Blues Day One selections in 2000 Entry Draft

By Chris Irvine

After day one of the draft, the St. Louis Blues have landed three forwards and a defenseman.

1st round, 30th overall, Jeff Taffe C

In the first round, the Blues opted for center Jeff Taffe from the University of Minnesota who was ranked 10th among NA Skaters by Central Scouting and was named Minnesota’s Rookie of the Year this season. Taffe was one of the strongest players on the US national junior team this year, recording five points in seven games. At 6’1.5, 180 lbs, Taffe is not a huge center but will remind many of Marty Reasoner. Central Scouting calls Taffe “a smooth skater with good speed and acceleration….a very smart player who understands the game and his positional play…an exceptional puckhandler who excels in one-on-one situations…has a good wrist shot with a quick release…very strong on faceoffs…often used on the power play…an aggressive forechecker.” Taffe was born on February 19, 1981 in Hastings, Minnesota.

Year Team League GP G A Pts PIM

1999-00 U of Minnesota WCHA 34 9 10 19 16
1998-99 Hastings H.S. USHSW 25 38 48 86 26

2nd round, 65th overall, David Morrisset RW

With the Blues second round pick, they opted for another forward and
this time around they selected a right winger which they are in desperate
need of. David Morisset is also 6’1.5 but heavier then Taffe at 195 lbs.

Ranked 59th on the CSS Mid-Term Report, his final ranking was 40th …
selected 26th overall in the 1996 WHL bantam draft … played in the 2000
NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game, tallying an assist for Team Orr … ranked
second in the Fastest Skater event in the Top Prospects skills evaluation
(14.605 sec.) … was named the WHL Player of the Month in the Western
Conference for March … finished fourth in team scoring this season …
captured a gold medal with Canada in the under-18 1999 Four Nations
Tournament in the Czech Republic … missed most of the 1998-99 season due
to injury. Morisset was born April 6, 1981 and played this past season with
Seattle of the WHL.

“A very good skater with good straight-away speed … very adept at forcing
turnovers and stripping opponents of the puck…drives hard to the net and
is one of the better forecheckers in the WHL…a solid two-way player who
is used in all game situations … willing to sacrifice to make the play …
needs to improve his shot.”

Year Team League GP G A Pts PIM

1999-00 Seattle WHL 60 23 34 57 71
1998-99 Seattle WHL 17 4 0 4 31
1997-98 Seattle WHL 58 6 2 8 104

3rd round, 75th overall, Justin Papineau C

The Blues answered their needs by selecting two forwards. The farm club is in desperate need of
forwards due to all of the recent promotions, although it is likely that the
two will return to their respective clubs next year. Training camp will give
a better indication of the promise of our young players.

One player who we may see in Worcester next year and may be a gamble of a
pick is the re-entry draftee Justin Papineau. Papineau was originally
selected 46th overall by the LA Kings in 1998 and was unable to come to
terms with the Kings prior to June 1st, thus he re-entered this years
draft. Incredibly gifted offensive center, although his size ia a major
concern. In the past two years, serious questions have been raised about
his mental toughness and intensity.

When originally drafted back in 1998, Papineau was listed at 5’10, 160 lbs,
Well at the end of this season he is listed at 5’11, 180 lbs. Papineau has
been a dynamic playmaker in the junior ranks and despite an injury-prone
season, he has the offensive talent to play in the big leagues. In 1998-99,
Papineau won the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as the most valuable player in the
playoffs, which Papineau’s Belleville Bulls won. Papineau has proven to be a
dominant player in the Junior ranks and only time will tell whether he can
make the step to the next level.

He was born on Jan/15/80 in Ottawa, ON.

Year Team League GP G A Pts

1999-00 Belleville OHL 60 40 36 76
1998-99 Belleville OHL 68 52 47 99
1997-98 Belleville OHL 66 41 53 94

3rd round, 96th overall, Antoine Bergeron, LD

The final pick of the day belonged to the Blues and was a huge surprise to
many. A 6’2 left-shooting defenseman from Val D’or of the QMJHL, in 32 games, he recorded 5 goals and 9 assists. Bergeron is from Valcourt, Quebec and was born December
14,1981. At 6’2, 208 lbs, he is a good sized defenseman. He was Rimouski’s 2nd round choice (22nd overall) in 1997.

In 1995, he received the “Best defenceman” honor at the Waterloo Pee-Wee AA
tournament. In 1996, he won the under 16 tournament in Europe with Team
Quebec. Also played in the Quebec under 17 team. Member of the Midget AAA
1st All Star Team in 1998, he was an assistant captain at the All Star Game.
He received a nomination for the Midget AAA “Best defenseman” honor in

Year Team League GP G A Pts

1997-98 Rimouski QMJHL 10 0 0 4
1998-99 Rimouski QMJHL 20 0 4 4
1998-99 Victoriaville QMJHL 30 3 6 9
1999-00 Val D'Or QMJHL 32 5 9 14