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2016 NHL Entry Draft: Blues' Draft Review

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Six kids who were brought up and learned to play hockey in St. Louis were drafted yesterday -- including five in the first round. The Blues, however, didn't get a single one of them... and they didn't trade Kevin Shattenkirk, either.

Welcome to the Blues, son of Brent.  Photo by
Welcome to the Blues, son of Brent. Photo by
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

...

Kinda funny... the Coyotes' first pick in the draft was a kid from St. Louis, and the Blues' first pick was a kid from Phoenix... not to mention that the first overall pick was also a kid from Phoenix. How's that for a statement about how hockey is growing by leaps and bonds in this country..

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The Blues selected a total of eight players in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, as follows:

BLUES' SELECTIONS IN 2016 DRAFT
ROUND OVERALL NOTE SELECTION
1ST 026 via trade w/ WAS Tage THOMPSON, C, Connecticut (HEA)
2ND 035 via trade w/ CGY Jordan KYROU, C, Sarnia (OHL)
2ND 059 Evan FITZPATRICK, G, Sherbrooke (QMJHL)
4TH 119 Tanner KASPICK, C, Brandon (WHL)
5TH 125 prev acquired (CBJ) Nolan STEVENS, C, Northeastern (HEA)
5TH 144 via trade w/ CHI Conner BLEACKLEY, C, Red Deer (WHL)
7TH 209 Nikolaj KRAG CHRISTENSEN, C/RW, Rødovre (DMK)
7TH 211 prev acquired (PIT) Filip HELT, LW, Litvinov U18 (CZE U18)

GM Doug Armstrong was also busy in the trade market, but was unable to move Kevin Shattenkirk, as had been widely rumoured prior to the draft.

Armstrong swung a deal with Washington in the first round, sending out the Blues' own pick at 28th overall along with the third-round selection they had previously received from the Caps in the T.J. Oshie trade. In return, Armstrong received the 26th overall selection, which the Blues used to nab Tage Thompson.

Armstrong also dealt playoff hero Brian Elliot to Calgary in exchange for the 35th overall pick in this draft and a conditional third-round pick in 2017 if the Flames re-sign "Moose" prior to the upcoming Expansion Draft.

Finally, Armstrong sent the Blues' fifth-round pick in the 2017 draft to Chicago for the Hawks' fifth-round selection in this draft, which the Blues used to snatch up overage re-entry Conner Bleackley, a former first-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche.

In summary, the Blues added some quality depth to the organization. In Bleackley, the Blues got a prospect that they are expected to sign right away and assign to the AHL for the 2016-17 campaign.

In addition to Bleackley, the Blues also drafted a pair of solid checking-line forwards; two players with legitimate Top Six scoring upside; another quality goaltending prospect to add to their already-impressive stable; and a pair of little-known, but intriguing Europeans who both stand a good chance of being selected in this coming Tuesday's CHL Import Draft.

Following are data panels on each of the Blues' selections this weekend, with the players listed in alphabetical order.

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Bleackley BW CAN flag Conner BLEACKLEY RANKINGS
Position Center Future Considerations N/R
Shoots Right Hockey Prospect Black Book N/R
Height 6. 01.00" RE-ENTRY: Originally COL 1 (23) 2014
Weight 196 lbs CSS Prelim N Amer N/R
Born Feb. 7, 1996 CSS Midterm N Amer N/R
Where High River, AB CSS Final N Amer N/R
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Red Deer (WHL) 55 13 33 46 + 13 49 4 0 2
2014-15 Red Deer (WHL) 51 27 22 49 + 13 49 4 0 4
2015 Playoff Red Deer (WHL) 5 1 1 2 - 5 4 0 0 0
2013-14 Red Deer (WHL) 71 29 39 68 + 3 48 10 0 2
2014 Play-In Red Deer (WHL) 1 0 1 1 - 2 0 0 0 0
Canada (WJC U-18) 7 1 1 2 0 4 0 0 0
SCOUTING NOTES
PLUS MINUS
Leg strength; powerful stride Unsigned prospect re-entering draft
Defensively responsible Now with third NHL organization
Leadership traits and ability May have limited offensive upside
PHOTO: NEW.WHL.CA

Fitzpatrick BW CAN flag Evan FITZPATRICK RANKINGS
Position Goaltender Future Considerations 50
Catches Left Hockey Prospect Black Book 54
Height 6' 02.50"
Weight 222 lbs CSS Prelim N Amer "B"
Born Jan. 28, 1998 CSS Midterm N Amer G 2
Where St. John's, NF CSS Final N Amer G 1
SEASON CLUB GP MN GA SA AV WN-LS-OT S% SO
2015-16 Sherbrooke (QMJHL) 54 3067 175 1678 3.42 18-34-0 0.896 2
2016 Playoff Sherbrooke (QMJHL) 5 317 18 220 3.41 1-4-0 0.920 0
Canada (WJC U-18) 5 303 16 153 3.17 3-2-0 0.895 0
2014-15 Sherbrooke (QMJHL) 32 1689 96 828 3.41 13-14-0 0.884 1
2015 Playoff Sherbrooke (QMJHL) 3 145 11 75 4.56 1-1-0 0.853 0
SCOUTING NOTES
PLUS MINUS
Ideal size for a goaltender Focus, consistency issues
Rebound control, puckhandling Plays deep in the net on occasion
Athletic; fluid lateral movement
PHOTO: EN.HOCKEYPHOENIX.CA

Helt BW CZE flag Filip HELT RANKINGS
Position Left Wing Future Considerations N/R
Shoots Left Hockey Prospect Black Book N/R
Height 6. 01.00"
Weight 194 lbs CSS Prelim Eur N/R
Born Apr. 9, 1998 CSS Midterm Eur N/R
Where Litvinov, CZE CSS Final Eur N/R
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Litvinov U18 (CZE U18) 42 20 26 46 + 17 48 4 1 3
2014-15 Litvinov U18 (CZE U18) 28 3 9 12 + 2 12 2 0 1
SCOUTING NOTES
PLUS MINUS
Good size An unknown quantity
Good progression from last season Low level of competition
Possible CHL Import Draft selection
PHOTO: MLADEZ.HOKEJ-LITVINOV.CZ

Kaspick BW CAN flag Tanner KASPICK RANKINGS
Position Center Future Considerations 97
Shoots Left Hockey Prospect Black Book 89
Height 6. 01.25"
Weight 200 lbs CSS Prelim N Amer "C"
Born Jan. 28, 1998 CSS Midterm N Amer 76
Where Brandon, MB CSS Final N Amer 79
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Brandon (WHL) 53 12 18 30 + 14 37 1 1 2
2016 Playoff Brandon (WHL) 21 5 5 10 + 8 28 0 1 2
2014-15 Brandon (WHL) 53 1 17 18 + 6 15 0 0 1
2015 Playoff Brandon (WHL) 13 1 2 3 + 3 4 0 0 1
SCOUTING NOTES
PLUS MINUS
Good size; decent skater with power Possible durability issues
Solid forechecking game Could get his shot away a little quicker
Defensively responsible; good penalty killer
PHOTO: NEW.WHL.CA

Krag Christensen BW DMK flag Nikolaj KRAG CHRISTENSEN RANKINGS
Position Center Future Considerations N/R
Shoots Right Hockey Prospect Black Book 149
Height 6. 03.00"
Weight 201 lbs CSS Prelim Eur "C"
Born Aug. 12, 1998 CSS Midterm Eur 120
Where Rødovre, DMK CSS Final Eur 136
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Rødovre (DMK Metal Ligaen) 30 2 2 4 - 1 10 0 0 0
Denmark WJC U-20 5 0 1 1 - 1 0 0 0 0
Denmark WJC U-18 7 1 5 6 - 10 6 0 0 0
2014-15 Rødovre SIK (DMK-2) 26 14 11 25 0 22 0 0 0
Denmark WJC D1A U-18 5 3 1 4 + 3 2 0 0 2
SCOUTING NOTES
PLUS MINUS
Good size for pro game at center Relatively unknown quantity
Excellent straight-line top speed Pivots, first steps need improvement
Possible CHL Import Draft selection Low level of competition
PHOTO: IIHF/2016WORLDJUNIORS.COM

Kyrou BW CAN flag Jordan KYROU RANKINGS
Position Center Future Considerations 33
Shoots Right Hockey Prospect Black Book 69
Height 6' 00.00"
Weight 178 lbs CSS Prelim N Amer "B"
Born May 8, 1998 CSS Midterm N Amer 45
Where Toronto, ON CSS Final N Amer 34
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Sarnia (OHL) 65 17 34 51 + 13 14 2 0 4
2016 Playoff Sarnia (OHL) 7 1 6 7 + 2 2 0 0 1
Canada WJC U-18 7 5 3 8 + 5 0 0 0 1
2014-15 Sarnia (OHL) 63 13 23 36 + 8 12 2 0 1
2015 Playoff Sarnia (OHL) 5 1 5 6 - 1 0 0 0 0
SCOUTING NOTES
PLUS MINUS
Great speed; excellent hands Needs to get stronger
Excellent vision, determination, drive Needs to put forth amore consistent effort
Skilled and creative; scores "highlight-reel" goals Scouts had wide divergence of opinions on him
PHOTO: NEW.ONTARIOHOCKEYLEAGUE.COM

Stevens BW USA flag Nolan STEVENS RANKINGS
Position Center Future Considerations 145
Shoots Left Hockey Prospect Black Book N/R
Height 6' 02.00"
Weight 185 lbs CSS Prelim N Amer N/R
Born July 22, 1996 CSS Midterm N Amer N/R
Where Sea Isle City, NJ CSS Final N Amer 209
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Northeastern (Hockey East) 41 20 22 42 + 13 10 8 0 5
2014-15 Northeastern (Hockey East) 36 3 9 12 0 8 0 1 1
2013-14 USNTDP U-18 (USHL) 60 4 9 13 0 10 0 0 0
United States WJC U-18 7 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
SCOUTING NOTES
PLUS MINUS
Decent size; hard worker Skill level good, not great
Plays a simple, strong, effective game Only an average skater
Defensively responsible Two years older than most draftees; late bloomer?
PHOTO: HOCKEYEASTONLINE.COM

Thompson BW USA flag Tage THOMPSON RANKINGS
Position Right Wing/Center Future Considerations 30
Shoots Right Hockey Prospect Black Book 28
Height 6' 05.00"
Weight 185 lbs CSS Prelim N Amer "B"
Born Oct. 30, 1997 CSS Midterm N Amer 24
Where Phoenix, AZ CSS Final N Amer 20
SEASON CLUB GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW
2015-16 Connecticut (Hockey East) 36 14 18 32 - 14 12 13 0 2
2014-15 USNTDP U-18 (USHL) 64 12 14 26 0 32 3 0 2
United States WJC U-18 7 0 1 1 + 1 2 0 0 0
SCOUTING NOTES
PLUS MINUS
Great size; big, raw talent Probably better suited to wing than center as a pro
Excellent shot; high scoring percentage Faceoff skills need a lot of work
Defensively responsible; solid work ethic Skating: Edge work, overall agility need iprovement
PHOTO: HOCKEYEASTONLINE.COM