Here’s a look at five Blues prospects
playing for the Worcester IceCats.
Sejna, LW (17 games; 3 goals, 4 assists, +4)
When Peter Sejna arrived in Worcester
after 18 games with the St. Louis Blues, the rookie appeared totally
shell-shocked and lacking confidence. If Sejna’s progress continues along its
present path what they’ll get back in St. Louis will be a bona-fide NHL left
wing. In just the last three weeks Sejna has made huge strides in his game. He
is now skating with the confidence he showed in his NHL debut last season when
he beat the Avalanche’s Patrick Roy to score his first NHL goal.
McClement, C (32 games; 4 goals, 6 assists, +7)
It took Jay McClement a few games, but
it’s now evident why he’s the Blues No. 1 rated prospect. One of the IceCats’
best penalty killers and faceoff men, McClement has left many defensemen
chasing him out of the defensive zone with his incredible speed. He still needs
to work on getting his shot off quicker, but his other skills keep him firmly
entrenched as the best prospect in the system.
Hemingway, RW (13 games; 2 goals, 0 assists, +1)
Colin Hemingway has had some issues
adapting to the pro game. His streaky play resulted in a five-game stint with
Peoria of the ECHL where he racked up 6 assists, but he’s so far been unable to
put it together at the AHL level. A concussion has sidelined him as of late.
Hopefully for him, the time spent watching will transfer to the ice just as it
did for fellow prospect Johnny Pohl last season. An off-season of strength and
conditioning will be a must for Hemingway to be successful as a pro.
Pohl, C (29 games 7 goals, 6 assists, -8)
The “sophomore slump” seems
to have hit the University of Minnesota graduate. Last season, teams gave Pohl
lots of room to makes plays and it showed on the score sheet as he netted 26
goals and 58 points. This season, teams are playing the body against him more,
resulting in fewer scoring chances, and the chances he does get he is failing
to convert on. Defensively, Pohl has had issues too, resulting in his
plus/minus dropping a staggering 19 ticks from the end of last season. Pohl did
make his NHL debut earlier this season, but will need to improve greatly to
make the trip to St. Louis again.
Stuart, D (23 games 0 goals, 3 assists, +1)
A free agent signee by the Worcester
IceCats last season, Stuart has played himself onto the Blues’ depth chart with
solid defensive play. Not possessing great offensive skills or blinding speed,
Stuart gets the job done with great positioning and intuition. His puck
handling in the defensive zone is above average, and his outlet passes are
stuff that forwards dream of. Due to injuries in St Louis, Stuart made his NHL
debut earlier this season, playing 10:44 of generally mistake-free hockey.
Stuart certainly has the skills to be an NHL fifth or sixth defenseman if given