St. Louis prospect Brett Sonne is heading to Austria. Sonne, 24, was selected by the Blues in the third round (85th overall) in the 2007 NHL Draft. He spent the last four years skating in the AHL with the Peoria Rivermen before making a brief cameo with the Texas Stars after the Rivermen loaned him out in exchange for Carl Sneep. The Blues retained Sonne's rights even after the trade, but they elected to let him walk after his contract expired at the end of 2012-13.
Sonne now heads to Austria where he will skate with Dornbirner EC, as reported by the team's official site.
Sonne's time within the St. Louis organization was interesting, yet it ultimately ends in disappointment. When the Blues claimed Sonne's NHL rights in 2007, they believed they were lining up a future center for the Blues who carried big offensive talent.
Things started out on the right foot. Sonne had an outstanding 2008-09 in the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen, scoring 48 goals and 52 assists (100 points) in 62 games. Sonne's success earned a promotion to the AHL. Unfortunately, his big offensive numbers didn't follow him to Peoria. In 2009-10 he joined the Rivermen, scoring 24 points in 77 games. Disappointing campaigns followed in 2010-11 (9 points in 62 games) and 2011-12 (17 points in 70 games).
Last season Sonne scored 15 points in 56 games with the Rivermen before being loaned out to the Texas Stars at the end of the season. His contract with the Blues expired at the end of the 2012-13 season and the club elected to let him walk.
Sonne's story should be a lesson to all fans: temper your expectations when a player posts gaudy WHL numbers. One moment you're a prized prospect with a bright NHL future ahead of you and the next you're on your way to Austria. Ty Rattie's situation is a bit different, but keep Sonne in mind when forecasting Rattie's future NHL success.