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: St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko got off to an impressive start in his NHL career, making him an easy choice as the NHL's top rookie for January (courtesy of Scott Kane/Icon SMI)
Due to the NHL lockout, January was an abbreviated month, with most teams playing just over half a dozen games. Nonetheless, the Hockey’s Future staff was polled to give their early thoughts on the front-runners for the league's Calder Trophy, which recognizes the NHL's top rookie.
Photo: Forward Dmitrij Jaskin is the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Month for January, 2013. Jaskin was prolific over the past month, managing 25 points in just eight QMJHL games. (Courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Though there were many stellar performances in the month of January, few players were able to match the production of Moncton Wildcats forward Dmitrij Jaskin (STL).
Photo: Feisty Blainville-Boisbriand winger Ryan Tesink, shown here as a member of the Saint John Sea Dogs, is one of several Blues junior prospects who have changed teams this year. (courtesy of Dave Connell/HF)
The St. Louis Blues currently possess one of the deepest prospects pools in the NHL. While names like Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz find their place with the NHL club, the future still remains bright for the Blues. More specifically, the Blues have a tremendous crop of young talent playing at the junior level who have demonstrated the potential to play at the professional level.
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.