St. Louis Blues Prospect Tournament Goes As Well As Could Be

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 26: Tage Thompson
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 26: Tage Thompson /

The St. Louis Blues had plenty of hot and cold moments during their 2017 prospect tournament. The way it all finished up was about as good as you could hope for.

When the St. Louis Blues started their 2017 prospect tournament up in Traverse City, there was plenty of excitement and hope. Things did not start off that great, but by the end it was almost as good as it gets.

The Blues ended their journey up in Michigan by knocking off their hosts. They won their fifth place game against the Detroit Red Wings by a final score of 5-1.

Again, the Blues were not fantastic start to finish. That seemed to be a reoccurring theme throughout the tournament.

The Blues fell behind 1-0 in the first period. After that, though, it was mainly smooth sailing as they scored five unanswered goals.

Tage Thompson added two goals and an assist, pushing his tournament total to nine points which ended up leading all scorers. Thompson almost led the tournament in goals as well, but Alex DeBrincat of the Chicago Blackhawks passed him up with five goals.

Robert Thomas scored his first goal. Greg Meireles and Filip Helt finished off the scoring (not necessarily in that order).

After a couple very shaky outings Evan Fitzpatrick turned things around as well. He turned aside 26 shots, which was much better than allowing five goals on 18 shots, which had occurred earlier in the tournament.

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Tournament assistant coach and head of Blues development Barrett Jackman was very pleased with the effort. “We’re 3-1, probably have the second-best record in the tournament and finished fifth,” Jackman told Chris Pinkert of the

team website

. “I think the guys put everything on the line and I thought it was a pretty good group that came together.”

Beyond just finishing up with a victory against the Red Wings (I don’t care if they aren’t officially rivals, that’s still a great thing), the Blues had great performances. Almost everything that you wanted to see from these kids ended up happening.

Thompson had a great tournament, as mentioned, with four goals and nine points in four games. Thomas looked very at ease in the playmayker role, which is exactly what the Blues drafted him to be.

He cooled off at the end, but Klim Kostin showed flashes of brilliance. His three goals still put him in the top five and some of those goals came in key moments of close contests.

St. Louis also got a lot from Jake Walman. Though he is only a year removed from ending his college career, there is already talk of Walman being considered to make the NHL team.

Whether that happens or not depends on his preseason camp performance, but he did himself plenty of favors. Walman finished the tournament tied for second in points with seven. His five assists had him tied for second in that category as well.

Adam Musil and Jordan Kyrou had good showings as well. They are a little further back in the line, but four and three points respectively is nothing to be ashamed of. Kyrou, especially, has more time to grow as he will likely be sent back to junior for a year, but he’s showing he can hang with his peers for sure.

The way the tournament opened for Fitzpatrick was quite disappointing. However, with several goaltenders in front of him in the pecking order, we can still hope it was just a hiccup for a young player.

Additionally, they were not the only team with questionable goaltending and/or shaky defense. Three teams allowed as many or more than St. Louis.

Overall, the tournament went about as well as you could hope. The amount of goals given up to start things was a little disillusioning, but the team scored in bunches. They ended up leading the whole thing in goals scored with 20.

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Now, for both these prospects and us fans, the serious business begins. The team opens up training camp on Friday, the 15th.

They will have split-squad practices at 9am and 11:30am every day except the 19th. That day, there will be a team practice at 11:30 and then their first preseason game against Dallas that night.

Things are all coming together and we are getting to a very exciting time of year.