There has been plenty of movement among the St. Louis Blues top 20 this season. Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz remain the top prospects in the system but there are several new names among the organization's top 10 prospects. Even after graduating several talented defensemen in recent years, the St. Louis pipeline has a new wave of blue line prospects on the horizon. The 2011 draft class also made an impact, led by Ty Rattie's breakout WHL season as well as a pair of QMJHL prospects making their debut in the rankings.
Team Depth Chart of NHL Prospects
- Scoring potential at both right and left wing
- Improved depth in goal
- Scoring depth at center and defense
- Depth at left wing needs improvement
Legend of Players' Leagues
- Playing in N.A. Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc.)
- Playing in CHL (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
- Playing in NCAA
- Playing in Europe
- Playing in Junior 'A' (USHL, BCHL, AJHL, etc.)
- Not Categorized Yet
The Peoria Rivermen currently occupy third place in the AHL's Midwest Division, with 47 points in 44 games, on pace for a possible playoff berth. The team boasts a load of NHL and AHL veterans such as Jonathan Cheechoo and Brett Sterling, but has younger players, particularly along the blue line, some of whom are considered serious NHL prospects by the St. Louis Blues.
Jake Allen, G, 21
After getting off to a rocky start in Peoria (AHL), Allen joined Team Canada for the Spengler Cup, sharing goaltending duties with veteran Marty Turco. On December 28, the former 2nd round selection (2008) was shelled by host team Davos, dropping an 8-1 decision.
Going into the 2011 draft, many of the Blues' top prospects could be found playing either in Europe or in the AHL. However this past June, GM Doug Armstrong made a number of picks from major junior ranks, focusing especially on the Western Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior League.
Credit former Blues player personnel director and current GM Doug Armstrong and his staff; as the team's NHL fortunes appear to be on the rise, the St. Louis Blues' talent pipeline is also one of the deepest and strongest in the game.
At forward, not only is there significant quality depth, particularly at center and right wing, but this group also displays an interesting and promising range of skills, with both finesse and power players.
On defense, there are a significant number of legitimate NHL prospects who project as at least second or third pairing defenseman. And, clearly, recent NHL history shows that a team can never have enough NHL quality defensemen, especially come playoff time.
Strength at forward is what defines the current crop of prospects for the St. Louis Blues. Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz continue to lead the Blues prospect pool though new additions Ty Rattie, Dmitri Jaskin, and Evgeny Grachev bring some additional depth.