, RUS. STL 2nd pick (16th overall) in 2010 Entry Draft. RUS
2011-12 Sibir/SKA (KHL) 54 GP, 23-24-47, plus-18, 15 PM, 7 PPG, 0 SHG, 6 GWG. 0.870 Pts/Gm.

JS BW 2. Jaden SCHWARTZ
LW, shoots L. 5' 10, 180 lbs. Born 06-25-92, Melfort, SK. STL 1st pick (14th overall) in 2010 Entry Draft. CAN
2011-12 Colorado College (WCHA) 30 GP, 15-26-41, plus-6, 18 PM, 5 PPG, 0 SHG, 4 GWG. 1.367 Pts/Gm.

TR BW 3. Ty RATTIE
RW, shoots R. 5' 11, 170 lbs. Born 02-05-93, Airdrie, AB. STL 1st pick (32nd overall) in 2011 Entry Draft. CAN
2011-12 Portland (WHL) 69 GP, 57-64-121, plus-23, 54 PM, 26 PPG, 4 SHG, 9 GWG. 1.754 Pts/Gm.

IC BW 4. Ian COLE
D, shoots L. 6' 01, 225 lbs. Born 02-21-89, Ann Arbor, MI. STL 2nd pick (18th overall) in 2007 Entry Draft. USA
2011-12 St. Louis (NHL) 26 GP, 1-5-6, plus-7, 22 PM, 0 PPG, 0 SHG, 0 GWG. 0.231 Pts/Gm.

JA BW 5. Jake ALLEN
G, catches L. 6' 02, 195 lbs. Born 08-07-90, Fredericton, NB. STL 3rd pick (34th overall) in 2008 Entry Draft. CAN
2011-12 Peoria (AHL) 37 GP, 2088 Mins, 99 GA, 1203 SA, 2.84 GAA, 13-19-2, 1 SO, 0.918 Sv %.

PMcR BW 6. Philip McRAE
C, shoots L. 6' 02, 200 lbs. Born 03-15-90, Apple Valley, MN. STL 2nd pick (33rd overall) in 2008 Entry Draft. USA
2011-12 Peoria (AHL) 71 GP, 23-16-39, minus-10, 26 PM, 7 PPG, 0 SHG, 2 GWG. 0.549 Pts/Gm.

CF BW 7. Cade FAIRCHILD
D, shoots L. 5' 11, 190 lbs. Born 01-15-89, Duluth, MN. STL 7th pick (96th overall) in 2007 Entry Draft. USA
2011-12 Peoria (AHL) 68 GP, 8-26-34, plus-26, 32 PM, 2 PPG, 0 SHG, 3 GWG. 0.500 Pts/Gm.

JoS BW 8. Jordan SCHMALTZ
D, shoots R. 6' 02, 189 lbs. Born 10-08-93, Verona, WI. STL 1st pick (25th overall) in 2008 Entry Draft. USA
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.

AN BW 9. Anthony NIGRO
C, shoots L. 6' 00, 189 lbs. Born 01-11-90, Toronto, ON. STL 9th pick (155th overall) in 2008 Entry Draft. CAN
2011-12 Peoria (AHL) 75 GP, 13-12-25, plus-12, 36 PM, 2 PPG, 1 SHG, 1 GWG. 0.333 Pts/Gm.

BP BW 10. Brett PONICH
D, shoots L. 6' 07, 225 lbs. Born 02-21-91, Edmonton, AB. STL 2nd pick (48th overall) in 2009 Entry Draft. CAN
2011-12 Peoria (AHL) 61 GP, 0-5-5, even, 47 PM, 0 PPG, 0 SHG, 0 GWG. 0.082 Pts/Gm.

JH BW 11. Jani HAKANPÄÄ
D, shoots L. 6' 4, 211 lbs. Born 03-31-92, Kirkkonummi, FIN. STL 5th pick (104th overall) in 2010 Entry Draft. FIN
2011-12 Blues Espoo (FIN) 41 GP, 5-7-12, plus-6, 30 PM, 1 PPG, 0 SHG, 0 GWG. 0.293 Pts/Gm.

BP BW 12. Nick WALTERS
D, shoots L. 6' 02, 187 lbs. Born 04-11-94, Edmonton, AB. STL 5th pick (106th overall) in 2012 Entry Draft. CAN
2011-12 Everett (WHL) 62 GP, 6-12-18, minus-27, 95 PM, 3 PPG, 0 SHG, 1 GWG. 0.290 Pts/Gm.

CB BW 13. Cody BEACH
RW, shoots R. 6' 05, 190 lbs. Born 08-08-92, Nanaimo, BC. STL 6th pick (134th overall) in 2010 Entry Draft. CAN
2011-12 Moose Jaw (WHL) 58 GP, 15-41-56, plus-12, 229 PM, 7 PPG, 0 SHG, 2 GWG. 0.966 Pts/Gm.

JE BW 14. Joel EDMUNDSON
D, shoots L. 6' 04, 191 lbs. Born 06-28-93, Brandon, MB. STL 2nd pick (46th overall) in 2011 Entry Draft. CAN
2011-12 Moose Jaw (WHL) 56 GP, 4-19-23, plus-13, 91 PM, 0 PPG, 0 SHG, 2 GWG. 0.411 Pts/Gm.

RT BW 15. Ryan TESINK
C, shoots L. 5' 11, 160 lbs. Born 05-21-93, Saint John, NB. STL 6th pick (162nd overall) in 2011 Entry Draft. CAN
2011-12 Saint John (QMJHL) 36 GP, 13-27-40, plus-23, 54 PM, 2 PPG, 3 SHG, 3 GWG. 1.111 Pts/Gm.

YV BW 16. Yannick VEILLEUX
LW, shoots L. 6' 2, 190 lbs. Born 02-22-93, Ste-Hipolytte, PQ. STL 4th pick (102nd overall) in 2011 Entry Draft. CAN
2011-12 Shawinigan (QMJHL) 59 GP, 27-31-58, plus-21, 69 PM, 11 PPG, 0 SHG, 6 GWG. 0.983 Pts/Gm.

SW BW 17. Sebastian WÄNNSTRÖM
RW, shoots R. 6' 0, 187 lbs. Born 03-03-91, Gävle, SWE. STL 3rd pick (44th overall) in 2010 Entry Draft. SWE
2011-12 Brynäs Gävle (SEL) 43 GP, 8-7-15, minus-5, 20 PM, 0 PPG, 0 SHG, 4 GWG. 0.349 Pts/Gm.
EG BW 18. Evgeny GRACHEV
LW, shoots L. 6' 04, 224 lbs. Born 02-21-90, Khabarovsk, RUS. NYR 3rd pick (75th overall) in 2008 Entry Draft. RUS
2011-12 Peoria (AHL) 39 GP, 3-7-10, minus-4, 18 PM, 2 PPG, 0 SHG, 0 GWG. 0.256 Pts/Gm.
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