Although the Blues have picked within the first around the final three years, they haven’t picked overly excessive or usually in current seasons. That, coupled with their nice 2017 draft graduating, results in a pipeline that doesn’t look that deep total, even when their first-round picks ought to assist their membership.

Key graduates: Robert Thomas, Klim Kostin, Alexei Toropchenko

Key additions: Jimmy Snuggerud, Arseni Koromyslov

2021 rating: No. 24

2022 NHL Draft grade: B

Full 2022-23 NHL Pipeline Rankings

Player Ranking

1. Zachary Bolduc, LW

19 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 175 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 17 in 2021
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Below NHL common
Shot: High-end

Analysis: Bolduc began off the season gradual akin to his draft season, however went on an absolute tear within the second half, ending the season with 55 objectives in 65 QMJHL video games. He’s a extremely gifted ahead. Bolduc has nice talent and creativity and may make expert performs at a professional tempo. He used his teammates extra persistently this season, displaying legit playmaking capacity to go together with his incredible shot. He’s a scoring menace from the dots on account of his massive one-timer and an incredible wrist shot. Bolduc can persist with the perimeter an excessive amount of and doesn’t have a lot physicality in his sport. I believe he initiatives as a top-six ahead, possible on the wing, however I’m guessing he at the very least will get a cup of espresso at middle.

2. Jimmy Snuggerud, RW

18 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 188 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 23 in 2022
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Snuggerud’s a gifted winger who may be harmful with the puck on his stick. He has one-on-one talent, good imaginative and prescient and his finest asset is his shot. He is a long-range capturing menace with a one-timer you possibly can construct a power-play unit round. Snuggerud has good measurement, competes effectively and is accountable defensively. The solely challenge is he has heavy ft, which may impede him as he advances ranges. The remainder of his sport is powerful sufficient although that I believe he could possibly be a top-nine ahead.


Jimmy Snuggerud. (Eric Bolte / USA Today)

3. Jake Neighbours, LW

20 years outdated | 6 ft | 195 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 26 in 2020
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common

Analysis: Neighbours made the Blues out of camp and after 9 video games was despatched again to junior. He didn’t put up the massive numbers I assumed he would, however he was nonetheless a high WHL ahead. Neighbours has legit NHL talent and imaginative and prescient, however it’s his work ethic mixed with the talent that will get scouts enthusiastic about his future. He wins lots of battles and initiatives as a dependable two-way participant within the NHL regardless of an absence of nice pace. I’d wish to see a extra constant scoring contact from him, however I’ve seen sufficient of it over time that I believe it’s in there. Neighbours initiatives as a top-nine winger.

4. Dylan Peterson, RW

20 years outdated | 6-foot-4 | 192 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 86 in 2020
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: Below NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Peterson didn’t take a giant step ahead however he was nonetheless a productive sophomore. The wager on him is much less what he’s performed and lots of projection as a giant winger who skates effectively and has at the very least some offense. He lacks playmaking instincts, however he has good palms and may end performs whereas additionally displaying a strong compete degree. I believe Peterson generally is a bottom-six winger.

5. Arseni Koromyslov, D

18 years outdated | 6-foot-3 | 180 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 120 in 2022
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Puck expertise: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common

Analysis: Koromyslov is a giant left-shot defenseman who’s a powerful skater. Due to his attain and mobility, he kills lots of rushes. He’s a sensible defender who anticipates performs effectively and makes use of his skating to leap up and stress opponents. He additionally doesn’t shrink back from the bodily play together with his massive body. With the puck, Koromyslov gained’t dazzle. He has good flashes of stickhandling and passing however it’s not constant. I believe there’s simply sufficient offense to be a third-pair defenseman given his bodily instruments.

6. Joel Hofer, G

21 years outdated | 6-foot-3 | 161 kilos | Catches left

Drafted: No. 107 in 2018
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common

Analysis: Hofer was up and down in his second professional season, however he went on a tear within the AHL playoffs. He’s a good-sized netminder who reveals nice sense and poise in web. He strikes effectively across the crease monitoring the play and by no means appears to be scrambling. Hofer has bother attending to the short lateral performs throughout the crease, however he’s large enough to have the ability to soak up sufficient of these pictures. He initiatives as a full-time backup goalie.

7. Nikita Alexandrov, C

21 years outdated | 6 ft | 190 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 62 in 2019
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck expertise: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Alexandrov’s first full AHL season went nice, serving to Springfield turn into one of many high groups within the league. His talent and hockey sense drive his sport. Alexandrov has the persistence and imaginative and prescient to make lots of troublesome performs with the puck and is harmful contained in the offensive zone. He works onerous sufficient off the puck, however has a wiry body and lacks the pace you’d like for the NHL. I believe he will get video games, however I see him as extra of a depth piece than a daily within the league.

Has an opportunity to play (listed alphabetically)

Michael Buchinger, D

18 years outdated | 6 ft | 187 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 88 in 2022

Analysis: Buchinger is a strong all-around defenseman. His skating isn’t explosive, however it’s ok for him to be a helpful professional. He can skate pucks out of bother and may shut gaps on checks effectively. Buchinger reveals good flashes of talent and offensive playmaking, particularly off the frenzy. I don’t assume he’s a pure puck-mover, although. Combine common offense with common measurement and I’m unsure the place he matches on an NHL group, however there’s sufficient to his sport for him to have a shot.

Tanner Dickinson, F

20 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 150 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 119 in 2020

Analysis: Dickinson is a brilliant, aggressive ahead with some offensive talents, however his skating could restrict him at increased ranges.

Aleksanteri Kaskimäki, C

18 years outdated | 6 ft | 196 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 73 in 2022

Analysis: Kaskimaki is a talented, playmaking middle. He reveals superb puck expertise in tight areas and he could make defenders miss and create offense. Kaskimaki competes effectively, displaying no worry to get to the online, can PK and wins an honest chunk of battles. He can even play on the perimeter and make lots of performs by seams. His one disadvantage is his common footspeed particularly since he additionally has a median body. He has an opportunity to play within the NHL if his skating improves.

Matthew Kessel, D

22 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 205 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 150 in 2020

Analysis: Kessel is kind of intriguing as a giant, right-shot defenseman with some puck-moving capacity and an honest level shot. The solely fear for him is whether or not his skating holds him again from being an NHL participant.

Leo Lööf, D

20 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 176 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 88 in 2020

Analysis: Loof is a tall, cellular defenseman who competes onerous and is sweet defensively however whether or not he can transfer the puck within the NHL is an open query.

Mathias Laferrière, RW

22 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 174 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 169 in 2018

Analysis: I preferred Laferriere as a junior, however his first professional season was powerful. I respect he has some talent and goal-scoring capacity, however his lack of tempo seems to be like a problem and he doesn’t have a lot of a sport away from the puck.

Simon Robertsson, LW

19 years outdated | 6 ft | 190 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 71 in 2021

Analysis: Robertsson is a talented winger with good hockey sense who can end probabilities, however his skating is simply nice and should restrict him within the NHL.

Vadim Zherenko, G

21 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 172 kilos | Catches left

Drafted: No. 208 in 2019

Analysis: Zherenko is an intriguing prospect. He has first rate measurement and a great, fast twitch in his decrease half to make powerful saves versus execs. When he’s locked in he generally is a difference-maker. He has an NHL toolkit, he’s simply inconsistent and provides up too many low-percentage objectives.


Player Eligibility: All skaters who’re 22 years outdated or youthful as of Sept. 15, 2022, no matter what number of NHL video games they’ve performed, are eligible. Player heights and weights are taken from the NHL.

Tool grades: Tool grades are based mostly on a scale with six separate ranges, with an eye fixed towards how this attribute would grade within the NHL (poor, below-average, common, above-average, high-end and elite). “Average” on this scale means the device initiatives as NHL common, which is supposed as a optimistic, not a criticism. Skating, puck expertise, hockey sense and compete for each projected NHL participant are graded. Shot grades are solely included if a shot is notably good or poor.

Tier Definitions: Tiers are supposed to present roughly the place in a median NHL lineup a participant initiatives to fit in.

(Illustration: Wes McCabe / The Athletic; picture of Jake Neighbours: Kevin Abele / Icon Sportswire through Getty Images)



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