2021 TSP: St. Louis Blues Prospect Pool

Blues breakout candidate Scott Perunovich, 2021 St. Louis Blues Prospects

Welcome to the 2021 Top Shelf Prospects series. As we go through the Summer of 2021 LWOH will be featuring a team-by-team look at the top prospects in the NHL. You can find all the articles here.  Since we had an extensive NHL Draft preview, we will not be reviewing the players who were drafted in the 2021 draft, as there have been no games since then, and our reports on them will not have changed. Today, we look at the 2021 St. Louis Blues Prospect pool.

What we will be doing is linking you to those articles, as well as taking a look at prospects that were acquired before this year’s draft; their progress, and their chances of making the 2021-22 roster of the NHL team in question. We will also bring you one sleeper pick – a player who was either drafted in the 4th-round or later, or was an undrafted free agent signing who we pick as our dark horse to make the NHL. For those wondering, the cut-off for what is or isn’t a prospect is typically about 50 NHL games played (including playoff games) or is 25 years old. These are not hard or fast rules though, and we may make some exceptions depending on the circumstances.

2021 St. Louis Blues Prospect Pool

Blues Season and Off-Season

The Blues snuck into the playoffs, taking the last spot in the division. However, they were dominated in the first round, losing in four games to the Colorado Avalanche. The off-season started with a trade demand from Vladimir Tarasenko, though he remains part of the team. Meanwhile, Jaden Schwartz and Vince Dunn joined the Seattle Kraken and Mike Hoffman joined the Montreal Canadiens in free agency. The Blues also traded Sammy Blais as part of a deal to add Pavel Buchnevich. They also added free agent Brandon Saad. Unrestricted free agent Tyler Bozak remains unsigned at this time.

2021 NHL Draft Picks (C): Zachary BolducSimon Robertsson, Tyson Galloway, Ivan Vorobyov
Graduations: Jordan Kyrou, Niko Mikkola (age), Jake Walman (age), Ville Husso (age)

 

2021 Top St. Louis Blues Prospect: Scott Perunovich

Defence — shoots Left
Born August 18th, 1998 — Hibbing, Minnesota
Height 5’10” — Weight 174 lbs [178 cm/79 kg]
Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 2nd round, #45 overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft.

Perunovich seemed ready to go pro after a third straight outstanding season with the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Unfortunately, those plans went awry. Perunovich suffered a shoulder injury and needed surgery. He missed the entire 2020-21 season.

Skating

Being just 5-foot-10, Perunovich needs to use his skating ability to overcome his lack of size. He is able to do just that. He is a dynamic skater in both directions. His first step and acceleration are particularly strong, as he reaches top speed in just a few strides. While that top speed isn’t among the fastest in the draft class, it is still very good. His lateral movement, agility and edgework are all top-notch. This allows him to cover a lot of ice. Perunovich can pinch at the blue line or join the rush, and still get back defensively. He also has the quick pivots to transition quickly from defence to offence and vice-versa.  His crossovers add power to his stride. Perunovich has a low centre of gravity, and this makes him tough to knock off the puck.

Offensive Game

Perunovich creates offence through poise and creativity. He has the puck handling skills to extend plays and wait for a teammate to get open. When they do, he can make tape-to-tape passes through tight areas. Perunovich has excellent vision and hockey IQ. He is a true power-play quarterback. When he has the puck in his own zone, Perunovich has a variety of weapons. He can skate the puck out of danger and start the rush himself. He can also make a long home run pass to a streaking teammate, looking for that breakaway. Perunovich can also headman the puck to a teammate and join the rush as a trailer.

Perunovich’s slap shot is average. However, he knows how to get it on the net. Perunovich uses his lateral agility and puck handling ability to walk the line and open up shooting lanes. When he gets one, he keeps the puck low and gets it on the net, giving his teammates opportunities at rebounds and tip-ins. Perunovich is willing to vary things, using snapshots or wrist shots if he does not have the time and space for a big wind-up. He will also find opportunities to sneak in from the point to let that shot go from the top of the circles.

Defensive Game

Perunovich’s defensive game is where the lack of size might be a bit of an issue. He can be overpowered by bigger, stronger forwards in the cycle game and has problems clearing the front of the net. There are also some issues with his positioning that need to improve. Perunovich is able to get away with some riskier plays at the NCAA level, but it is unclear if that part of his game will be able to translate to the pros, without burning him too often.

Outlook

Perunovich is now 23-years-old. He will head to training camp looking to earn a spot in the Blues lineup. It would not be a surprise if the college star beat out some of the Blues depth defenders and stole a spot. However, after missing a full season of hockey and still yet to play a game against men at the pro level, it is more likely that Perunovich needs some AHL time before he is ready to play for St. Louis.  He could see a callup if injuries hit this season and should be a full-timer by 2022-23 at the latest.

 

#2 Blues Prospect: Jake Neighbours

Left Wing — shoots Left
Born March 29th, 2002 — Airdrie, Alberta
Height 5’11” — Weight 201 lbs [180 cm / 91 kg]
Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 1st Round, #26 Overall, at the 2020 NHL Draft.

Neighbours was a big part of a dominant Edmonton Oil Kings team this past season. In 19 WHL games, he scored nine goals and added 24 assists for 33 points.

Skating

Neighbours is an explosive skater. He has an excellent first step and very good acceleration. This helps him to win races to loose pucks, or to quickly change speeds when attacking a defender on the rush. He is more quick than fast, as his top-end speed is good, but he is not quite a burner. Neighbours also has very good edgework and agility. He is able to quickly change directions to get away from defenders both with and without the puck. Neighbours has a wide stride which gives him excellent balance. It is tough to knock him off the puck. He is also effective at working the boards, winning battles for loose pucks.

Offensive Game

Neighbours is a strong forward who plays a 200-foot game. He is effective on the forecheck, getting in quickly and creating havoc in the zone. Willing to play in the dirty areas of the ice, Neighbours gets to the front of the net where he is able to score goals in tight. He has the quick hands to bang in a pass from a teammate or to pounce on a rebound. Neighbours distracts the defence and the goaltender, as they need to keep on eye on what he might do next. He also has a very good wrist shot with a quick release. This helps him score from further out.

Neighbours is a puck possession monster. He uses his body to protect the puck down low and extend plays. He wins battles in the corners and gets the puck to teammates. With excellent stickhandling ability, Neighbours can extend plays and give his linemates the time to get open. Once they do, he has the vision to find them and the passing skills to set them up through tight spaces. Neighbours is always moving his feet and a constant presence around the puck. He is always in the middle of scrums and his relentlessness can pester opponents and draw penalties.

Defensive Game

Neighbours brings this same work ethic to the defensive zone, backchecking effectively. He uses his body and his low centre of gravity when supporting the defence down low. This helps him to contain the cycle game. His quick stick is effective at stealing the puck away from opponents and intercepting passes. A hard-nosed player, Neighbours is not afraid to block shots. Neighbours is strong positionally, keeping himself between his man and the net and forcing shooters to take shots from tough angles. He reads the play well, anticipating where opponents will move the puck. Once he gets the puck, he can move it up the ice quickly, starting the transition game.

Projection and Comparison

Neighbours could develop into a solid top-six winger, capable of being a big part of a team’s penalty kill and power play. His high-energy, defensively responsible game is something that almost all coaches will love. Neighbours could spend another year in the WHL, refining his skating and continuing to get stronger. Don’t be surprised if the Blues give him a nine-game tryout though before sending him down. Neighbours will likely be NHL ready sooner than later.

 

#3 Blues Prospect: Zach Bolduc

The Blues drafted Bolduc with the 17th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Bolduc. No games were played since that report; so we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.

 

#4 Blues Prospect: Simon Robertsson

The Blues drafted Robertsson with the 71st overall pick in this year’s NHL draft and we felt that he was a real steal at that spot. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Robertsson. No games were played since that report; so we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.

 

#5 Blues Prospect: Klim Kostin

Centre/Right Wing — shoots Left
Born May 5th, 1999 — Penza, Russia
Height 6’4″ — Weight 212 lbs [192 cm / 96 kg]
Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 1st round, #31 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.

With the North American season delayed, Kostin played for Avangard Omsk in the KHL. He put up seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 43 games. He also added five goals and four assists for nine points in 24 playoff games. Kostin helped Omsk to the Gagarin Cup. Once the KHL season ended, Klostin joined the Blues, playing two games and putting up one assist.

Skating

Kostin is a strong skater. He has excellent speed and acceleration. Kostin has the ability to beat defenders to the outside and then cut to the net. He also has very good lateral agility and edgework which also gives him the ability to cut inside on a defender if they are not in the proper position. Add to this a strong lower body, and the balance and power to create issues in the offensive zone, and Kostin can beat opponents in a variety of ways. He is tough to knock off the puck and good in the corners and in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Kostin has the strength and size to play a powerful game, as he is strong on the puck; effective in maintaining possession down low; and difficult to contain when he drives the net. He also shows some skill, with soft hands and good stickhandling ability and a decent wrist shot and release. Kostin has the moves to shed defenders to create a scoring opportunity but is more effective in playing a power game. He works well in the corners and on the forecheck, creating turnovers.

Kostin also has decent vision and passing skills but does not show them enough. He can make creative plays with the puck, feathering a pass to a teammate through very tight openings. Kostin also plays a gritty game, as he is not afraid to get to the front of the net, or battle for loose pucks at both ends of the ice. He could stand to be a little more selfish, and shoot the puck more as he often looks to make a pass.

His biggest issue is consistency. There are games where Kostin is absolutely dominant and looks like the best player on the ice. There are also games where he seems to disappear for long stretches of time. This has been true for a long time and it may just be the player Kostin is now, someone who is incapable of playing his best for long stretches.

Defensive Game

Kostin has improved his effort level and defensive game as he has matured. He shows a lot more effort on the backcheck and supporting the defence down low against the cycle. With his size and physicality, he is able to keep his man to the outside and control him in the cycle game. He also brings effective back pressure against the rush. Kostin has also improved his positioning. His long stick is good at cutting down passing lanes and creating turnovers. When one is created, he is good at transitioning to offence.  Kostin is not a perfect defensive player and there are areas he can still improve but he has made great strides since being drafted.

Outlook

Kostin will be looking to make the Blues on a full-time basis coming out of training camp. He is an NHL calibre player, but the question marks remain if he is a centre or a winger and how high in the lineup he can play. His game seems to lend itself to being a third-line winger throughout his career as there are questions if he has the skills and vision to play in the middle or on the top six in the NHL.

 

#6 Blues Prospect: Joel Hofer

Goaltender — shoots Left — catches Left
Born July 30th, 2000 — Winnipeg, Manitoba
Height 6’5″ — Weight 172 lbs [196 cm/78 kg]
Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 4th round, #107 overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft.

The Springfield Thunderbirds, the Blues AHL Affiliate, opted out of the 2020-21 season. This created issues with the Blues having to scramble to find places for their prospects to play. Goaltending prospect Joel Hofer ended up playing for the Utica Comets. This was not ideal, as he played just 10 games for a team that used six different goalies last year. Hofer put up a 4-6-0 record with a 3.33 goals-against average, .898 save percentage, and two shutouts.

Skating and Talent Analysis

Coming in at 6-foot-5, Hofer has the ideal size that NHL teams are looking for in a modern goalie prospect. He skates well, which allows him to take advantage of that size. Hofer comes out to the top of his crease, cutting down angles, and taking advantage of his size to give shooters very little to look at. He also skates backwards well, which prevents forwards from being able to deke him in one-on-one situations. Hofer’s positioning is very strong, his angles are spot on and he rarely gets caught out of position. He tracks the puck well. However, Hofer could use some work on his lateral movement. He could stand to get side to side in the crease better.

Hofer has strong legs and gets up and down in the butterfly quickly and efficiently. He is tough to beat down low. However, like many young goalies, Hofer could improve his rebound control. When he does give up a rebound, Hofer is quick to get back in position and square up to the puck to make the next save. With his good size and a quick blocker and glove hand, he takes away the top of the net even when he is on his knees. Hofer is decent enough with the puck, but there is still room to improve his stickhandling and passing.

Mental Makeup

Hofer is poised and calm in the net. He was excellent for Canada at the 2020 World Juniors, helping the team to a gold medal and showing his poise in high-pressure situations. He reads the play extremely well and is almost always in the right position. He makes smart plays, covering up when his team needs a whistle, but also recognizing chances for a quick breakout and transition and getting the puck to a teammate. Hofer was a leader at the Junior Level as defencemen seemed to look to him when under pressure. He does not get flustered with heavy traffic and keeps his concentration when his team is dominating the game.

Outlook

Hofer needs more AHL time. Playing just 10 games last year certainly didn’t do him any favours. He should be the starter in Springfield this season, getting a heavy workload and adjusting to playing against men. It could be two or three years before he is ready for regular NHL action but he has the potential to develop into a number one goaltender.

 

#7 Blues Prospect: Nikita Alexandrov

Centre — shoots Left
Born September 16th, 2000 — Burgwedel, Germany
Height 6’0″ — Weight 183 lbs [183 cm / 83 kg]
Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 2nd Round, #62 Overall, at the 2019 NHL Draft.

Alexandrov started the season playing for KooKoo in the SM Liiga. In 28 games in the top Finnish men’s league, he put up three goals and nine points. Alexandrov also played in seven games for Utica. He put up three goals and five points.

Skating

Alexandrov’s stride is short and choppy. Despite this, he is still able to generate good but not great speed. His acceleration is even better, as he reaches top speed in just a few strides. Alexandrov is able to get by defenders with quick cuts and changes in direction due to his strong edgework and agility. He has a strong core. This means that Alexandrov’s stride is powerful. It also makes him difficult to knock off the puck. Alexandrov can fight through checks and get the puck to the front of the net. He is also strong along the boards as well as able to fight for position in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Alexandrov’s game is a mix of skill and power. He is strong enough to get the puck to the front of the net, and this is where he creates the majority of his offence. Alexandrov drives the net hard as well as having the soft hands to finish in tight to the goal. He can make a quick move to get by a defender or to open up a passing lane to a teammate. Alexandrov’s ability to control the puck in the cycle game allows him to extend plays and wait for teammates to get open in front of the net.

Alexandrov has very good hand-eye coordination. He can pounce on a rebound and put the puck into the back of the net. He is also very good at deflecting pucks. Alexandrov has a knack for getting open without the puck, setting himself up to fire a wrist shot on net or take a one-timer. His shot is accurate and features a quick release. Alexandrov also handles the puck well and can make some really creative plays at times. However, he does not always use his offensive tools consistently. There are times where he can revert back into playing a very simple and safe game, leading to reduced offensive production.

Defensive Game

Alexandrov plays a steady defensive game. He is committed to working hard on the backcheck as well as supporting the defence down low. Alexandrov works to contain opponents in the cycle game. Away from the puck, he is strong in covering his man. Alexandrov maintains his position, keeping his body between his man and the puck. His positioning along with his quick stick help to create turnovers. Once a turnover is created, he moves the puck up the ice quickly, transitioning from offence to defence. Alexandrov is an effective penalty killer. He is also strong in the faceoff circle.

Outlook

Alexandrov could become a middle-six centre on an NHL team. With his strong skating, lower-body strength and two-way game, Alexandrov is likely to be a coach’s favourite. He should spend next season in the AHL with Springfield, continuing to grow into his frame and learning to play the game at the pro level.

 

#8 Blues Prospect: Colten Ellis

Goaltender – Shoots Left – Catches Left
Born October 5th, 2000 — Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Height 6’1″ — Weight 182 lbs [185 cm / 83 kg]
Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 3rd round, #93 overall, at the 2019 NHL Draft.

Ellis was outstanding over the shortened QMJHL Season. Over 24 games for Charlottetown, he put up a 23-1-0 record with a league-leading 1.78 goals-against-average and .926 save percentage and seven shutouts. He was also named to the QMJHL First All-Star Team. However, he struggles in the playoffs with a 3.11 goals-against-average and .863 save percentage as the Islanders lost in the league semi-final.

Skating and Talent Analysis

At six-foot-one, Ellis is a little undersized for what NHL teams are drafting today but makes up for it with quick reflexes, and excellent athleticism. He gets in and out of the butterfly extremely quickly, taking away the bottom of the net. Ellis skates very well, coming out past the top of the crease to challenge shooters and cutting down angles. He is extremely aggressive but makes up for it with his ability to get back to his net quickly if attackers try to deke him. He is also very good at tracking the puck, getting side-to-side quickly when opponents make cross-ice passes.

Ellis is very athletic. If he does get out of position, he recovers quickly and can make some highlight-reel saves. He is never truly out of the play. His glove hand is extremely quick and also gets on the highlight reel. His blocker is above average but could continue to see improvement. Ellis could also use some work on his rebound control, though this is a common issue with many young goalies.

Mental Makeup

Ellis has experienced playing on very good teams and on some very poor teams. In both situations, he remains focused. He did not let his mind wander or lose his focus while his teams have dominated games. He has also been a strong backbone for his team when facing a lot of shots. Ellis maintains his cool and his composure in the net in all situations. When he does let in a bad goal, he is able to quickly recover and is ready for the next shot.

Outlook

Ellis should be headed to the AHL this season where he will compete with Joel Hofer for playing time.  He is likely two or three years away from competing for an NHL spot, but goalie development is, of course, voodoo.

 

#9 Blues Prospect: Dylan Peterson

Center — shoots Right
Born January 8th, 2002 — Roseville, California
Height 6’4″ — Weight 192 lbs [193 cm/87 kg]
Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 3rd Round, #86 Overall, at the 2020 NHL Draft.

The COVID shortened season also affected Dylan Peterson, who was limited to just 16 games in his freshman season with Boston University. He picked up three goals and three assists for six points on the year.

Skating

Coming in at 6-foot-4, Peterson is a good skater for a player his size. He has decent speed and is more than capable of keeping up with the play. His first step is a bit sloppy but that is often something a bigger player needs to work on. Despite that his acceleration is good. Peterson also has good edgework and agility. His turns are sharp and he is able to get around defenders both with and without the puck. He is also a powerful skater for his age, as he takes advantage of his frame to fight through checks and to win battles for loose pucks. Peterson has a lanky frame though and will need to add weight before moving up to the pro ranks.

Offensive Game

Peterson has a number of good offensive tools but the production hasn’t quite followed as one would expect. He has a hard wrist shot and a good slap shot. The shots are accurate and feature a good release. However, Peterson does not use those shots enough. He needs to get shots off at a higher volume to really take advantage of his skill and score more goals. He also does a good job of getting to the net and using his size to screen goalies. When he’s there, he can bang in rebounds or get deflections.

Peterson is a talented stickhandler. He protects the puck well, using his body to shield it and working down low on the cycle game. He is likely to make the safe pass to a teammate and keep it moving than to try something more creative. Once he moves the puck, Peterson keeps his feet moving, looking for the give-and-go. He takes advantage of his size and is willing to grind for loose pucks and put pressure on the opposing defence on the forecheck.

Defensive Game

Peterson is a solid defensive player. He uses his size in helping out on the backcheck, supporting the defence down low and containing against the cycle game. Peterson provides good backpressure against the transition game. He uses his long stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes. It is also effective at stealing the puck away from opponents. Peterson is effective on the penalty kill. He is also good in the face-off circle. Peterson is also a willing shot blocker. His positioning is strong. Peterson has good lateral agility and is tough to beat one-on-one. He funnels attackers away from the net and into bad shooting positions.

Outlook

Peterson has the size and defensive ability that NHL teams would love to add to their bottom lines, and thus is a safe pick. As long as he can continue to add muscle to his frame and still keep his speed, he will be an NHL player. The question becomes if he has the untapped offensive potential to be more than that. It may be possible, but his production seems a bit lacking compared to where his skills are at. Peterson heads back to Boston University looking to put up bigger numbers in his sophomore season.

 

#10 Blues Prospect: Matt Kessel

Right Defence — shoots Right
Born June 23rd, 2000 — Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Height 6’3″ — Weight 203 lbs [191 cm / 92 kg]
Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 5th round, #150 overall, at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.


Kessel put together an outstanding sophomore season with UMass. He scored 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in just 29 games with the Minutemen. Kessel helped UMass to the National Championship and was named to the Tournament All-Star Team. He was also part of the USCHO Second All-Star Team.

Skating

Kessel’s skating is a bit of a work in progress. His speed is decent in both directions but nothing to write home about. He can use some work with a good skating coach in order to lengthen his stride and add power. Kessel also could use a bit of work on his agility and edgework. This would help him to defend better by maintaining better gap control with particularly quick forwards. He certainly keeps up at the NCAA level, but there are some questions about his mobility holding up at the pros. Kessel is strong on his skates though. This helps him to win battles in the corners and in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Kessel has an absolute bomb of a point shot. Even with defences shading towards him to take away that shot on the UMass power play, he was very effective. He has a real knack for getting his slap shot and one-timer on the net, even with heavy traffic. Kessel adjusts his feet and can get off his shot even when the pass is less than perfect. He is particularly good when he is able to rotate to the left point on the power play. Kessel also has a good wrist shot. He can join the rush as a trailer and get it off with good power and a quick release. He also can sneak in from the point and use it at the top of the circles.

Kessel is not one to lead the rush through the neutral zone. Instead, he looks to move the puck to a streaking forward and get the transition game going that way. His passing skills are decent, especially in transition. In the offensive zone, he could stand to be a bit more poised and patient with the puck at the blue line. He is more of a shooter than a playmaker as he is not creative at the line. Instead he keeps the puck moving with safe passes and looks to find open ice to get his big shot off.

Defensive Game

Kessel uses his size effectively in the defensive end of the ice. He plays a physical game and is willing to throw a big hit if an opposing forward tries to get by him along the boards. He is also good in the corners and at clearing the front of the net. Kessel also uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes. He is strong positionally. Kessel is not afraid to put his body on the line to block shots. However, he needs to improve his lateral agility as he can have some issues with particularly quick forwards.

Outlook

Expect Kessel to return to the NCAA for his junior season with UMass. If he has another impressive season, the Blues could look to sign him in the spring, bringing him to the pros and getting him a few games at the NHL or AHL level depending on the circumstances at that point of the year. He needs some time to refine his skating but the Blues may have gotten a late-round steal here.

 

Sleeper Prospect: Alexei Toropchenko

Right Wing — shoots Left
Born June 25th, 1999 — Moscow, Russia
Height 6’3″ — Weight 200 lbs [191 cm/91 kg]
Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 4th round, #113 overall at the 2017 NHL Draft

Toropchenko also went to the KHL when the start of the North American season was delayed. He put up seven goals and 11 points in 45 games playing for a weak Kunlun Red Star squad.

Skating

Toropchenko is a good skater, especially given his size. His speed is very good and he has a decent first step and acceleration to reach that speed quickly. This allows him to keep up with the play and he is even dangerous on the rush. He is strong on his skates and if he gets a step on a defender he can drop his shoulder and cut to the net. That strength and balance is also useful in battling for loose pucks on the boards. His next test will be a big one though as Toropchenko goes from junior opponents to pros. Toropchenko’s edgework and agility are also decent.

Offensive Game

Toropchenko is a natural goal-scorer. He has an excellent wrist shot and a very good release. His snapshot and his backhand are also accurate and powerful. He gets himself into open areas of the ice and is ready for a pass from a teammate. Once he gets that pass he can get the shot on the net quickly, not allowing defenders to close in or goalies to get set up. He can also get to the front of the net and create screens, get deflections or pounce on rebounds. His ability to create havoc in front of the net distracts opponents and creates space for teammates.

Toropchenko is not much of a playmaker though. He does not try to be creative with passes and could also improve his stickhandling and puck control. The assists he get are through hard work. He has the size to win battles for loose pucks or to protect the puck along the boards. He then makes a simple pass to a linemate and looks for open ice on the give-and-go.

Defensive Game

Toropchenko is willing to help support the defence and plays a responsible game in his own end. He uses his size and strength to help contain opponents on the cycle games. He also uses his body and a long stick to keep opponents on the outside while cutting down passing and shooting lanes. Toropchenko is not that good in the face-off circle though, and his future likely lies on the wing.

Outlook

Toropchenko is a long-term project as it sometimes takes bigger forwards a bit of development time, especially when they move from facing teenagers to pro hockey. However, after two years of pro hockey, he really hasn’t put up big numbers yet. The Blues are hopeful that the power forward can start to put things together this year and have a strong season in the AHL.

 

St. Louis Blue Prospect Pool – Deeper Dive

Years of being in contention, trades of draft picks and prospects, and plenty of graduations mean that the Blues prospect pool lacks a bit of depth right now. That said, there are still a number of players worth keeping an eye on beyond just the top ten. Upfront players like Hugh McGing, Tanner Dickinson, Keean Washkurak, On the blueline, Blues fans will want to watch Tyler Tucker, Leo Loof, and Noah Beck. In net, the Blues also have Will Cranley, and Vadim Zherenko.

 

2021 St. Louis Blues Prospect Pool Main Photo:

BUFFALO, NY – APRIL 13: Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs Defenseman Scott Perunovich (7) skates with the puck during the second period of the NCAA Hockey Frozen Four championship game between the Massachusetts Minutemen and the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on April 13, 2019, at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


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