The 2018-19 season is over. Now is the time to take a look at some of the St. Louis Blues prospects (Klim Kostin, Jordan Kyrou, and Dominik Bokk) and what they have been up to this year. Have some taken a step forward or backward?
The St. Louis Blues may just pick last in the second round as they are just one game away from winning the Stanley Cup. They only have four picks in the 2019 NHL Draft after trading away several of their picks from this draft.
2018-19 Top 10 St Louis Blues Prospects
1. Jordan Kyrou, C/RW – San Antonio Rampage (AHL), St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Drafted: 35th pick in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft by St. Louis.
Jordan Kyrou enjoyed a modest stay in the St. Louis lineup and chipped in three points in 16 games. The problem with St. Louis prospects in 2018-19 was that the big club was in such flux early that it hurt their top young players as well. Between the injuries, poor play, and a lack of chemistry, it created a lot of questions and red flags.
Debate exists as to how he will ultimately fit in with St. Louis next season. Eventually, Kyrou ends up somewhere in the middle-six with the Blues.
After a slow start, Jordan Kyrou heated up considerably and wound up with 43 points in 47 games for San Antonio. Fortunately, that finish bodes well for training camp in 2019-20. Do not be surprised if Kyrou makes the St. Louis Blues out of camp.
2. Dominik Bokk, W – Vaxjo Lakers HC (SHL)
Drafted: 25th pick in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft by St. Louis.
The forward played well internationally with 14 points in 12 games. He made some strides with Vaxjo averaging just about a point every other contest. He even chipped in a few goals in the playoffs for the big club. As he grows, the expected arrival of the forward is about a year or so away.
Again, some expectations have to be tempered a bit. Bokk still has room to grow and fill out more. He will suit up for Rogle BK next season and maybe then he will be able to use that shot. This presents as a pivotal year in Bokk’s development. Fortunately, St. Louis and Bokk have time to grow together.
3. Klim Kostin, F — San Antonio Rampage (AHL)
Draft: 31st overall in the first round of the 2017 draft by St. Louis.
Sadly, Kostin’s discipline has come into question a bit. Kostin took 102 minutes worth of penalties as he became agitated too often at times. Overall, 24 points in 68 games and just ten goals worried many in the organization. Expectations were just higher, honestly.
So, the forward is no Jordan Kyrou. However, if Klim Kostin can just play a little more on the ice, his offensive totals may just go up in 2019-20. The talent is there. It is more of a question of putting it all together. Also, it would be nice if San Antonio can keep somewhat of a roster together.
4. Jordan Schmaltz, D – St. Louis Blues (NHL), San Antonio Rampage (AHL)
Drafted: 25th overall in the first round of the 2012 draft by St. Louis.
Time starts to grow short on Schmaltz because of games played and his decreasing upside as a “prospect”. His fourth year in the AHL featured a significant regression that Jordan Schmaltz never climbed out of. Was that because of the horrible San Antonio start?
His upside could still be as high as a bottom pairing defenseman in the NHL. It certainly is far less than when he was drafted. On the other hand, his defensive play dropped a ton and the quick movement has seen last season vanished as well. Next year, Schmaltz graduates as a prospect more than likely and it may be somewhere other than St. Louis.
5. Mathias Laferriere, RW – Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)
Drafted: 169th overall in the sixth round of the 2018 draft by St. Louis.
The Cape Breton forward blossomed nicely with a breakout season. Give St. Louis scouting credit as Mathias Laferriere scored 28 times and totaled 74 points in 68 games. Then, Laferriere added ten more points in 11 playoff contests. Think a QMJHL version of Jordan Kyrou.
One of his biggest pluses for Laferriere is he has time to move up the organizational depth chart. He was a sixth-round draft pick that some argued should not have been drafted at all. His asset is that shot which seemed to develop overnight. It was there all along but Mathias Laferriere displayed more confidence this year and it showed. Expect him to move up higher next season.
6. Mitch Reinke, D – San Antonio Rampage (AHL)
Reinke played a couple of years at Michigan Tech, rounded into form, and then transitioned to San Antonio this season. The results were unexpectedly good. Mitch Reinke racked up 45 points in 76 games with a dozen goals. His power-play presence increased as the season went along and defensively, he improved as well.
Nonetheless, some wonder what role Reinke could have in the St. Louis organization. Will they sign him to another two-way deal? The answer seems to be yes. Mitch Reinke likely needs another year at least in the AHL before another try at the top level. His ability to score goals would be a nice boost in St. Louis.
7. Austin Poganski, RW – San Antonio Rampage (AHL), Tulsa (ECHL)
Drafted: 110th overall in the fourth round of the 2014 Draft by St. Louis.
Poganski enjoyed playing in San Antonio especially come the second half of the season. He racked up 31 points in 59 games overall — including nine goals. He became much more of a playmaker almost as a necessity. Austin Poganski played like a second center on the ice a lot more than most realized.
The winger shows the ability to work on the aspects of his game Poganski is lacking. His shot is deceptively good but again, that is more of a lack of confidence. Maybe a better start to 2019-20 will get the forward a call with the big club.
8. Tyler Tucker, D – Barrie Colts (OHL)
Drafted: 200th overall in the seventh round of the 2018 Draft by St. Louis.
Though things did not go nearly as well as expected, Tucker managed 59 points in 68 games for the Barrie Colts of the OHL. Overall, the defenseman was projected to finish with a point a game. Some have to relax a bit as Tucker was a seventh-round pick after all.
Fortunately, Tucker merits plenty of time and he will not be rushed. There are several defensive aspects Tyler Tucker must continue to work on. Could he be seen in San Antonio next season? That is becoming an increasing possibility.
9. Alexei Toropchenko, W – Guelph Storm (OHL)
Drafted: 113th overall in the fourth round of the 2017 Draft by St. Louis.
Toropchenko stayed mostly level with 43 points in 62 games for Guelph. Surprisingly, Alexei Toropchenko shifted gears in the playoffs with 13 goals in 24 games. His shots and scoring chances spiked up significantly. This kind of led to more questions than answers. Where was this all season?
Despite all that, his shot and skating rose to the occasion during the second half and playoffs in particular. While the overall body of work was not the most impressive, the Russian forward even chipped in six points in four Memorial Cup games. St. Louis may have a rough gem here.
10. Tanner Kaspick, C – Tulsa Oilers (ECHL), San Antonio Rampage (AHL)
Drafted: 119th overall in the fourth round of the 2016 Draft by St. Louis.
Kaspick endured a rough start with the San Antonio Rampage but found himself a bit with Tulsa in the playoffs. Five points in 18 games look not so impressive and yet his intensity picked up along with the scoring chances.
The promising center shows solid speed, passing, and an ability to shoot the puck well. His tenacity with the puck sets him up well in the attacking zone. Finally, his upside may not be that high but a good season with San Antonio is a possibility.