Blues' prospect is WHL playoff MVP; a look at the team's free agents

News-DemocratMay 14, 2013 

Ty Rattie, one of the top forward prospects for the St. Louis Blues, was named MVP of the Western Hockey League's championship series after helping Portland to the league title.

Rattie, a second-round draft pick in 2011, led all WHL playoff scorers with 20 goals and 36 points. He's also the league's all-time playoff goal leader with 50.

The 20-year-old right winger finished the regular season with 48 goals and 110 points in 62 games. then erupted for 20 goals and 36 points in just 21 playoff games.

He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Blues last season and should be in training camp this fall.

Counting his WHL numbers from last season, the 6-foot, 167-pound winger has 105 goals and 131 points in 117 games. In 2011-12, he racked up 57 goals and 121 points in 69 games.

In his last two playoff seasons, Rattie has 39 goals and 69 points in 42 games.

Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said Sunday the team hopes to find out soon whether another top prospect, Jori Lehtera, is ready to leave Russia behind and come to North America.

The 25-year-old Lehtera, a third-round pick in 2008, is a forward from Helsinki, Finland. He had 17 goals and 48 points in 52 games this season with Novosibirsk Siber of the Russian pro league, the KHL.

"It's A, does he want to come over and B, where do we fit him in -- and if he comes over and we fit him in, who is he replacing?" Armstrong said. "We'd like to have him, it's up to him whether he wants to come."

It was Lehtera's third straight season in the KHL, the same league that helped produce Blues rookie winger Vladimir Tarasenko.

The 21-year-old Tarasenko had two goals in his NHL debut and finished with eight goals and 19 points in 38 games. He also battled through a concussion and dressed for one playoff game, but saw only a little over five minutes of action.

"I was very impressed with his season," Armstrong said. "He came over here, smaller ice surface, demanding schedule, new culture..now he has to go home and he has to come back and be player that we can count on.

"He left with a mandate that your name is on the board in an important spot now."

St. Louis Blues Contract Status

(2012-13 salary cap hits in parentheses)

Restricted Free Agents

Forwards

Chris Stewart ($3 million); Patrik Berglund ($2.25 million); Evgeny Grachev ($816,666)

Defensemen

Alex Pietrangelo ($3.16 million); Kevin Shattenkirk ($1.3 million); Kris Russell ($1.3 million); Ian Cole ($1.3 million); Taylor Chorney ($575,000)

Goaltenders

Jake Allen ($816,666)

Unrestricted Free Agents

Forwards

Andy McDonald ($4.7 million); Jamie Langenbrunner ($1.5 million); Scott Nichol ($700,000); Andrew Murray ($600,000); Adam Cracknell ($550,000)

Defensemen

Jordan Leopold ($3 million); Jeff Woywitka ($700,000)

Goaltenders

Mike McKenna ($525,000)

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or on Twitter @NormSanders

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