The St. Louis Blues have plenty of decisions to make on their roster this offseason, and Alexei Toropchenko likely will not be part of the 2019-20 season.
Alexei Toropchenko, along with Klim Kostin were the two forward prospects for the St. Louis Blues that helped their draft stock the most this season while playing in the minors.
We will cover Kostin in a future article, but for now, I’ll focus on trying not to misspell Toropchenko. The 20-year-old Russia native was a fourth-round selection by the Blues in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and his development is making him look like a steal.
Toropchenko spent the majority of his time since being drafted in the OHL with the Guelph Storm. In his first two seasons with the Storm, he has put up almost identical regular season numbers.
In his inaugural campaign playing in Canada, Toropchenko appeared in 66 games for the Storm and recorded 39 points.
His 17 goals and 22 assists were comparable to his career norm before getting drafted. He had scored as many as 19 goals in the MHL in Russia during the 2016-17 season.
The Storm made the playoffs in the 2017-18 season, and a first-round exit left Toropchenko with only two points (one goal and one assist) in six games.
Toropcheno’s next season was incredibly similar to his freshman season. This time he playing in 62 games, netting 17 goals and 26 assists, four more points than his first season for Guelph.
What put Toropchenko on the map was his playoff run with the Storm last season. Guelph entered the playoffs as the OHL’s fourth-best team in the Western Conference. Despite finishing eighth on the team in points, Toropchenko was instrumental Guelph’s title run.
Toropchenko played in 24 of the Storms’ playoff games and registered 19 points. The young Russian netted 13 goals and six points, including this goal that broke Blues twitter:
Torpo is still a few years away from making an impact in St. Louis. He has only appeared in one game in the AHL and figures to be down in the depth chart behind the likes of Kostin, Jordan Kyrou and some current Blues already on the roster.
The good news for Toropchenko is that at a young age, St. Louis can fit him in on either wing position and make an impact. The Blues still have the Vladimir Tarasenko‘s and Jaden Schwartz‘ of the world who are under contract for a while, but that should not stop Torpo from cracking the bottom 6.
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Toropchenko is just another player in a long line of potent forwards the Blues have in their farm system. Depending on who makes the team out of camp this fall, the San Antonio Rampage could be set up with quite the forward combination on their top lines.