"Game Time" PROSPECT SUNDAY, "THE '14 FILE:" Blues Select Ten Players In 2014 Draft

"Hello, Toronto... Let's Make A Deal." Photo by - Bruce Bennett

News, 'Notes, and musings about the ten newest members of the Blues' organ-I-zation... as well as some thoughts about currently signed prospects who are facing decision time.

Classic Blues header

ST. LOUIS BLUES 2014 ENTRY DRAFT SELECTIONS
21ST 33RD 52ND 82ND 94TH
ROBBIE FABBRI IVAN BARBASHEV MAXIM LETUNOV JAKE WALMAN VILLE HUSSO
RF BW IB BW ML BW JW BW VH BW
CENTER CENTER CENTER DEFENSE GOALTENDER
GUELPH MONCTON YOUNGSTOWN TORONTO JR CANADIANS HIFK HELSINKI
OHL QMJHL USHL OJHL Liiga

ST. LOUIS BLUES 2014 ENTRY DRAFT SELECTIONS
110TH 124TH 172ND 176TH 202ND
AUSTIN POGANSKI JAEDON DESCHENEAU CHANDLER YAKIMOWICZ SAMUEL BLAIS DWYER TSCHANTZ
AP BW JD BW CY BW SB BW DT BW
RIGHT WING RIGHT WING RIGHT WING LEFT WING RIGHT WING
TRI-CITY KOOTENAY LONDON VICTORIAVILLE INDIANA
USHL WHL OHL QMJHL USHL

Just a few random notes and thoughts about the players the Blues selected over the last 48 hours:

1. Your GTPD never expected Robbie Fabbri to fall to the Blues at 21st overall... and honestly, he was overlooked on the previously-published "Hot List" for that very reason, and because we had concerns about his size. We love the comparisons to Doug Gilmour, though... a player whom we always liked as a Blue, and whom we felt the Blues should never have traded away.

2. Similarly, Barbashev was not included on the "Hot List" because we didn't see any possibility of him falling low enough for the Blues to get him at 21st overall, much less out of the first round entirely. Thank the Hockey Gods for "the Russian Factor," though, because that's probably what caused Barbashev's fall to a place where the Blues were lucky enough to grab him.

3. Speaking of the "Hot List," it appears that only Ville Husso was correctly identified by your GTPD as a draft target for the Blues this year. Austin Poganski was on the first draft of the "Hot List" that we made up, but we only selected seven players for each round (12 for the two rounds in which the Blues had multiple picks at the start of the draft), and Poganski graded out at either eighth or ninth for the fourth round, so he did not make the final cut for our list.

4. As Bill Armstrong pointed out in his post-draft interview, this was not a very strong draft for defensemen... which worked out in the Blues' favor this year because they went into this draft with some organizational deficiencies at forward -- particularly at center -- and were able to address then very nicely. And the defenseman they did draft, Jake Walman, came on strong as the season progressed, and will have four years at Providence College to bulk up and further develop his game.

5. If Samuel Blais looks like a kid, that's because he is... Blais is now the youngest member of the organization, having celebrated his 18th birthday less than two weeks ago. The comments we found about his skill level are intriguing, however, and we look forward to seeing what this young man can do in the "Q" next season, and in years to come.

Later tonight, we will post a comment with links to each of the individual profiles for this year's draftees; for the time being, however, those profiles are all on the front page, where they are easily accessible to anyone who hasn't seen them yet.

Radar2On The Radar header

The next move for the Blues is to make some decisions about the prospects already under contract to the organization; five players who spent time with the Chicago Wolves this year will need to receive either new contracts or a qualifying offer on or before July 1. Those players, in alphabetical order, are:

Sergey Andronov

Brett Ponich

Tyler Shattock

David Shields

Sebastian Wännström

(NOTE: Each player's name is a clickable link to his bio at TheAHL.com)

Of the five, both Ponich (51 GP, 3-5-8, minus-2, 65 PM) and Wännström (4 GP, 3-2-5, plus-1, 2 PM) spent time with Kalamazoo last season.

Shattock played the 2013-14 season on a qualifying offer, so he will have to get a new contract if he is to remain; the others were in the final year of their standard ELC's (Entry Level Contracts). Shattock had his best season as a pro in 2013-14 -- as did Andronov, Shields and Wännström -- so he has probably earned a new deal.

Of the five players listed, only Andronov has a real chance of cracking the NHL roster, and then only as a bottom-six player; Shields is in line for a "cup of coffee," at least, this season, but he will get third-pairing minutes at best if the call does come.

Our best guess here is that Shattock will get a new contract; Andronov, Shields and Wännström will get qualifying offers; and the Blues will part ways with Ponich so that he has a chance to catch on with another organization where the change of scenery (and position on the depth chart) will probably do his career a world of good.

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