By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
After an extended summer hiatus, your GTPD returns with this year's first brief taste of "Game Time" Prospect Sundays.
Next week, we'll be back in full season-opening mode, with a new look and a new outlook; for now, here are some quick links to prospect-related info, and after the jump, the first "Trending Up" for 2010-11.
Blues Trim Training Camp Roster
Nine Assigned To Peoria; Ponich, Others Returned To Junior
Following a 5-2 pre-season loss in Dallas on Saturday night in which he played all 60 minutes and stopped 19 or 24 Stars' shots, goaltender Jake Allen was part of a group of nine Blues' prospects sent to the Peoria Rivermen on Sunday morning.
Six of the nine players assigned to the Rivermen will be entering their first pro season this year. In addition to Allen, defenseman Mark Cundari, and forwards Stefan Della Rovere, Philip McRae, Anthony Nigro and Tyler Shattock will begin their pro careers in central Illinois this fall.
The other players assigned to Peoria by the Blues were sophomore defenseman Darryl Boyle and forward Anthony Peluso, and training camp invitee Gerald Coleman in goal.
Returned to their junior teams by the Blues were 2009-drafted defensemen Brett Ponich (Portland, WHL) and David Shields (Erie, OHL), and 2010-drafted forwards Cody Beach (Calgary, WHL) and Stephen Macaulay (Saint John, QMJHL), as well as free-agent training camp invitee Chris DeSousa (London, OHL).
LINK to coverage at the official Blues' website.
"Hockey's Future" Announces Blues' 2010-11 Prospect Rankings
Petro Leads The Pack; Two New Forwards In Top Three
The "Hockey's Future" website, which annually ranks the 30 NHL organizations based on the quality of their prospects (defined as players under 25 years of age with less than 60 games of NHL experience), has released their updated ranking of the Blues' Top 20 Prospects for the 2010-11 season.
"Hockey's Future," which currently ranks the Blues as having the third-best set of prospects in the NHL, ranks 2008 fourth-overall pick Alex Pietrangelo as the top prospect in the organization -- and in the entire NHL as of their March 25, 2010 rankings -- for the 2010-11 season.
Described by "Hockey's Future" as "a top-pairing defenseman that could impact a game at either end of the ice," this is the second consecutive season that Pietrangelo has been ranked the Blues' top prospect.
In the second and third slots, respectively, are 2010 first-round selections Vladimir Tarasenko (16th overall) and Jaden Schwartz (14th overall). Tarasenko projects as the Blues' power forward of the future, and could be filling that role as early as 2011-12 in St. Louis. In eight games with Sibir Novosibirsk of the KHL this year, Tarasenko has a pair of goals and three points, with two minutes in penalty time and a minus-2 mark.
Schwartz, a set-up man with excellent vision, hockey sense and passing skills, led the USHL in scoring in 2009-10 with 33 goals and 83 points in 60 games. The Wilcox, SK native will skate alongside older brother Rylan at Colorado College (WCHA) this season.
Rounding out the top five for the Blues are Allen in the No. 4 position, and defenseman Ian Cole, a 2007 first-round pick (18th overall) who remains in the Blues' NHL training camp as of this morning.
LINK to the article, with the rest of the Blues' Top 20 prospects, at the "Hockey's Future" website.
After the jump, this year's first look at Blues' prospects who are "Trending Up."
Eight "prospect-age" players remain on the Blues' training camp roster after the first cuts yesterday. Unfortunately, we can only select five of them for the first of "Game Time's" weekly takes on prospects who are performing above and beyond the others.
|Ben BISHOP||Ian COLE||Nick DRAZENOVIC||Nikita NIKITIN||Brett SONNE|
|** 1 game played this week||** 2 games played this week||** 2 games played this week||** 1 game played this week||** 2 games played this week|
|** 60 mins, 1 GA, 1-0-0||** 0 G, 1 A, even||** 0 G, 0 A, even||** 1 G, 0 A, minus-2||** 1 G, 0 A, minus-2|
|** 1.00 GAA, 95.8% sv pct||** 2 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW||** 2 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW||** 0 PM, 1 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW||** 2 PM, 1 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW|
Honorable mention this week goes to Adam Cracknell, Alex Pietrangelo, and Ryan Reaves as the three "prospect-age" players remaining in the Blues' camp after yesterday's cuts.
The following veteran players, all of whom are also likely bound for Peoria eventually, also remain on the Blues' current NHL camp roster: forwards T.J. Hensick, Graham Mink, Chris Porter, Dave Scatchard and Dave Spina, and defensemen Dean Arsene, Brennan Evans, Nathan Oystrick and Tyson Strachan.