Blues Draft Review and Monday News

Draft Review and Monday News

The 2009 NHL Entry Draft took place this past weekend and it is now time to break down what happened, and how the Blues fared in their picks. The draft usually triggers some big name trades, and this year did not disappoint. However, no major news involved the Blues despite reports on Friday that something large was looming.

Draft Review

In drafts past, the Blues usually have stuck with a conservative approach when it comes to their selections. However, the Blues made a gamble or two with a couple of their selections, and looked to improve their defense long term as they picked a defender in both the first and second round.

The Blues had the 17th overall pick in the 2009 Draft, and chose defender David Rundblad with their first selection. The Swedish defender is known for his passing and puck distribution and his vision on the ice. He has good strength and size, but he occasionally is passive in coverage, and needs to learn how to play and use his body more. Rundblad looks to be improving as his career progresses.

In the second round, the Blues chose Brett Ponich with the 48th overall pick. This is one of those picks I would classify as a pretty big gamble, and one I am not too positive I agree with. Ponich is one big defensemen standing 6’7″, but only weighing 205 pounds which is fairly light considering his height. The Blues have stated they hope he can become a player with a similar skill set that Zdeno Chara has, but that is a pretty ambitious statement. His scouting report states that he does not have impressive stickhandling, but is mobile for a player his size. He needs to develop his passing skills as some miss the mark and some put the target in a poor position to move forward. I am wary of this pick, for it sounds like the Note took him based off his size and wingspan. He is definitely classified as a project, and he is years away from being close to NHL ready.

Third Round: Left winger Sergei Andronov . Ranked as the 5th best prospect in Russia, Andronov’s speed and stickhandling allow him to weave through defenders and create opportunities.
Fourth Round: Right winger Tyler Shattock .
Fifth Round: The Blues did not have a pick in this round.
Sixth Round: Defender David Shields . His game is described as “very raw” and he often moves forward too high which leaves his team short coming back.
Seventh Round: Center Max Tardy .

Overall, there are a couple picks I like, and a couple I wonder about. Rundblad I think was a well thought out and solid pick, and he could turn into a very solid distributing defensemen. Andronov could be a slippery winger that can create space with his stick work and create chances. The Shattock selection I have no complaints with nor do I with the Tardy selection.
However, I do not agree with the Ponich selection, let alone it occurring in the second round. The Blues seem to want a huge power defender, and chose Ponich believing he could someday turn into just that. However, he seems to have some glaring holes in his game and will need a lot of work to ever perform well at the NHL level.
The Shields pick is another that I personally would have avoided judging by his scouting report alone. I am not sure where or what the Blues hope he can do, but he apparently has struggled a great deal at his current level (major junior) and is extremely far from being anywhere near an NHL level player.

So there you have it, a couple picks I like, a couple I don’t, but that’s what happens pretty much every year.

News and Links

  • Calgary traded for Jay Bouwmeester from Florida in exchange for Jordan Leopold and a third round pick.
  • Chris Pronger was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, first round picks in 2009 and 2010 and a third round pick either in 2010 or 2011. Talk about paying an enormous price.
  • Michael Cammalleri unlikely to return to Calgary.

Video of the Week

First pick by the St. Louis Blues (17th overall) David Rundblad interview.