Theohall, did you write this?
Didn't write this, but agree with most. One of his conclusions about Gordon's article is flat out wrong.
The draft and development path that Gordon discusses in his article has been working for Armstrong - to a point.
What developed forwards?
Tarasenko - 1st round pick developed in KHL, not by the Blues
Schwartz - 1st round pick developed in NCAA, not by the Blues
Fabbri - 1st round pick made team straight from Juniors, again not Blues development.
What developed defenseman?
Pietrangelo - 1st round pick, Blues kept sending him to Juniors to develop, which the Blues don't control other than sending him there.
Parayko - developed by NCAA, not the Blues unless one wants to count ~19 AHL games when he left college. But he jumped straight to the Blues after his 1st NHL training camp
Edmundson is pretty much the only defenseman to spend significant time in a Blues developmental organization.
Lindbohm - still no better than a 3rd line defenseman.
If Armstrong can keep hitting on 1st round picks, great. But there has been barely any good development (except Parayko, but he was NCAA developed) of lower picks once Blues prospects leave college or juniors. Was Schmaltz ready? After 3 years of NCAA and almost 2 years with the Wolves, No. Was Barbashev ready? No, but he was improving at the AHL level under Craig Berube whose now been fired (but will likely join the Blues staff). Is Paajarvi any better than a 3rd line forward in spite of the time he's spent between the Blues and the AHL? I have zero confidence the Blues will ever have AHL players ready to step in the way it seems to be working for other organizations.
Where in the Blues organization is real development happening? I sure as heck don't know, because it isn't coming from Chicago or the Missouri, now KC, Mavericks. The Blues had to send Vanelli to a different AHL team (Atlanta Gladiators) than the Mavericks, because he couldn't get on the ice there. There is a bang up job of developing someone. It seems like the Blues development path involves spending no money on it and relying on Juniors and the NCAA. All the Blues seem to want from AHL players is to fill-in for injuries, not develop to the point they replace this group of mediocre 3rd liners. This is making me think Tage Thompson probably should have stayed in college. He isn't going to learn anything with the Wolves. Really surprised the Wolves didn't use Kyrou more in the playoffs. Skill at juniors = 1 playoff game with CHI.