Battle of the Scouting Departments – Part 5 of 5

Stuart McDonald












The final portion of our five-part series evaluating the recent scouting of NHL teams.


The teams are presented in alphabetical order. Four of the five articles were published prior to the draft. Please note: This is not an assessment of each team's current prospects but an examination of the people currently doing the drafting and how well those people have done in recent drafts.

St.Louis Blues (A-)

Draft day decision makers: St. Louis' amateur scouting has seen very little turnover in the last five seasons. Senior Vice President and GM Larry Pleau has been with the club since 1997 while Assistant GM and Director of Amateur Scouting Jarmo Kekalainen has been with the club for seven seasons. All amateur scouts with the club at the 2005 draft are still with the Blues in some scouting capacity.  

2005 – St.Louis stunned everyone on draft day, grabbing unheralded T.J. Oshie with the 24th pick. Oshie was rated much lower by almost every organization but has proven to be grand larceny at 24th. Oshie would be a top-10 pick today. The Blues drafted promising goalie prospect Ben Bishop with the 85th pick.    
2006 – Erik Johnson has had injury troubles, but when he does play he shows flashes of skill that prompted the Blues to take him No. 1 overall. Patrik Berglund, a 6'4, Swedish center went to St. Louis with the 25th pick and has proven to be almost as big a steal as Oshie. Berglund had 47 points in his rookie season and battled for top rookie honors well into teh spring. Skilled defender Jonas Junland notched 30 AHL points in his first year in North America. The promising Swede was taken 64th overall.
2007 – This was an extremely successful draft for the Blues. Although 2007 was a fairly average draft year, St. Louis' first seven picks are either solid prospects or already play in the NHL. David Perron, the best of the bunch, went 26th overall, but even defenseman Cade Fairchild taken 96th, holds promise as an offensive defenseman. Lars Eller, Ian Cole, Simon Hjalmarsson, Brett Sonne and Aaron Palushaj are all good prospe