The Blues addressed their lack of amateur defensive depth on Saturday by selecting David Noel.
While the St. Louis Blues have accumulated a ton of defensive depth at the professional level, they were beginning to lack amateur blueline depth, with no d-men in the organization set to play at the junior level entering Day 2 of the draft on Saturday. They addressed that issue beginning in the fifth round, selecting defenseman David Noel from Val d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL.
Noel, a 6-foot-1, 175-pounder with a lefthanded shot, had 11 goals, 21 assists, and a minus-16 rating while splitting the 2016-17 season between Val d’Or Foreurs and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Obviously Noel seems to be more developed as an offensive player at the moment, but with his plus size, the Blues will hope that they can develop him into at least a solid defender. He’s only 18 years old, so they’ve got a decent amount of time to do so.
While the odds are never great for fifth-rounders in the NHL Draft, the Blues have had pretty good success with turning later draft picks into NHL contributors on defense. Colton Parayko was a third-rounder, and Petteri Lindbohm was a sixth-round pick. Newly-signed prospect Jake Walman, who is expected to contribute at the NHL level–perhaps as soon as next season–was also a third-round pick.