St. Louis Blues Top 30 Draft Picks Of All Time (Part 1)

Now that the 2016 NHL Draft is a memory, let us look back. Let us look back and find the top 30 players the St. Louis Blues drafted over the years.

The St. Louis Blues have had some forgettable drafts. 2003 and 1996 come to mind. It’s been a hit or miss proposition over the years.

Some players have been rousing successes. Others have never even seen the light of an NHL arena. However, despite the misses, the Blues have had some very good players come through their system. A few have even managed to stay their entire career in the bluenote.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the top 30 St. Louis Blues draft picks.

30.  Curt Bennett

The Blues took Curt Bennett in the second round of the 1968 draft with the 16th overall pick. He came from a hockey family as his father and two brothers played in the NHL. His nephew, Mac, also got drafted into the league.

Bennett actually started his playing days as a defenseman. He guarded the blueline for Brown University until 1971, when he joined the Blues. He played just four games toward the end of the season and then only 31 with the Blues the next. He went on to join the New York Rangers and then was traded to the Atlanta Flames.

He played the bulk of his career in the south. He returned to St. Louis for one season toward the end of his career and scored 33 points after being traded the prior season and scoring 24 in 50 games. He then played 21 games back in Atlanta before retiring.

Bennett finished his career with 152 goals and 334 points in 580 games. Anyone who can average over a point every other game is a pretty good pick. He was also the first American to score 30 goals in a season.  While much of his career was not spent in St. Louis, the Blues clearly saw his potential even if it was realized in another city.

29.  Mike Grier

Some might wonder why Mike Grier is on this list since he never played a game with the Blues. He was drafted by the Blues though in 1993. He was selected in the ninth round at 219 overall.

He was not overly touted originally, but ended up playing 1060 games in the NHL. He spent a good deal of his career with the Edmonton Oilers, also playing significant minutes with the San Jose Sharks, Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals.

It would have been interesting to see what he might have accomplished with the Blues. He made the NHL almost immediately after leaving college. Unfortunately, he was wrapped up in the deal that sent he and Curtis Joseph to the Oilers for first round picks that the Blues turned into Marty Reasoner and Matt Zultek (drafted by the Kings).

In addition to his 1000+ games, he was also the first US-born and US-trained black player in the NHL. He never scored more than 20 goals in one NHL season, but there is something to be said for his longevity in the league when he was not taken until the ninth round.

28.  Ladislav Nagy

Ladislav Nagy is an interesting case.  He had a relatively fruitful NHL career, but injuries somewhat derailed his time in North America and the call of being closer to home was too strong.  He returned to Europe toward the end of his career and played in the KHL, Sweden, Slovakia and then Bratislava of the KHL.

The Blues drafted him in 1997 with the 177th overall pick in the seventh round.  He did not make the NHL until the 1999-2000 season.  He spent 51 games with the Blues, six seasons with the Coyotes and then some truncated time with the Stars and Kings.

In relative terms, his time in the NHL was somewhat short.  He played a total of 435 games, but managed to score 115 goals and 311 points.  That’s 0.72 points per game.  Not too shabby.

His greatest problem was health.  Whether it was the rigors of the NHL or just bad luck, he only played 80 games in two seasons and 74 in one.  The rest were in the 50’s or less.

If nothing else, Nagy gained the Blues one of their biggest trades in team history.  The Blues gave up Nagy, Michal Handzus, a prospect and a pick for Keith Tkachuk.

27.  Tony Currie

Tony Currie was drafted in the fourth round of the 1977 draft.  He was taken with the 63rd overall pick.  He would go on to play five seasons with the Blues.  He would then finish off his career with the Vancouver Canucks and then the Hartford Whalers.

Currie’s career was sadly derailed by the defensive nature of the NHL and some small minded coaches in the 80’s.  Despite productive seasons with the Blues, Currie never played more than 18 games with Vancouver or 32 games with Hartford.

He still managed to score a good amount of points given the few games he had, but he toiled in the minor leagues for much of his final years.

In the end, he only played 290 games in the NHL.  However, during that time he scored 211 points.  That’s almost a point per game (0.73)

The Blues might have been better off keeping Currie.  They traded him along with Jim Nill for Glen Hanlon, who only played in 16 games over two seasons with St. Louis.  It was somewhat of a sad end for Currie, but he was still a good pick.

26.  Mike Eaves

Mike Eaves, like Mike Grier, never got the chance to suit up for the St. Louis Blues.  The team drafted him in 1976 in the sixth round with the 113th pick.  However, he was gone within a year when his rights were picked up in the Cleveland-Minnesota dispersal draft.

Eaves was a great college player.  He is still the leading scorer for the Wisconsin Badgers, with 267 points in 160 games (1.67 points per game).

His pro career was not quite as grand.  He was chronically injured, which shortened what could have been a solid time in the NHL.

Despite only playing in 324 NHL games, he managed to score 226 points.  Playing center during the period he did, most of those ended up being assists and he did not break the 100 goal marker, but it was still 0.70 points per game.

Eaves would have likely fit in very well with the Blues of the time and given them some extra scoring punch, but it was not meant to be.  Who knows what could have been if he had stayed healthy given his production when he was in the lineup.

25.  Barret Jackman

Barret Jackman is not exactly beloved by St. Louis fans these days.  However, he has had a long career and the bulk of it was spent with the Blues.

He played 803 games in the bluenote before being allowed to walk and signing with the Nashville Predators prior to the 2015-16 season.  By the end of his days in St. Louis, he was oft maligned and fans were more than happy to see him go.

However, in the grand scheme of things he was merely the right player in the wrong time.  The man had talent.  He would not have won the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year if he did not.

He simply came around in the wrong time.  Playing his entire career to that point as a strong, physical, clutch and grab, pin someone in the corner type of defender, the NHL turned around and changed the rules immediately after his rookie season.  He never fully managed to adapt.

He wasn’t quite quick enough for the new style and his stock slumped.  Even still, you can’t possess no talents to play in the NHL for as long as he has.

Fans often want to lump all their frustrations onto one person and Jackman became that person.   Despite all his flaws, he has not been a minus player since 2008-09 when the Blues were finally overcoming their team struggles.  He’s a defending defenseman, something disappearing from the game today, but when his career is over perhaps Blues fans won’t think of him so poorly.

24.  Marty Reasoner

Marty Reasoner gets this high on the list mostly based on longevity.  He was selected by the Blues in the first round of the 1996 NHL Draft.  He was taken with the 14th overall pick.

While he never really lived up to first round pick billing, he at least played in the NHL, which is something some of the other Blues first rounders can’t always say.  He ended up playing a total of 798 games in the league, 95 of which were in St. Louis.

He definitely got around though.  After St. Louis, he played with Edmonton, Atlanta, Boston, Florida and the Islanders.  Perhaps he got extra frequent flyer miles?

He also was involved in some pretty impactful trades.  St. Louis sent him and Jochen Hecht to Edmonton for Doug Weight.  He then got traded to Boston along with Yan Stastny and a draft pick that was turned into Milan Lucic.  After that, he was involved in a trade that sent him briefly to Chicago as the Blackhawks sent Dustin Byfuglien and other cap cutting measures the other way to Atlanta.

Reasoner could have been much more, but never put it all together.  He showed flashes here and there, exemplified by scoring 24 points in 32 games with the Blues in 1999-2000.  Whether it be injury, lack of confidence or just hitting his ceiling, he never strung together consecutive performances that made him a commodity.  Even so, lasting almost 800 games can’t be ignored.

23.  Tony Hrkac

Tony Hrkac was taken in the 1984 draft.  The Blues picked him up in the second round with the 32nd overall pick.

Hrkac spent parts of four seasons with the Blues.  Coming off a good college career with the University of North Dakota, which included winning the Hobey Baker Award and 116 point season which is still a collegiate record.

He was a consistent performer when healthy, but like some of the others on this list, that was the problem.  He was hit or miss as to whether he could play a full season, but then he ended up lasting in the NHL for 12 seasons and professionally for 18.

Despite his injuries, he still managed to score 371 points in the NHL.  That’s almost a point every other game.

Outside of his injuries, or perhaps because of the, his biggest problem was not being able to stick with any one team.  Four seasons with St. Louis was the longest he managed and even that was broken up.  He played for the Ducks, Quebec, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Edmonton, San Jose and the Islanders.

Nevertheless, playing over 200 games with the Blues and scoring as many points as he did throughout his career, he still ended up being worth the pick.

22.  TJ Oshie

T.J. Oshie has become a figure of divisiveness of late.  While he was incredibly popular, his willingness to go that extra step and his inability to score in the playoffs had made his departure easier to accept for many.

Oshie was one of the first round picks of the Blues to actually pan out in quite some time.  He was taken 24th overall in the 2005 draft.

Oshie spent a few more seasons at the University of North Dakota and then joined the Blues in 2008-09.  He would score 39 points in 57 games during his rookie season and help the Blues make the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Again, Oshie’s problem was consistency.  He was a very consistent point scorer when healthy.  However, he was not always healthy (mostly due to odd injuries like a broken ankle) and he never materialized into the goal scorer that many thought he would be.

He never scored more than 21 goals in a St. Louis uniform.  Nevertheless, he was a fast player with slick hands and surprising strength.  His reverse checks became a thing of legend in St. Louis.

Time may fade Oshie’s popularity, especially if the Blues can ever win a championship.  However, he will always remain a favorite due to his personality, charm and talents.

21.  David Perron

Given my own feelings on the player, it seems odd to put David Perron higher on the list than Oshie.  However, given his higher goal totals, that gives him a bit of an edge.

Perron, like Oshie, never fully lived up to what people wanted him to be.  He’s been able to translate his talents into a higher career high for goals, but he’s been much more inconsistent.

That inconsistency also translated into Perron bouncing around.  After being traded to the Edmonton Oilers, Perron went on to Pittsburgh and then briefly with the Anaheim Ducks.

To his credit, Perron was one of the few Blues in recent history to play in the NHL immediately after being drafted.  He scored 13 goals in his rookie season, which may have set him up for disappointment since he would not be able to significantly surpass that kind of total.

Now that he’s back with the Blues, who knows what the future holds for the man drafted 26th overall in the first round of the 2007 draft.  He’s got defensive deficiencies and reports of being a malcontent at times, but there is no questioning his stick handling and he’s got speed too.  It’s up to him to determine where he ends up on this list by the end of his career.

20.  Jaden Schwartz

Jaden Schwartz hasn’t accomplished a ton in his young career, but he’s done enough to get people excited.  Schwartz was taken 14th overall in the 2014 draft.  Interestingly enough, his draft spot may actually put more pressure on him because he was selected before Vladimir Tarasenko.

Regardless of pressure, Schwartz has managed to earn a spot on the top line.  He has formed a good partnership with Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera that formed a good line with the “STL” line.

Due to a combination of some injuries and also his youth costing him some games, his point totals are lower than they could be.  In spite of that, he has shown an ability to come close and perhaps in the future score 30 goals.

Even in an injury shortened 2015-16 season, he managed 22 points in 33 games.  Overall he has 157 points in 240 games, which works out to 0.65 points per game over his career.

When you take into consideration the idea that he could have scored more if healthy and the fact that he is going to continue to be a top-six forward if not a top line guy, then he has more than just potential to keep building on what he has already done.

By the end of his career, Schwartz may very well be much higher on the list.  For now, it’s enough that he is on the list as it shows that the Blues have drafted fairly well in recent years.

Check back soon for the next set of top Blues draft picks.  Let us know what you think of the list so far in the comments as well.