Summer is officially here. Sure the Stanley Cup is still going and great hockey is on display, but we have reached the point already where fantasy trades dominate the discussions. Well this summer is a tad different with the expansion draft but you get my point.
Despite the lack of consistent news there has been a few little nuggets when it comes to the Blues prospects.
I suppose there’s no better place to start off than the “bad”. Actually I wouldn't consider it bad news but it is a tad concerning, defensive prospect Niko Mikkola has decided to stay in Finland for two more seasons. The 21 year old played 56 regular season games racking up 15 points for Liiga outfit KalPa. They went all the way to the cup final falling to Tampreen Tappara. Speaking of Tappara, that's the new team Mikkola now plays for, signing a two year deal. The dollar amount of that deal was not announced.
So why does this news really matter? The main reason why I find this a bit concerning is earlier this season Mikkola announced that the 2016-17 would be his last in Finland. It was expected that the 6’4” defenseman would make his move to North America and likely suit up for the Chicago Wolves. It looks like the recent circus that is the Blues minor league system has scared off Mikkola, at least for the short term. The Blues aren't struggling for defensive prospects in their pipeline but having another option when it comes to call ups should always be seen as a plus. Mikkola’s NHL rights are held by the Blues till 2019.
Switching things to another baby Blue, Evan Fitzpatrick has been invited to the 12th annual Hockey Canada Program of Excellence Camp. Sounds pretty fancy right? Essentially the Canadian national team invites 30 goalies to a weekend in Calgary, features net minders at the u17, u18, u20 levels. May not sound like a massive deal but Hockey Canada always evaluates their prospects with an eye on future tournaments in 2017-18. Fitzpatrick played 49 games this season for the Sherbrooke Pheonix and has represented Canada at both the u17 and u18 level.