The St. Louis Blues have several European defensemen in the pipeline and a few are making a name for themselves in Europe. Finnish goaltender Ville Husso is certainly the biggest name in terms of talent in Europe but the Blues have never shied away from drafting international players. The team has had great success scouting various European leagues over its history, including 1978’s selection of Risto Siltanen, and 1995’s picks of Michal Handzus and Jochen Hecht. Not all their European picks have ended up playing for the Blues, but those that have recently (Jori Lehtera, Patrik Berglund, Dmitrij Jaskin, and Vladimir Tarasenko to name a few) are impact players in the NHL. Read more»
The 2015 NHL Draft saw six defensemen from Finland selected for only the second time since the draft was reduced to seven rounds in 2004. Though none of those players were selected in the top two rounds — as current Pittsburgh Penguin Olli Maatta was in the 2012 draft class that was previously the largest — the 2015 draft class has increased the number of NHL-drafted defensemen playing in Liiga. This has helped to expand this list to a top 10 after listing just five players last year. Read more»
With the addition of former Mestis club KooKoo, Finland’s Liiga in 2015-16 will feature 15 teams for the first time in league history. But, while the Kouvola-based squad should enjoy an intense rivalry with neighboring SaiPa Lappeenranta in southeastern Finland, things aren’t likely to change at the top of the league standings. Read more»
While the 2010 NHL Draft was hit or miss as a whole for the St. Louis Blues, their top two picks in Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko have turned into franchise players who should have a major role to play moving forward. They are two of the best young players in the NHL and have proven to be two of the Blues best draft picks over the past ten years.
After replenishing their prospect pool in the 2014 NHL Draft, the St. Louis Blues have plenty of young talent at multiple levels of hockey. Jordan Schmaltz continues to impress at the NCAA level while Mackenzie MacEachern continued his strong college career. Jake Walman, Austin Poganski and Dwyer Tschantz had productive freshmen seasons as well.