The St. Louis Blues walked away from the 2013 NHL Draft with four new prospects. The team entered the draft with six selections, but a trade with the Edmonton Oilers allowed them to move up in the second round while reducing their total number of picks to four.
Thomas Vannelli. William Carrier. Zach Pochiro. Santeri Saari. These four men are the newest faces within the St. Louis organization.
If you were on Twitter during the draft, you might have seen Blues fans who were unhappy the team didn't make a major move. Some felt under whelmed that the Blues didn't move into the first round and that players which have been at the center of several rumors (David Perron, Jaroslav Halak) remain in the mix.
It's important to remember why the Blues didn't have a pick in the first round of this year's draft: Jay Bouwmeester. Are fans who are so eager to win now forgetting that their first round pick helped fetch a proven NHL defender?
The vast majority of players selected in the NHL Draft will take years to develop. While it's nice to have a pool of players in the pipeline, the Blues are approaching things with more of a "win now" mentality than a "win in the future" mentality. Trading roster players for picks doesn't fit into their current mentality.
It's also important to keep in mind that the Blues might still pull the trigger on a deal. Doug Armstrong is patient and won't rush into a deal if he feels he can find a better one down the road. With Cory Schneider moved, Jaroslav Halak might be an appealing option for teams in need of help in net. There's no need to rush through that deal at the draft if Armstrong can sit back and find a better offer as we approach the regular season.
Back to the draft picks.
Defenseman Thomas Vannelli was the 47th overall pick. The defenseman compared himself to Justin Schultz and told the Post-Dispatch that he is an offensive defenseman, but is responsible in his own zone. Born in 1995, Vannelli is still incredibly young and has years of development in front of him.
Forward William Carrier was the 57th overall pick. Carrier was the result of a trade where the Blues shipped their 83rd, 94th and 113th selections to Edmonton in exchange for the 57th pick. The Blues consider Carrier a "sleeper pick" and were eager to acquire him as evidenced through their willingness to part with three picks just to have a chance to say his name. Carrier scored 42 points in 34 games with Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Forward Zach Pochiro was the 112th overall pick. Arguably the most physical of the team's four selections, Pochiro led his team (Prince George of the WHL) with 105 penalty minutes. He told the Post-Dispatch that he is a two-way player that enjoys blocking shots and bringing a unique approach to his team's offense.
Defenseman Santeri Saari was the 173rd overall pick. The team's last draft pick, Saari spent the bulk of his 2012-13 playing with Jokerit Jr. in Finland, scoring 23 points in 46 games.
There you have it. Fans are restless that the Blues didn't find any immediate help with their picks, but that was always going to be the case. As with any draft, the Blues' performance in this year's draft will take years to fully evaluate.