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Blues Select Max Gardiner In Third Round NHL Draft

With the 74th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, the St. Louis Blues selected Minnesota High School player Max Gardiner. He's the younger brother of Anaheim first round pick Jake Gardiner, a member of the Gold Medal-winning USA team at the World Juniors this past season.

Max Gardiner has committed to the University of Minnesota and could face his brother who plays for the University of Wisconsin (there is a chance that the younger Gardiner will play a season in the USHL first).

From Western College Hockey:

Gardiner started the year extremely high on some people's draft lists; likely a combination of being on the radar years prior to this draft, and looking like he had a lot of potential. He's still a solid prospect, but his stock has dropped throughout the year because it's looking less likely that he'll be dominating player.

He's got the size, and plays with a nice physical edge, but his skating and lack of offensive skills will probably limit his effectiveness to being not much more than a depth player at the NHL level. Gardiner is most like to be selected somewhere around the 4th round of the draft.

This comes from the Blues website:

Gardiner was one of 10 finalists for the Mr. Hockey Award which is given to the most outstanding senior high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota and he has been working out regularly in the off-season with fellow Minnesota-area draft prospects including: Nick Bjugstad (No. 13 ranked), Tyler Pitlick (No. 18 ranked) and Justin Holl (No. 47 ranked).

When you get down to it, the third round is where you start finding projects. Obviously Gardiner needs some seasoning, some growth and probably has a decent learning curve. But the bloodlines are there, his exposure in some high pressure situations in high school is welcome.

More to come as promised.