The 2022 NHL Draft is here, which means it’s time for the Blues to baffle me again. The team has established a firm pattern in recent years, taking a player 6’1.25”-or-taller with each of their last five First Round picks, dating back to 2014. That trend was vindicated once again, with the selection of 6’2” winger Jimmy Snuggerud.
Snuggerud played in 59 games with the U.S. National Team Development Program’s U18 team. He scored 24 goals and 63 points in those games, sixth on the team. These stats include the 26 points he scored in 26 USHL games.
Weight: 188 lbs
Personal Ranking: 33rd Overall
EliteProspects Ranking: 24th Overall
FC Hockey Ranking: 38th Overall
RecruitScouting Ranking: 29th Overall
Jimmy Snuggerud Becomes the Newest Blue
Jimmy Snuggerud is a fascinating pick for the St. Louis Blues. He continues the vibes set by many of the team’s recent selections but is simultaneously a nice bridge to the style of the team’s emerging stars. Like Zachary Bolduc, Snuggerud has a hard, hard shot that was heavily praised headed into the draft. Like Jake Neighbours, Snuggerud plays a solid defensive-game from the wing position, playing with a layer of grit and fearlessness, and knows how to pair those strengths with quick movements to get the puck up the ice with tempo and catch opponents off-guard.
To say Snuggerud is, neccesarily, another Jake Neighbours with a scarier shot wouldn’t be all that inaccurate. The two have a layer of grit covering their longitudinal-offense style and aren’t afraid to get into a scrap or two if they need to. But Snuggerud has an interesting layer of pace to his game. He spent all season playing alongside players like Frank Nazar and Logan Cooley, two players that play really similar to Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas. He’ll continue playing with likeminded players next year, joining Logan Cooley at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis where he’ll be flanked by Brody Lamb, another high-pace, flashy winger.
Stylistic Comparison, Projection, and Grade
That’s quite encouraging for Blues fans thinking through how this pick will affect the team’s future. While it’s a bit challenging to bring in a player so similar to previous prospects, Snuggerud has a dynamic edge to his game that should join well with the young Blues core.
Snuggerud projects as a player that’ll live in the middle-six. He has the grit-and-grind to battle on a third line but the finesse, speed, and shot to produce in a top-six. I’ve seen a handful of different comparisons thrown on Snuggerud. While he compares closely to Neighbours — who himself was compared to Chris Kunitz — Snuggerud’s flash of speed and slight boost in skill gives him an edge that some scouts are saying is comparable to Brandon Saad.
That comparison in-and-of itself helps solidify a pathway for the Blues. They’re slowly — and I mean slowly — moving away from the priority of size and strength and walking towards a land of speed and finesse. While not outright upholding the all-skill playstyles of players like Thomas, Kyrou, or Perunovich, the Blues are finding the right names to support their high-octane play.
Snuggerud is the latest addition in that effort. While he was taken 10 picks before I personally had him ranked, I don’t think this is a bad pick at all. It’s trendsetting, it’s confident, and it occured when not too many better names were on the board.
If I had to grade this pick, I’d give it a solid A-. I don’t think there were many better options on the board.
What do you think of Jimmy Snuggerud’s selection?
This poll is closed
Need to wait and see
Fine but better options available