2015-16 St. Louis Blues Top 10 Prospects

2015-16 St. Louis Blues Top 10 Prospects

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The Blues have only had two first round draft picks in the past five drafts as they have traded several picks and prospects away in an attempt to help see their regular season success translate into playoff success. So far it has not payed any dividends, but the Blues still have several quality prospects in the system. Perhaps because they have had nine second round picks in that time.

While their top end prospect talent is still decent, there is really no depth as the Blues have a poor draft record in the later rounds. In the past ten years the only players drafted beyond the second round of consequence in the Blues system are Petteri LIndbolm and Jori Lehtera.

1. Robby Fabbri: Right Wing – 5’10” / 170 lbs
Drafted: 21st overall in the first round of the 2014 draft by St. Louis

The Blues can’t wait for Fabbri to arrive as he is a dynamic scorer who oozes offensive skill and is a cluth scorer. Injuries limited his games in junior last year, but despite playing only 30 games he still managed to score 25 goals and 51 points. He was dominant in junior and at the WJC where he scored six points in five games before a high ankle sprain knocked him out. He finished the year strong after a call up to Chicago, where he had his first taste of the pros playing three games in the AHL and had a goal and four points. Fabbri will be a real threat to make the Blues this year at 19 years old.

Scouting Report:

Not only is Fabbri a shifty and elusive skater able to side step a hit, but he also slows the game down around him for his team while speeding it up for the defenders tasked with stopping him. He is the type of player for whom the puck seems to find whenever he is on the ice. Finally, he is a very responsible and hard-working player when backchecking. He still needs to learn when to avoid corners as, regardless of his size, the danger he courts would put anyone on the shelf more often than is necessary. – Hockey Prospectus

2. Ivan Barbashev: Centre – 6’0” / 180 lbs
Drafted: 33rd overall in the second round of the 2014 draft by St. Louis

Despite scoring 68 points in 48 games in the QMJHL in his draft year, Barbashev went undrafted in the first round to the surprise of many and fell into the Blues laps with the 33rd pick. Barbashev had a monster year last year with Moncton scoring 45 goals and 95 points in 57 games and was dominant at the WJC with Russia scoring three goals and six points in seven games winning the Silver Medal.  Because he has a late birthday, he can forgo a fourth year in junior and play in the AHL this year, which will allow the Blues to bring him up a few times during the season if need  be.

Scouting Report:

Ivan Barbashev is a pure sniper, he has a great arsenal of shots with a terrific wrister, slapshot, snapshot, backhand and one-timer. These shots also feature an excellent release which can fool goalkeepers and the puck will be in the back of the net before he knows it. Barbashev also has good stickhandling skills, and the creativity and vision to make passes which surprise opponents and set up teammates for easy goals. When he doesn’t have the puck, he does a good job in finding open areas, and easy passing lanes for a teammate to get him the puck. He reads the play well and has a high hockey IQ. – Last Word on Sports

3. Jordan Schmaltz: Defence – 6’2” / 190 lbs
Drafted: 25th overall in the first round of the 2012 draft by St. Louis

The offensive defenceman put up impressive numbers in the USHL and saw his point totals improve each of his three years with North Dakota. Schmaltz has signed his ELC and will start his pro career with the Chicago Wolves in the AHL. He needs a year or two developing his game and adjusting to the pros, but has top four potential.

Scouting Report:

His passing is superb, especially in the offensive zone. He makes crisp, hard tape to tape spaces, and is able to thread the needle through some tight passing lanes. Schmaltz really excels setting up his teammates on the PP. His shot is not the hardest out there, however what Schmaltz is really good at is keeping his shot low and accurate and getting it on net and through traffic. This can lead to tip ins and rebound goals for his teammates. Schmaltz’s skating has improved since his draft year. His stride is long and he generates decent top end speed and his acceleration has really improved. He is also agile and changes direction well, and makes good pivots. He could still stand to work on his balance, and strength though these have improved as he’s added some core body strength. He was 175 pounds when drafted and is 194 pounds now, so some work has been done here, though at 6’2, a little bit more muscle could still be added. – Last Word on Sports

4. Ty Rattie: Right Wing6’0´/ 178 lbs
Drafted: 32nd overall in the second round of the 2011 draft by St. Louis

In his second pro season, Rattie raised his points per game from .67 to .71 scoring 42 points in 59 games. He had an 11 game look at the NHL level, as well in a limited role playing an average of 9:06 minutes a night. Previously projected as a top six winger, he now may slot in on the third line and will see more NHL action this year.

Scouting Report”

Rattie has good hands, offensive instincts and an above average shot which he puts to great use on the half-wall during the power play. Thanks to his diligence in his own zone, he projects as a bottom six winger, with third line upside. He should get more NHL opportunities this season. – Hockey Prospectus

5. Petteri Lindbohm: Defence – 6’3” / 198 lbs
Drafted: 176th overall in the sixth round of the 2012 draft by St. Louis

The 22 year old played his first season in North America and split time between the AHL and the NHL. In 23 NHL games, he played very well and scored three points, but defence is his forte. Lindbohm played so well for the Blues they were able to let Barret Jackman leave via free agency, opening up a roster spot for Lindbohm. He should start the year as the sixth defenceman.

Scouting Report:

He is a big defenceman who plays a strong physical game. Lindbohm loves to hit, and can make those attacking his side of the ice take notice. He clears the crease, and battles hard in the corners. He uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes, and is in good position to block shots. His skating can use work though, as he is a bit below average in terms of speed, edgework and agility. This can cause him to be beat to the outside by smaller, quicker defenders.- Last Word on Sports

6. Colton Parayko: Defence – 6’5” / 214 lbs
Drafted: 86th overall in the third round of the 2012 draft by St. Louis

Parayko is a well kept secret after being hidden away for three years in Alaska. He made his AHL debut at the end of last season playing in 17 games and scoring seven points. He was quickly promoted to the top pairing in Chicago and will command a look in the NHL at some point this season. His stock is rising fast.

Scouting Report:

First off, there’s no doubting that Parayko is every bit of the 6-5 218 lbs. that he is listed at. He’s a monster out on the ice. He’s not quite an all-world skater, as you’d expect from a player that huge. But he’s a good enough skater that combined with his size, he’s an effective defender. – SB Nation

7. Vince Dunn: Defence – 6’0” / 187 lbs
Drafted: 56th overall in the second round of the 2015 draft by St. Louis

Dunn is an elite offensive defenceman who has elite skating ability for his peer group. He produced 56 points in 68 games for Niagara last season in the OHL. He has decent size but the knock on Dunn is his defensive play. Defence can be taught, the skills he has cannot. He needs more time in junior and some AHL seasoning before he is ready for the NHL.

Scouting Report:

An offensive minded defender… a solid skater who uses his speed and mobility to jump into the attack…uses his speed to drive the puck wide and open up lanes for team mates…confident with the puck…moves the puck well, and is very rarely caught out of position…a strong power play quarterback who can see the ice…make a good passes and has a solid shot…smart decisions regarding open teammates and passing lanes…uses his stick well and is positional sound in his own zone…a good offensive blue liner who just needs to round out his game. – Future Considerations

8. Joel Edmundson: Defence – 6’4” / 207 lbs
Drafted: 46th overall in the second round of the 2011 draft by St. Louis

Edmundson is basically polar opposite to Dunn; not much offence and all defence. The big man finished his second year in the AHL and will likely spend the majority if not all of the final year of his ELC in the AHL.

Scouting Report:

Joel Edmundson is fairly safe as far as prospects go in terms of his likelihood to have a bonafide NHL career. At his best, he might remind some Blues’ observers of a latter day Barret Jackman. A crease-clearer who makes a good first pass, the former Moose Jaw Warrior only needs to prove that he can keep up with the pro pace to earn an NHL opportunity. He had begun to show greater offensive potential last season before being knocked out of action for a long stretch due to injury. If he can repeat that effort over a longer stretch this year, the floor will be raised. – Hockey Prospectus

9. Tommy Vannelli: Defence – 6’2” / 165 lbs
Drafted: 47th overall in the second round of the 2013 draft by St. Louis

Vannelli has spent the past two years in the WHL with Medicine Hat and continues to develop seeing his point totals increase, as well as his plus/minus. He has height, but really needs to bulk up to be effective at the pro level.

Scouting Report:

Vannelli is a gifted offensive defenseman with great puck skills and passing ability. A tall player he must continue to fill into his frame and add strength to be successful in the pros. He will continue to hone his skills and become a more complete player in the WHL. – Hockeys Future

10. Jake Walman: Defence – 6’1” / 170 lbs
Drafted: 82nd overall in the third round of the 2014 draft by St. Louis

The late blooming Walman made huge strides in his game after switching from forward to defence. After going undrafted in two OHL drafts, Walman played his first year of college hockey with Providence, where he scored 16 points in 41 games. With three more years of college ahead of him, he will have plenty of time to continue to develop and to continue to physically mature.

Scouting Report:

his first-step quickness allows him to spin off checks and side-step oncoming forwards – however, his elite lateral quickness is what separates him from his peers .. converted to a defenseman this season .. his game saw notable improvements throughout the year as he developed better positioning in the defensive zone and even added layers of physical play to his game despite being an undersized 170 pounds . – McKeens Hockey

Recent Roster Graduations:

Dmitrij Jaskin, Jake Allen

Players under 25 years old and with less than 25 career NHL games played qualify as a prospect for purpose of this list.

Written by Peter Harling, who can be found on twitter @pharling