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 Post subject: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:09 am 
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Anyone going? Being about 1000 miles away, I obviously can't.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:27 am 
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This could go in the draft day thread, but what the heck, it fits here, too.

Looking at the Blues 2016 draft class, this is what stands out:

The Blues only took what look like 2 "risky" picks based on looking at guys stats from when the year they became draft eligible and the year before. One has to look at the year before, because of the idiotic arbitrary 9/15 date which makes players eligible, but the vast majority of non-NHL leagues use 1 Jan to determine eligibility.

Risky picks first - not that risky, because they are both later round picks:
1) Conner Bleakely - already addressed in his own thread.
2) Nolan Stevens (son of former Flyer John Stevens)- draft eligible 2 years ago, never picked, "broke out" as a 19 year old, sophomore in college this past year, nothing stands out stat-wise in his original draft year or the year prior. Are his latest college #s what he will really be talent-wise (late bloomer) or is that him being able to perform better solely based on age. This age thing is what has led to questionable draft picks which did not pan out.

aside about the age thing: See Zach Hamill and the 2007 NHL entry draft - great junior numbers his "draft eligible" year, but not so great numbers the year prior. Drafted immediately before Logan Couture who was essentially a full year younger with better junior numbers at the same age, vice when "draft eligible."

Good picks
1) Tage Thompson. While some question his +/- at UConn, the entire team is basically minus players, he is the youngest player on the team, and wound up 2nd in scoring as a freshman who didn't turn 18 until October last year (yes, he started college at 17). Played behind 3 really good Centers for the U18 USA team and still managed 14 points as 4th line C and very limited ice time. Very strong upside.

Potential to be a steal:
Nickolaj Krag Christensen - Only played in Denmark, so far. Also played for the Denmark U18 and U20 teams. Point per game player at every age in Denmark for the past 4 years. Made U20 team as a 17 year old, which was only time he didn't generate a point per game - of course, that entire team barely scored at all and he was 2 years younger than everyone else he's playing against. If he can translate that ability at all to the NHL, this pick will be a steal.

Safe picks - everyone else, except for the unknown LW Filip Helt for which only one year of information is available. All had good "draft" year stats with similar production from the prior year. With no idea on Helt.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:39 am 
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theohall wrote:
Tage Thompson. While some question his +/- at UConn


Huh. Hadn't read that. What I do keep reading references to is his 1 and only even-strength goal last season. Everyone seems to think he's a long-term project though. Needs to fill out and improve his skating. But everything I'm seeing about yesterday sounds good.


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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:02 pm 
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ecbm wrote:
theohall wrote:
Tage Thompson. While some question his +/- at UConn


Huh. Hadn't read that. What I do keep reading references to is his 1 and only even-strength goal last season. Everyone seems to think he's a long-term project though. Needs to fill out and improve his skating. But everything I'm seeing about yesterday sounds good.


Yea there's more on him further down the forum, has his own thread.

Many scouts love him but some people on this forum found some rather scathing scouting reports on the kid. But you're exactly right, he's a long term project, I wouldn't be surprised if he stays at UConn the full 4 years and we don't see him until after graduation.

As I said in that other thread, though, he was #26 on NHL Central Scouting's reports for a reason. Blues obviously saw something they really liked because they moved up to make sure they got him. We'll see. As always.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:35 am 
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WaukeeBlues wrote:
Many scouts love him but some people on this forum found some rather scathing scouting reports on the kid. But you're exactly right, he's a long term project


Yeah, but those are related. The Blues traded up (not significantly but still) to get him and he's apparently enough of a project to be considered a reach there by some. And when you're picking at #26 already and are an organization without a lot of forwards in the system, a project isn't really very appetizing to the some observers.

WaukeeBlues wrote:
he was #26 on NHL Central Scouting's reports


He actually got as high as #20-BUT this was the North American (as in, played for NA teams) skaters list. As far as I can tell, there is no overall list. So it's quite possible that someone at #26 or 20 on that list doesn't project as a 1st-rounder.


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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:55 am 
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I don't know enough about him to have a strong opinion about the pick. Giving up a 3rd round pick to move up 2 slots to take what many people are calling a reach is extremely peculiar though. We don't know the behind-the-scenes stuff, but that's a hard one to understand.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:37 am 
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cardsfan04 wrote:
I don't know enough about him to have a strong opinion about the pick. Giving up a 3rd round pick to move up 2 slots to take what many people are calling a reach is extremely peculiar though. We don't know the behind-the-scenes stuff, but that's a hard one to understand.


The P-D has an article on him and it contains this quote:

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/hockey/p ... b545f.html

Quote:
"Well with Tage, nobody's sure where that is because of his size, because of his reach, because of his hands, because of his shot, and he's got ability to make plays. That's probably up to him. The one thing that's in his favor is that he's a hard worker. The research was done on him and this kid is a hockey player. He gets up every morning, he works out, he tries to get better everyday, he's pushing the envelope. He wants to be a hockey player, that's his No. 1 priority in life."


In my mind, it's probably easier to move up to take a project knowing they want to put the work in. That's what separates the busts from those who make it. If he's going to work, if he's going to eat/sleep/breathe the sport, there's a decent chance he'll make SOME kind of impact.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:03 am 
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It's not like the Blues are incapable of using a player who is the guy they set up regularly on the PP. Ask Troy Brouwer or Brett Hull. :wink:

Just saying, even if most of the kid's goals were PP goals, he's the youngest kid on the team and he's the one scoring most of their PP goals, not some more experienced player, which would normally be the case on a college team. Heck, he scored 13 PP goals. The rest of the team had 16 combined.

Aside - looking at Thompson's stuff, Blues former draft pick Maxim Letunov is on the same team. He's their even strength leading goal scorer. Ashame the Blues traded him for Michalek, who barely played while contributing zero in the playoffs, and whatever happened to the 3rd round conditional pick. Michalek's 15 games would have been better served playing prospects.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:29 am 
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Glad to have seen Tage Thompson, Kyrou and Dunn look so good. I was a bit disappointed in the Thompson pick. But I have high hopes for him now. He just needs to fill out, get stronger, and work on his first step, acceleration and get used to his recently-grown body (and the slight choppiness will go away. ALL those things are relatively easily mended, given that he reportedly has a strong work ethic. I'm not worried about him scoring at even strength, as he has a good shot, and will be able to use his size and ultimate strength (once he fills out) to make operating room for himself. He'll be a monster power forward at 6ft 5 225-230, and with a penchant for going to the tough areas. I hope he'll be able to play centre in the pros. But, even if not, he should be a valuable asset on the wing.

Kyrou really looks promising. I would have taken him at #28. Nice that The Blues got both him and Thompson. He's a very smooth skater, with soft hands and a scoring touch. He seems to have decent offensive sense. I hope he'll gain enough strength, and learn to play defence well. I have high hopes for him.

Mikkola looks promising, as well. Not sure why all the fuss over Helt. He looks smooth, but will he be able to do much on The NHL level? That remains to be seen. Husso looked good so far. Still not happy with Evan Fitzpatrick taken with a 2nd Rounder. I'd have waited until, at least, The 3rd to take a goalie. I'd have thought he'd have a better all around game taken that high. I was alarmed to see him look very weak on high shots. That's something Corsi can help him with. But, he'll need a lot of work on his transition from down to up. However, with his large size, and great speed from post to post, and good low positioning, he's really tough to beat down low.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:04 am 
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I heard Sam Kurker looked real good so far. When he was drafted I was envisioning a Backes like player, then he kind of disappeared.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:01 pm 
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cardsfan04 wrote:
I don't know enough about him to have a strong opinion about the pick. Giving up a 3rd round pick to move up 2 slots to take what many people are calling a reach is extremely peculiar though. We don't know the behind-the-scenes stuff, but that's a hard one to understand.


Agreed. He seems to have upside but...the worry I really have is that this is another "big body" and that was the most important criterion. Enormous forwards with passable puck skills were all the rage in the 90s. It ain't the 90s anymore.

Backes was a second rounder (and another big body who was a project) and I'm having trouble looking at this guy's pedigree and projecting him to be better than a two-time 30 goal scorer.

theohall wrote:
It's not like the Blues are incapable of using a player who is the guy they set up regularly on the PP. Ask Troy Brouwer or Brett Hull.

Just saying, even if most of the kid's goals were PP goals


Understood, but for perspective: power play goals accounted for 50% of Hull's goals in exactly one season in his entire career: 1992-93, when 29 of his 54 goals were on the PP. (He was also good for 1.5 shorties per season.) Last season, Thompson scored 13 of 14 goals on the power play. That's very, very different.


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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:14 am 
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I'm also glad to see that Bleakley looked fairly good, and skated well. If he's truly back from his broken kneecap, with some hard work, and weight training, he might be a good addition to The Blues' prospect pool. One more season of juniors, and he should be able to play with The Wolves.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:00 am 
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Blues prospects opened Traverse City with a 3-2 win over Chicago. No idea who did what and can't really find any info, yet, but will watch the game tonight via FoxSports Go vs Columbus.

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 Post subject: Re: Prospects camp
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:53 pm 
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Blues lost 2nd game 4-1 to Columbus.

Husso was in net. None of the goals were Husso's fault
1st allowed - screen point shot off of Blues lost faceoff
2nd allowed - Blues D blindly fired puck up boards from corner without any pressure, instead of maintaining possession and passing to the 2 other Blues who were open. Blind clear winds up on Columbus stick, turnover turns into easy goal with D now wildly out of position due to dumb blind pass.
3rd allowed - same thing as 2nd allowed only Columbus had cleared puck behind Blues net as a penalty was killed. Winds up in net.
4th allowed - empty netter.

Blues only goal was a Sergeev PP goal late in the 3rd. That being said, Schmaltz and Sergeez were awful most of the game. The two amateur tryouts, Allen and Centorame, played better defensively. Vanelli and Dunn played the most and looked good.

Filip Helt has no clue about puck possession and it's importance.
Musil looked like a junior center who hasn't figured out how to position himself to receive passes. He played with Kyrou and MacEeachern the first two periods and the line did nothing.

Kyrou got moved to a line with Barbashev and Blais and suddenly the Blues had offensive zone pressure from the Kryou/Barbashev/Blais line. Kryou is very good away from the puck, especially in defensive awareness.

Bleakley got robbed on a couple of golden chances. He was with Barbashev/Blais the first two periods and switched with Kyrou in the 3rd.

Telecasts are no announcers, single camera, so if you need the player numbers the enemy blog The Left Wing Lock has them.

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