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 St. Louis Blues have a plethora of talented prospects and many of them play in the AHL. While a few have received NHL opportunities over the last year, others are still finding their footing at the ripe age of 21 or 22. The goaltending prospects are incredibly talented and the defensive group looks very promising. At forward, the Blues have plenty of big names on the prospect front but will be patient with their development. Several of these young players will benefit from larger opportunities which will likely happen at the minor league level.
While the top three prospects have shifted positions over the past few seasons, the St. Louis Blues have added tremendous depth to their pipeline over the past two years. Despite a somewhat quiet outing at the 2015 Draft the team is poised to reap the benefits of its pipeline soon. 2014 first-round pick Robby Fabbri is showing signs of being an NHL-ready player while 2014 second-rounder Ivan Barbashev also looks like a future Blue. Apart from those two, the amount of goaltending talent in the system is simply phenomenal – with a good talent like Luke Opilka not even making the cut – and that could one day stabilize a position that has been a weak point in otherwise excellent teams.
2010 was a heartbreaking year for the San Jose Sharks. They had a squad built for the playoffs, and after being the top team in the Western Conference for a second season in a row, they faltered in the Conference finals, failing to win a single game against the eventual Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks.
As the 2014-15 hockey season comes to a close, the San Jose Sharks are heading into uncharted waters. Their ten year consecutive playoff streak came to an end this season on the heels of what can best be described as a hopeful youth movement. With few monumental changes to the guard, the Sharks’ focus shifts heavily towards change from within. The Sharks have always had an ability to churn out prospects to fill organizational needs, and with an emerging crop of talented and underrated prospects on the horizon, they look poised to quickly get back to the high seas of success.