Barring a trade for a first-round pick, something seen before from St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong, the Blues have no selection scheduled in the opening round of the 2015 NHL Draft Friday in Florida.
That pick was dealt to the Buffalo Sabres (along with a third-rounder in 2016) in the package that brought goaltender Ryan Miller here in 2014.
The Blues have one second round pick, two fourth-rounders, two in the fifth round and one in the sixth round.
It was instant offense for the Blues with the first two picks of the 2014 draft. Their first-round pick was high-scoring center Robby Fabbri and they selected Russian forwards Ivan Barbashev and Maxim Letunov with their second-round picks.
Recent NHL trade rumors include several Blues veterans, most notably T.J. Oshie, David Backes and Patrik Berglund, but that doesn’t mean that Armstrong will simply make a move to change the roster.
Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko was voted a second-team NHL All-Star in voting announced Wednesday night during the league’s awards show. Tarasenko led the Blues in scoring with 37 goals and 73 points and finished 10th in the league scoring race.
No Blues player had scored at least 73 points since Pavol Demitra had 93 in 2002-03.
Blues goalie Jake Allen had the rare distinction of making the NHL’s All-Rookie Team for the second time after previously making the team in 2013. Allen was 22-7-4 last season with a 2.28 goals-against average, .913 save-percentage and four shutouts in 37 games.
The NHL on Wednesday adopted a new 3-on-3 format for five minutes of overtime, which should lead to more playmaking and hopefully, more scoring. Overtimes were played 4-on-4 previously.
If a game is tied at the end of overtime, a shootout will still be used to determine the team that gets the extra point in the standings. A similar 3-on-3 overtime format was used in the American Hockey League last season and scoring increased by 40 percent from the 4-on-4 format used in 2013-14.
“I’ve always said that as exciting that the shootouts can be, I would prefer the games to get decided in the overtime and there’s evidence that when you go from 4-on-4 to 3-on-3, it increases the likelihood of a goal in the overtime,” Columbus Blue Jackets general manager and former Blues executive Jarmo Kekalainen told NHL.com. “We’ve seen that in the American League, we’ve seen that in the Swedish League. So I think there’s a good chance the percentage of overtime goals will go up with this change and I think it’s an improvement.”
Blues Top Prospects
(with draft round and 2014-15 stats)
Ty Rattie, 2011 Round 2 (21 goals and 42 points in 59 games with AHL Chicago; 0 goals, 2 assists in 11 games with Blues)
Robby Fabbri, 2014 Round 1 (25 goals, 51 points in 30 games with OHL Guelph; 1 goal, 4 points in 3 games with AHL Chicago)
Ivan Barbashev, 2014 Round 2 (45 goals, 95 points in 57 games with QMJHL Moncton)
Petteri Lindbohm, 2012 Round 6 (6 goals, 18 points in 53 games with AHL Chicago; 2 goals, 3 points in 23 games with Blues)
Jordan Schmaltz, 2012 Round 1 (4 goals, 28 points in 42 games with University of North Dakota)
Tommy Vannelli, 2013 Round 2 (12 goalsm 35 points in 44 games with WHL Medicine Hat)
Colton Parayko, 2012 Round 3 (6 goals, 23 points in 34 games with ECHL Alaska; 4 goals, 7 points in 17 games with AHL Chicago)
Joel Edmundson, 2011 Round 2 (4 goals, 12 points in 30 games with AHL Chicago)
Jordan Binnington, 2011 Round 3 (25-15-4, 2.35 goals-against, .916 save percentage in 45 games with AHL Chicago)
Ville Husso (2014 Round 4 (16-11-10, 2.36 goals against, .915 save percentage in 41 games with HIFK Helsinki)
Blues Draft Picks Through the Years
Not only did the Blues get Jaden Schwartz in the first round at 14th overall, they flipped former first-round draft pick David Rundblad to Ottawa for the Senators’ first-round pick at No. 16 and used it to grab Vladimir Tarasenko. This draft could be paying dividends for years to come.
With perhaps the most high-end defense talent available in draft history, the Blues were picking fourth and went with Alex Pietrangelo. Pietrangelo has blossomed into one of the league’s top young defensemen, but that class also included defensemen Drew Doughty, Erik Karlsson and Tyler Myers (along with Zach Bogosian and Luke Schenn). There were eight defensemen chosen in the draft’s first 17 picks. The 2008 draft also brought the Blues goalie Jake Allen and center Jori Lehtera.
The Blues wound up with three first-round picks and used them on Lars Eller (13th overall), Ian Cole (18th) and David Perron (26th). All three are no longer on the roster, having been used in trades to bring in additional talent.
Holding the first overall pick for the only time in franchise history, the Blues used it on University of Minnesota defenseman Erik Johnson. Johnson has developed into a steady NHL player, but the Blues had the misfortune of being unable to hit on other can’t-miss first-round talents in years surrounding that draft like Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Alexander Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos. Oh, and by the way, two picks after the Blus drafted Johnson, Chicago picked up center Jonathan Toews.
1993 to 1998
In a bit of a draft slump, the Blues failed to unearth any blue-chip talent with their first picks. The list of picks included Maxim Bets (1993 second round, 37th overall), Stephane Roy (1994 third round, 68th overall), Jochen Hecht (1995 second round, 49th overall), Marty Reasoner (1996, 14th overall), Tyler Rennette (1997 second round, 40th overall) and Christian Backman (1998, 24th overall). This was also near the dark period when the Blues had to surrender five first-round picks to Washington as compensation for signing free-agent defenseman Scott Stevens in July, 1990. The Blues had Stevens for one memorable season, then lost him to New Jersey as part of an arbitrator-ruled compensation package after signing free-agent Brendan Shanahan.
The Blues had high hopes for a player named Keith Osborne, a high-scoring forward from the Ontario Hockey League. They took Osborne 12th overall while future Hall of Famer Joe Sakic went to the Quebec Nordiques (later Colorado Avalanche) three picks later.