Last week, we asked you guys some questions about this season and your confidence levels in the team. Over the next bit, as a lead-up to the season, we’ll be reporting back on the results. This week we have the prospects portion to talk about. How confident are you guys in the team’s prospects?
Sixty-four percent isn’t an earth shattering number, but considering the outcome of this year’s Traverse City tournament, held after the poll question was posted but during the tabulation period, it feels like it’s in the ballpark.
The Blues have been dealing high picks over the last five years, and when they have been picking in the first rounds, it hasn’t been near the top. This isn’t to say that the team hasn’t uncovered diamonds in the rough, because that’s something the team has always excelled at. But, where the team is right now, it doesn’t look like there’s much immediately available unless you’re taking Zach Bolduc and Jake Neighbours into consideration. Long term, however, there are several players to keep your eyes on. Landon Sim, the team’s sixth round (184th overall) pick was the team’s best player in TC with three goals and two assists in three games. If there’s a definition of a potential diamond in the rough it’s him.
The Blues left Traverse City with a 1-2 tournament record. The two losses, both by a score of 7-1, once to Columbus and once to Dallas, Goaltender Will Cranley put in a solid performance in game two’s 8-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the tournament reinforced the fact that if the goaltending tandem of Jordan Binnington and Thomas Greiss doesn’t work out during the season the Blues may have to look outside of their system for help.
Overall, the team’s late round drafting has impressed neither Pronman nor Wheeler over at The Athletic. Tony Ferrari at The Hockey News is much more forgiving, but focuses on the big name guys like Bolduc, Neighbours, Joel Hofer, and Scott Perunovich. Perunovich, with the hip injury to Marco Scandella, may not be a prospect much longer.