By Zackery Robert

Moving on and almost at the end we have up next the blue notes, the St Louis Blues. Gaining great success in the past five years or so winning their franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup in 2019.

When talking about the St. Louis Blues one player who comes to mind as one of the most successful draft picks is Foam Lake Saskatchewan’s Bernie Federko. Federko was the sixth overall pick in the 1976 draft and went on to play 927 games for the Blues and registering 1073 points. He had four seasons of over 100 points for the Blues and scored seven seasons of 30+ goals with his career high of 41 in 1984. He remains as the Blues’ all time points leader and the only player in their history to score 1000 points.
Sticking with the 1976 draft we will look into the second round at pick number 20 to find Brian Sutter. Sutter played from 1976-1988 with the Blues until retirement and scored 636 points in 779 games played. He ranks third in all time points on the St Louis Blues.

Final choice for best Blues pick goes to the 2010 draft where at pick number 16 the Blues chose Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko was the Blues’ best sniper since Brett Hull, having six 30+ goals seasons and one of those seasons hitting the 40 goal plateau, Tarasenko was their best offensive threat during the 2010s. Tarasenko was a consistent 70+ point player for the Blues and was a large contributor to their Stanley Cup success back in 2019.

Moving along to picks that left the franchise wanting more we will first stop at the 2014 draft where the Blues selected highly touted Robby Fabbri with the 21st over selection. Fabbri played in the organisation from 2014-2019 and was unfortunately unable to make much of an impact. With injuries and inconsistencies hurting his play Fabbri was only able to play 164 games with the Blues scoring 73 points. He had a lot of skill but was never able to find much of a rhythm in the NHL, he was traded away to the Detroit Red Wings in November of 2019 for a player who played less than 50 games for the Blues, a very little return for the former first rounder. This pick left a lot to be desired and it winds up on this list.

Moving back two years to the 2012 draft we have another first round selection Jordan Schmaltz. Originally drafted 25th overall Schmaltz played in the USHL and then off to North Dakota in the NCAA before making his pro debut in the 2015-2016 season for the blues affiliate team the Chicago Wolves. It wouldn’t be until 2016-2017 that Schmaltz would make his NHL debut where he played nine games registering two assists. He would go on to plate another 33 games for the Blues totalling 42 games and registering five points in total. After being traded in the summer of 2019 he would continue his career in the AHL for 2020 and the 2021 seasons split between three AHL teams. He is now currently playing overseas in the Swiss-A league.

Finally we will go back in time to the 1987 draft where the Blues held pick number 12. Once at the podium the Blues chose Keith Osborne, a winger out of Toronto, Ontario. Osborne would make his pro debut in 1989 for the Peoria Rivermen and would subsequently play with the Blues that same year making his NHL debut. Osborne would play five games for the Blues that year putting up two assists. Osborne however would never play another game for the Blues he would be traded in March or 1991 to the Toronto Maple Leafs and would the. Be claimed off waivers a year later by Tampa where he would play his last 11 games in the NHL. He would play another eight years before retiring at the end of the 2000-2001 season.

In the present time the Blues are looking towards the NHL draft. They did not make the playoffs this year but they are going to the draft fully loaded, in total they have nine picks but three of those picks are first round picks. In a draft as deep as this one, having that many first round picks will be a hot commodity for sure. Their lineup looks like this: 1st, 1st (TOR), 1st (DAL), 3rd, 3rd (OTT), 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th. Their highest pick in the draft being their own first round pick at number 10. With their pick at 10, my three top choices for the Blues, given that they are in need of both forwards and defence prospects for their current rebuild, would be defenseman David Reinbacher, winger Matthew Wood, and centre Oliver Moore. All these three players are highly skilled and help out on both ends of their needs, Moore is the fastest skater in this draft who is defensively sound. Reinbacher fills their need for good young defensemen, it is an added bonus that he has the potential to be a top two defenseman. Matthew Wood, a big power forward standing at 6’4 who can put up points and give St Louis an edge to play against.

For more information on the 2023 NHL Draft class be sure to pick up your copy of the comprehensive DraftPro 2023 NHL Draft Guide.