Photo: Defenseman Mark Cundari, signed as a free agent by the Blues in 2010, ranks fourth overall on the Peoria Rivermen with 20 points this season. (courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
With immense depth at the NHL, junior and European levels of hockey, it should come as no surprise that the St. Louis Blues are lacking offensively-dominant players at the AHL and ECHL levels. Jaden Schwartz has been called-up to the big club, while Vladimir Tarasenko has finally come over from Europe. As more talented prospects make their way to the big club, the AHL affiliate Peoria Rivermen has started to struggle as a result.
Photo: The St. Louis Blues addressed the blue line with their first pick in 2012, drafting dynamic defenseman Jordan Schmaltz with the 25th overall pick. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The St. Louis Blues are one of few teams to have assets at every position. While the level of skill and potential role could be quite different between each player, the fact remains that the Blues have one of the best crop of players heading into the 48-game NHL season.
Photo: Jake Allen remains the top goaltending prospect in the St. Louis system, but more recent picks like Jordan Binnington should challenge him in the near future. (courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn/Icon SMI)
The St. Louis Blues prospect system is led by a pair of potential top-line forwards in Russian winger Vladimir Tarasenko and Saskatchewan native Jaden Schwartz. Both are dynamic players capable of piling up the points and it should not be long before the duo is lighting the lamps for the Blues.
Photo: After splitting the past two seasons between the AHL and NHL, defenseman Ian Cole appears ready for full-time NHL duties. (Robin Alam/Icon SMI)
After a second place finish in the Western Conference during the 2011-12 season, the hope and promise surrounding the Blues organization is more immediate than ever. That said there were still plenty of notable performances from the prospect ranks within the St. Louis pipeline and even more promise on the horizon. In the inaugural edition of the St. Louis Blues prospect awards, Hockey's Future takes a look at some of these performances. The winner for each category was determined by the writer with assistance from the HF staff.