The Blues prospects ended the Traverse City Prospect Tournament with a 1-3 record in 4 games, not a great showing by any means, but take pride, if you will, in the fact that the one win came against the last place finishing Blackhawks prospects.
Ivan Barbashev led the way in scoring for the Blues prospects, notching 2 goals and 1 assists in 4 games. Blues 2016 2nd round draft pick Jordan Kyrou also had a strong showing, notching 2 points in 4 games, finishing with a +4 for the tournament. All eyes were on Blues top goalie prospect Ville Husso, who ended the tournament with a 1-2 record, notching a save % of .875 and a GAA of 3.37. Husso face a lot of shots this tournament, and while he showed flashes, he still needs time to get use to the North American game.
Overall, the tournament was a pretty good indicator of what prospects to look out for at training camp. I don’t see anybody pulling a Colton Parayko this year, but there are definitely a few guys to keep an eye on. The Blues best forward prospect appears to be Ivan Barbashev, and after a so so first year with the Chicago Wolves, it was good to see him with a strong showing at this tournament. I still think he is about another year away from being able to make this team.
Jordan Kyrou is another name to keep an eye out for. He could stand to put on a little bit of size, but as the Blues move towards a more speed oriented style of play, he will be a big part of the future. He was arguably the fastest player in the OHL last year, and I think he will really turn some heads at camp.
Adam Musil had a decent showing at the tournament notching 2 goals in 4 games. He is a prospect I have liked since we drafted him. This kid is an absolute work horse. He won’t blow anyone away with numbers when he hits the NHL level, but I believe he will earn the respect of fans with his hard nosed playing style. I’ll be interested to see how he does in Chicago this year.
Conner Bleackley had a disappointing tournament finishing with no points in 4 games and a -2. I was expecting a little more from him so far, as he should be a little further developed than most prospects coming in. He is another one who should be interesting to keep an eye on in Chicago this year.
Jordan Schmaltz finished with 1 goal and 1 assist in 4 games, notching a -3. He is the only prospect at the moment who I see with a real shot at making the team out of camp, but due to the fact that Kevin Shattenkirk was not traded, the odds of that seem much less likely. He should see action at some point in the season with the Blues.
Overall, it wasn’t a great performance for the prospect team as a whole. The Blues definitely have one of the weaker prospect pools in the NHL right now, but being successful for a number of years will do that. We also didn’t get to see college standouts such as Jake Walman (Providence), Tage Thompson (UConn) or Nolan Stevens (Northeastern). With training camp right around the corner, I am looking forward to getting a look at some of the prospects that will be there.