The St. Louis Blues held the second of three days of developmental camp practices on Tuesday, and many of the organization’s top prospects were on the ice and participating, including all but one member of the 2014 draft class. There were two groups of prospects that participated in standard practice drills, and during their overlap on the ice they participated in a brief scrimmage. Here are some quick observations from Tuesday’s practice:
- At least to me, 2014 first-rounder Robby Fabbri looked like the most talented player on the ice on Tuesday. He looks like he’s got the skills to contribute as both a scorer and puck distributor, and he moves around really well. In my opinion, the most impressive thing about him is the amount of power he can put into his shot for a guy that’s just 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, and it should be fun to see how much more he can add to his game by adding some strength. After watching him, it’s easy to see why he compared his style to Blues center Vladimir Sobotka, but just his raw skills show that he has the potential to be even better.
- It’s also interesting to see that Fabbri was issued number 12, by far the best jersey number of any player participating in the camp, as most of the others are wearing numbers above 50. That may signify that Fabbri is going to come to NHL training camp and get some ice time before ultimately being reassigned to his junior team in Guelph, Ontario.
- With a team that historically has not had a whole lot of physically big players, the really big guys were very easy to pick out. 6-foot-5, 225-pound Dwyer Tschantz, a seventh-rounder from Cornell, and 6-foot-5, 190-pound Cody Beach were imposing, at least from a physical standpoint. Beach, who is known mainly as an enforcer, showed some nice offensive skills in getting to the net, and maybe he has a chance to develop into a more complete player at just 21 years old.
- Defenseman Jordan Schmaltz, the Blues’ 2012 first-rounder, is also a noticeable physical presence. He’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, but he looks like he might have added some muscle to his frame since that measurement was taken.
- On the other end of that, second-rounder Ivan Barbashev didn’t look quite as big as his 6-foot, 180-pound roster listing would lead you to believe. While the young Russian showed some nice skills, it’s clear that he has things he needs to work on before he’s NHL-ready.
- Jacob Doty, a former undrafted free agent who joined the Blues’ system prior to last season, made himself noticeable during the scrimmage and got himself a few solid offensive chances.