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Game Time Prospect Sunday Jan. 23, 2011

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By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department


01-19-10: Ian Cole, D, called up to St. Louis (NHL) from Peoria.

01-07-10: Chris Porter, LW, sent down from St. Louis (NHL) to Peoria.

01-22-10: Jake Gannon, D, signed to PTO from Utah (ECHL).


None to report this week.


NHL Central Scouting recently released their 2011 Draft Midterm Rankings, and as happens every year, the release has prompted a flood of mock drafts everywhere. Your Game Time Prospect Department is participating in a mock draft at the Hockey's Future website, and has already made a couple of moves.

Representing the Blues (naturally), we have traded down with Carolina from 10th to 12th in the first round of the mock. The deal was the Blues' first- and fifth-round picks for Carolina's first- and third- round picks. This move gives the Blues a pick at 12th, 40th, 70th and 72nd in this draft.

2011 Schwartz CanadaWe've also made a deal with the Penguins, sending Brad Boyes and the rights to Russian goalie Konstantin Barulin to Pittsburgh in exchange for Pascal Dupuis (PIT salary dump), forward prospect Tomas Kühnhackl (Windsor/OHL, 40, 20-19-39, 17 PM, minus-11, 9-02), goaltending prospect Mathias Modig (Wheeling/ECHL, 3-6-0, 3.27, 89.1%), and Pittsburgh's 2011 6th round draft pick at 179th overall.

Barulin -- who was actually the key to this deal -- has long made it clear that he wants a "guaranteed" NHL roster spot before he comes over, so despite his obvious talent, he's of little use to the Blues at the moment. The thinking here is that Ty Conklin is gone next year, and that Ben Bishop backs up Jaroslav Halak in the NHL, leaving the door open for Jake Allen to play 50-plus games in Peoria with Modig as his backup. Kühnhackl and Modig are both in their first year of play in North America, and adjusting to the North American game.

With the 12th overall selection in the draft, the Blues chose LW Sven Bärtschi of the Portland Winter Hawks (WHL). A 5' 10, 185-pounder from Langenthal, Switzerland, Bärtschi currently leads the WHL in rookie scoring with a 24-29-53 line (plus-12, 38 PM, 9 PP, 0 SH, 5 GW) in 43 games. That stat line is good for 16th overall in the WHL and third on the Hawks, where Bärtschi skates with Blues' d-prospect (and Portland captain) Brett Ponich.

Stay tuned for more mock draft updates next week.


The Featured Prospect Of The Week this week is University of Minnesota freshman forward Max Gardiner. See what this Minnesota native brings to the table at The U, as well as this week's "Fab Five" of players in the organization who are "Trending Up."


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The Game Time Featured Prospect of the week for Jan. 23, 20110 is forward Max Gardiner.

Gardiner Prospect File

Following is Gardiner's biographical info from the University of Minnesota Men's Hockey website:

2010-11 • Freshman Season: Made maroon and gold debut against Massachusetts (10/9) • was +1 against St. Cloud State (10/22) • recorded first point as a Gopher with an assist on Taylor Matson's goal at 4:18 of the first period against Wisconsin (11/5) • brother and Wisconsin defenseman, Jake, was also on the ice for Max's first point • recorded first career goal at the 2:02 mark of the first period at Michigan Tech (11/19) • racked up 15 penalty minutes against No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth (12/12) • missed the North Dakota series (Jan. 14-15) with an injury.

High School: Earned three varsity letters at Minnetonka and was a two-year captain • head coach was Brian Urick • missed eight games with a broken wrist in 2009-10 and finished the season totaling 54 points (22g-32a) in 23 games • helped lead his team to the Section 6AA title and to the Minnesota Class AA state championship game • earned All-Classic Lake Conference honors in his junior and senior seasons • was a first-team all-state honoree and finalist for Minnesota's Mr. Hockey Award in 2009-10 • high school teammate of fellow Gopher freshman Justin Holl • played two years in the Minnesota High School Elite League • skated at USA Hockey National Select 15, 16, and 17 Festivals • drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the third round with the 74th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Personal: Major is undecided • hobbies include golfing, going on the lake, watching sports, and playing pick-up baseball and basketball • honor roll student and member of the Minnetonka Honor Society in high school • most memorable sports thrill was winning the Section 6AA championship over Eden Prairie to advance to the Minnesota State Tournament • brother, Jake, was first round selection of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and is an assistant captain for Wisconsin this season • uncle, John Birrenkott, played hockey for Bemidji State • son of John and Jill Gardiner • born May 7, 1992.

In the featured video of the week, here's Gardiner showing his stuff in high school. The kid has some nifty moves, was Minnetonka's team captain, and doesn't shy away from the rough going...

Here's what the "McKeen's Hockey Prospects" website had to say about Gardiner when he first appeared on the scene back in 2008:

The younger brother of Anaheim Ducks' first-round pick Jake Gardiner, Max is a physical player that should become an influential power forward once he fills out .. looks like Bambi on his skates with his clumsy long legs and awkward mobility in tight confinements .. must upgrade his acceleration and first-step .. there is some upside to his skating, as he owns a good motor, adequate foot speed, and will only get better when he becomes more coordinated into his developing frame .. displays decent hand-eye coordination and handles the puck well in his feet .. hands are fairly soft and protects the puck well thanks to his enormous reach .. his bread and butter is attacking the slot before executing a toe drag around the defender to pull the puck in tight to his body before releasing a crisp snapshot .. vision with the puck is adequate and he can move the puck up ice through the passing game .. strong coming off the wall with the puck and is most effective when utilizing his strong power moves to the net .. utilized on the penalty kill and exploits his engulfing reach expertly to clog lanes .. his defensive game will only improve with upgraded initial quickness, which would allow him to sustain proper positioning longer.

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Hakanpaa Hensick Karpowich Nikitin Tarasenko
Blues Espoo (FIN Jr) Peoria (AHL) Clarkson Univ. (ECAC) Peoria (AHL) Sibir Novosibirsk (KHL)
** 3 games played this week ** 3 games played this week ** 2 games played this week ** 3 games played this week ** 5 games played this week
** 0 G, 4 A, plus-5 ** 1 G, 1 A, plus-1 ** 120 mins, 5 GA, 1-1-0 ** 1 G, 1 A, even ** 2 G, 2 A, plus-1
** 0 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW ** 0 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW ** 2.50 GAA, 92.1% sv pct ** 2 PM, 1 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW ** 2 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW