The St. Louis Blues wrapped up their annual prospect camp on Friday afternoon, and it was one final chance to observe some key pieces of the team’s future.
The St. Louis Blues wrapped up their annual prospect camp at the IceZone in Hazelwood on Friday afternoon, and after a couple days of the same players being the most noticeable during the scrimmages, Friday presented an opportunity for some fresh faces to emerge as the stars of the competition period. Here are a few thoughts from the final on-ice workout that Blues fans will have a chance to see until training camp begins:
- After three pretty good but not mind-blowing days, 2016 first-rounder Tage Thompson started to absolutely dominate on Friday. The 6-foot-5, 195-pounder’s presence in front of the net was the most unshakeable that it’s been during the four-day camp, and he was by far the best offensive player for a yellow team that won the final scrimmage in dominant fashion. Thompsonis surely going to spent at least one more season at the University of Connecticut, and he could probably use a year or two to grow into his body, but it’s easy to see how the 18-year-old could accelerate his NHL ETA in the same way that Robby Fabbri did over the past couple years.
- Defenseman Dmitrii Sergeev has been rather unheralded as a prospect, and that’s reasonable, because he was brought into the organization as an undrafted free agent nearly two years ago. With that said, Sergeev might just have a shot to make it in the NHL as a bottom pairing blueliner. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder is well-built and skates with confidence, and this week he showed the ability to move the puck effectively and operate well from the point. The 20-year-old Sergeev’s biggest struggle has always been staying healthy, and that will likely be the challenge for him going forward. It’s quite possible that Sergeev will have to begin the season in the ECHL, since the AHL will be populated with talented defensemen such as Petteri Lindbohm, Jordan Schmaltz, Vince Dunn, and Tommy Vannelli, but he’ll have an opportunity to really make a mark there and lay out a future for himself.
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- Three guys who had been rather quiet during the week had big days on Friday. Seventh-rounder Nikolaj Krag-Christensen (the youngest player in camp at just 17 years old) had a good last day, taking advantage of several opportunities in front of the net. Center Glenn Gawdin, who will be playing for a contract this year as he’s cast into prospect limbo, had an impressive breakaway chance on Friday. And after being solid but unspectacular through the first three days, 2016 second-rounder Jordan Kyrou was very impressive on the final day, making much more of an offensive impact in the scrimmage than he had on any prior day.
With prospect camp now over, many players will head home or to the site of their amateur organization to train. For most of the players who attended prospect camp, with the exception of collegiate players, tryout guys, and maybe some European prospects, they’ll return to St. Louis for training camp in September.