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2016 NHL Entry Draft: "Game Time" Silver Seven

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Barring a trade, the St. Louis Blues will draft 28th overall in this year's NHL Entry Draft. Following our yearly tradition, your "Game Time" Prospect Department presents a look at seven prospects whom we feel are -- or should be -- likely targets for the Blues with that pick.

With their top pick in last year's draft, the Blues nabbed OHL standout blueliner Vince Dunn. Photo by
With their top pick in last year's draft, the Blues nabbed OHL standout blueliner Vince Dunn. Photo by
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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As anyone knows if you've been reading "Tomorrow's Blues" for any length of time, the time leading up to the annual NHL Entry Draft is your "Game Time" Prospect Department's favorite time of the year.

2016 Draft LogoThe Blues' recent deep run into the Stanley Cup playoffs has delayed our shifting of focus into full-time Draft Preview mode, but now that the boys have been shut down for the year, it's time for your GTPD to get serious about the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

As of today, the Blues will have seven selections in the draft, to be held the weekend of June 24-25 in Buffalo. Barring any trades, the Blues will draft at 28th overall in the first round, and following any compensatory picks being awarded, will pick near the end of the second round, the end of the third round (Washington's pick from the Oshie trade), the end of the fourth, the top of the fifth (Columbus' pick from the Jordan Leopold trade), and two of the last three picks in the draft at the end of the seventh round.

The Blues acquired Pittsburgh's seventh-round pick in this draft along with Robert Bortuzzo in the Ian Cole trade, and had sent their seventh-round pick to San Jose for Konrad Abeltshauser, with the condition that the Sharks would only get the pick if Abeltshauser played "x" number of games for the Blues. Thanks to a poor showing by Abeltshauser with the Chicago Wolves, that condition was not met and the Blues will retain their seventh-round pick.

We will kick off our coverage of the 2016 Entry Draft with our annual tradition of posting the "Game Time" Silver Seven, the seven prospects that our research and understanding of the Blues' developmental system tell us should be the most likely targets for the Blues' first pick in this draft.

Meet Me In St. Louis...

There are four potential first-round picks in this draft who have ties to St. Louis: two players born in the area (Swansea, IL native Clayton Keller of the USNTDP, and St. Louisan Luke Kunin of the University of Wisconsin), and two more who are sons of former Blues' greats and who played much of their minor hockey in St. Louis despite not being born here (Scottsdale, AZ native Matthew Tkachuk, and Jeff Brown's son Logan, born in Raleigh, NC).

Unless the Blues trade up into the first 15 picks, however, their chances of having one of these players fall to them at 28th overall are slim to none. So the 2016 "Silver Seven" will focus on players who we expect to be available at the tail end of the first round... with the caveat that if the Blues should manage to pull off a trade for a high pick, one of the four players mentioned should be the target.

Presenting... The 2016 "St. Louis Game Time" SILVER SEVEN

Abramov S7 BW ... Vitali ABRAMOV RANKINGS RUS flag
Position Left/Right Wing CSS Preliminary N America "B"
Shoots Left CSS Midterm N America 56
Height 5' 08.75" CSS Final N America 29
Weight 172 lbs ... ...
Born May 8, 1998 Birthplace Chelyabinsk, RUS
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Regular Gatineau (QMJHL) 63 38 55 93 + 36 36 11 0 6
2016 Playoff Gatineau (QMJHL) 10 7 6 13 + 7 8 0 0 2
2016 WJC Russia U18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SCOUTING NOTES PLUS MINUS
Skating; great speed, very shifty Lack of size
Skilled; high hockey IQ "Russian Factor"
Good compete level, intensity
PHOTO: MHL.KHL.RU

Borgstrom S7 BW ... Henrik BORGSTRÖM RANKINGS FIN flag
Position Center CSS Preliminary Europe "C"
Shoots Left CSS Midterm Europe 11
Height 6' 03.00" CSS Final Europe 9
Weight 176 lbs ... ...
Born Aug. 6, 1997 Birthplace Helsinki, FIN
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Regular HIFK Jr (FIN U20) 40 29 26 55 + 23 20 7 0 0
2016 Playoff HIFK Jr (FIN U20) 4 4 2 6 - 3 0 0 0 0
2016 WJC Finland U18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SCOUTING NOTES PLUS MINUS
Puckhandling in traffic Raw; needs work in several areas
Highly accurate wrist shot Needs to keep feet moving
Above-average playmaking skills Improvement needed in faceoff circle
PHOTO: HIFKJRS.COM

Howden S7 BW ... Brett HOWDEN RANKINGS CAN flag
Position Center CSS Preliminary N America "B"
Shoots Left CSS Midterm N America 27
Height 6' 02.25" CSS Final N America 22
Weight 193 lbs ... ...
Born Mar. 29, 1998 Birthplace Oakbank, MB
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Regular Moose Jaw (WHL) 68 24 40 64 - 7 61 8 0 3
2016 Playoff Moose Jaw (WHL) 10 4 11 15 0 4 2 0 1
2016 WJC Canada U18 6 5 3 8 + 2 8 1 0 1
SCOUTING NOTES PLUS MINUS
Size; has an NHL frame Needs to fill out
Solid 200-foot game No single outstanding trait
Excellent hockey sense Improvement needed in speed, acceleration
PHOTO: MJWARRIORS.COM

Katchouk S7 BW ... Boris KATCHOUK RANKINGS CAN flag
Position Left Wing CSS Preliminary N America N/R
Shoots Left CSS Midterm N America 32
Height 6' 01.00" CSS Final N America 25
Weight 181 lbs ... ...
Born June 18, 1998 Birthplace Vancouver, BC
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Regular Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 63 24 27 51 + 7 61 6 1 6
2016 Playoff Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 12 6 4 10 + 3 4 0 1 1
2016 WJC Canada U18 5 1 1 2 0 8 0 0 0
SCOUTING NOTES PLUS MINUS
Physical play; strong on his skates Speed needs improvement
Good hands, playmaking skills Needs to get stronger
Forechecking ability Improvement needed in defensive awareness
PHOTO: SOOGREYHOUNDS.COM

Raddysh S7 BW ... Taylor RADDYSH RANKINGS CAN flag
Position Right Wing CSS Preliminary N America "B"
Shoots Right CSS Midterm N America 34
Height 6' 01.75" CSS Final N America 36
Weight 203 lbs ... ...
Born Feb. 18, 1998 Birthplace Toronto, ON
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Regular Erie (OHL) 67 24 49 73 + 19 18 11 0 5
2016 Playoff Erie (OHL) 12 4 6 10 + 4 2 2 0 1
2016 WJC Canada U18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SCOUTING NOTES PLUS MINUS
NHL size and strength Good, but not elite skill level
Excellent skater for a big man Still somewhat raw and undeveloped
Skilled in both ends of the ice
PHOTO: OTTERSHOCKEY.COM

Rubtsov S7 BW ... German RUBTSOV RANKINGS RUS flag
Position Center CSS Preliminary Europe "B"
Shoots Left CSS Midterm Europe 6
Height 6' 02.00" CSS Final Europe 5
Weight 176 lbs ... ...
Born June 27, 1998 Birthplace Chekhov, RUS
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Regular Team Russia U18 (MHL) 28 12 14 26 + 12 10 3 1 2
2016 Playoff Team Russia U18 (MHL) 3 0 1 1 - 3 0 0 0 0
2016 WJC Russia U18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SCOUTING NOTES PLUS MINUS
Hockey IQ; understanding of the game; vision Held out of U18 WJC due to team doping scandal
Hands; quick stick, puckhandling skills "Russian Factor"
Strong two-way, neutral zone game Needs to develop faceoff skills
PHOTO: MHL.KHL.RU

Tufte S7 BW ... Riley TUFTE RANKINGS USA flag
Position Left Wing CSS Preliminary N America "B"
Shoots Left CSS Midterm N America 17
Height 6' 04.75" CSS Final N America 17
Weight 205 lbs ... ...
Born Apr. 10, 1998 Birthplace Ham Lake, MN
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Regular Blaine HS (MN HS) 25 47 31 78 - 1 53 6 7 10
2015-16 Regular Fargo (USHL) 27 10 4 14 - 5 30 6 0 2
2016 WJC USA U18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SCOUTING NOTES PLUS MINUS
Outstanding size and reach Questions about competition level in HS hockey
Skates well for a big man Needs to develop playmaking vision
Exscellent shot and puck protection skills Needs to improve defensive game
PHOTO: MNHOCKEYHUB.COM