Since the lockout that canceled the 2004-2005 season, the Blues have been known to draftexciting, quality players. Everyone knows Oshie, Perron, Berglund and will eventually know Schwartz, Tarasenko, and Rattie. However, a lot of fans overlook some talented young players the Blues organization has accrued over the last few years.
One in particular that I was personally excited to see play at the professional level, was Forward Brett Sonne. He was the Blues 3rd Round, #85th overall pick in the 2007 Entry Draft. In Sonne they drafted what I would consider a diamond in the rough.Sonne was drafted out of the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen and his stats at the end of his 2006-2007 season (GP:71 G:21 A:9 PTS:30 PIM:65 +/-:3) were definitely 3rd Round material. However, in the 2008-2009 season, Sonne erupted offensively for the Hitmen tallying 48 goals and 52 assists in 62 games played, and ended the season with a staggering +/- rating of 39! Needless to say, this kid was ready for the pros, and off to Peoria he went.
Since the end of his 2008-2009 season, Sonne has not been the same player. So far in 194 games played with the Rivermen, Sonne has a total of 23 goals, 26 assists, totaling to 49 points.
So why do I say this guy is a diamond in the rough? Simply, I look at the now and one of our other highly talked about future players. Blues 2011, 2nd Round, #32 overall pick Ty Rattie is putting up better, yet very similar numbers in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks that Sonne put up with the Calgary Hitmen. Fans everywhere have been excited to hear how well Rattie is panning out and rightfully should be excited. ButI encourage fans to also look at players like Sonne who could be closer to the NHL level than they think.
He now has almost three full professional seasons with the Rivermen under his belt and he is slowly but surely improving. His defense needs a touch-up and he needs to use his 6’-0”, 200 pound frame to put in garbage goals in front of the net like “Big Walt” Keith Tkachuk did throughout his entire career. But with a few more seasons in the AHL, and the rise of young talent in the Blues organization, the pressure is on Sonne to produce.If he is given the opportunity and works hard, I can see him possibly becoming a 2nd liner, but more realistically a gritty 3rdliner that could give his team around 15 goals a year.
My only fear with Sonne is that he emerges as a Brad Boyes type player. Very skilled, can shoot and get the puck in the back of the net, yet can never find consistency and inevitably loses all his value as a top six player for a team.
What type of player do you think Brett Sonne is or can be? Am I thinking too optimistic and not realistic enough? We will know soon enough.