Tomorrows Blues Online with Brian Weidler
An Analysis Of The Blues' Picks, Round-By-Round, In The Jarmo Kekalainen Era
Previously in this space, we presented an overview of the Blues' drafts since 2003, when Director of Amateur Scouting and Assistant General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen was tasked to run the draft for the Blues.
In this report, we'll break down the drafts in the Kekalainen Era round-by-round, to identify trends in each round (if any), and to pave the way for the identification of likely draft targets for the Blues in the upcoming draft at the end of June.
First Round: Some quick notes about the Blues' first-round selections in the Jarmo Kekalainen era:
-- The Blues have made nine picks in the first round since 2003; at least one in every draft (which long-time fans will appreciate after the first-round drought of the 90's), and as many as three (in 2007).
-- The Blues have drafted both at the top of the first round (in 2006), and at the bottom of the first round (in 2003). The average selection has been 18th overall, one spot lower than where they'll be drafting this year.
-- The Blues' recent first-round picks have been evenly split between forwards and defensemen, with four each, as well as one goaltender (Marek Schwarz) taken in the first-round.
-- The Blues have drafted three Canadians in the first round, as well as three Americans, and have drafted two defensemen and one forward from each of the two North American sources.
|">..... Player .....||Pos||Sht||Ht||Wt||Birthdate||Year/Draft Position||.||..... Player .....||Pos||Sht||Ht||Wt||Birthdate||Year/Draft Position|
|Ian Cole||D||L||6-01||211||02-21-89||2007 / 18||.||Shawn Belle||D||L||6-01||220||01-03-85||2003 / 30|
|Erik Johnson||D||R||6-04||219||03-21-88||2006 / 1||.||David Perron||F||R||6-00||180||05-28-88||2007 / 26|
|T.J. Oshie||F||R||5-11||170||12-23-86||2005 / 24||.||Alex Pietrangelo||D||R||6-03||206||01-18-90||2008 / 4|
-- The average American first-rounder in the Kekalainen era is 6-01.33, 200 pounds; the average Canadian first-rounder is 6-01.33, 202 pounds. The Blues have chosen a left defenseman, a right defenseman, and a right-shooting forward from each country in the first round during the Kekalainen drafts.
-- The Blues have also taken three Europeans in the first round:
-- In the last three drafts, the Blues have taken defensemen with their first pick twice, in the even-numbered years (2006 and 2008). In those drafts, the Blues chose a total of three forwards (Berglund, Eller, Perron) and three defensemen (Johnson, Cole, Pietrangelo), so we must go back to 2005, and the selection of T.J. Oshie in the first round, to establish a trend towards forwards in the first round.
It may also be significant that in the odd-numbered years (2005 and 2007), the Blues' first selection was a forward (Oshie and Eller, respectively).
Second Round: Some quick notes about the Blues' second-round selections from 2003 to the present:
-- The Blues' picks in the second round of recent drafts show a marked tendency towards American-born forwards. Of eight total picks in the second round between 2003 and 2008, three have been "Made In USA" forwards, including budding star David Backes (62nd overall in 2003).
-- Of three Canadian-born defensemen drafted in the first and second rounds by the Blues between 2003 and 2008, only one -- Alex Pietrangelo, the highest-drafted (4th overall) and most recent (2008) -- remains with the organization.
-- If the Blues are going to spend a pick on a Swedish player, this is one of two rounds in which they're most likely to do so. The second and seventh rounds are the only rounds of the draft in which the Blues have chosen more than one Swede in the Kekalainen era.
Third Round: Some quick notes about the Blues' selections in the third round during Kekalainen's tenure:
-- If the Blues select a goaltender in this draft -- not a given, considering they drafted two goalies (Jake Allen and Paul Karpowich) in 2008 -- the third round is the only round in the Kekalainen Era in which the Blues have selected more than one goaltender.
Both goalies chosen in the third round (Konstantin Barulin, 84/2003 and Ben Bishop, 85/2005) remain with the organization, although Barulin is not likely to ever make a significant attempt to play in North America.
-- The Blues have gone literally around the world in the third round during the Kekalainen Era, with players drafted in the third round from seven different countries (Belarus, Canada, Finland, Kazakhstan, Russia, Sweden and the United States).
-- The most likely selection by the Blues in the third round is a forward -- they chose two (Jori Lehtera, FIN, 65th overall) and James Livingston, CAN, 70th overall) in 2008, and have chosen a total of five forwards in the third round.
Coming tomorrow, we'll analyze the fourth through seventh rounds of the draft for the Blues since 2003, and post the results of our analysis to determine the "typical" Blues' selection in each round.
Until then, remember..."if we do not prepare for ourselves the role of the hammer, there will be nothing left but that of the anvil." Auf wiedersehen.