St. Louis Blues: Is The Top Pick Better Or Having Two Top-Five Picks?

The St. Louis Blues are not picking anywhere close to the lottery. It still makes one wonder what situation would be better if they were.

At various points in the day, while looking for news about the NHL or St. Louis Blues for writing topics, you come across interesting questions. One such question was whether the Ottawa Senators should keep their third and fifth-overall picks or cash those in for the top pick overall.

Of course, such a move would hinge on whichever team getting the top overall pick even wanting such a deal. That would differ team to team.

A team like Arizona might feel they are still several players away, even though they are fighting for a playoff spot right now. A team such as Chicago or Los Angeles might think one top player could make a difference for them very soon.

Each general manager and each franchise has needs. Those needs dictate different outcomes.

Even though the Blues are not involved in this mess at all, it makes one wonder. For argument’s sake, if the Blues were taking part in the play-in series, lost and received the top pick overall in the 2020 draft, would they be better off using that pick or trading it to Ottawa?

A lot of that depends on your opinion of Alexis Lafreniere. The winger out of the Quebec league within the CHL is pretty much the consensus choice for the first pick, unless something odd happens with the team that is granted that pick.

Lafreniere scored over 100 points his last two seasons in the QMJHL. He scored 42 goals and 80 points the season prior to those.

In his playoff appearance in 2018-19, he had nine goals and 23 points. Those are all great numbers, but Jordan Kyrou had 94 and 109 points in his final two junior seasons.

So, it boils down to whether you think Lafreniere is a transcendent player. Will he elevate your team immediately, or in the near future?

If the answer is no, in the case of the Blues, you should certainly trade the pick. Any draft pick is a shot of the dice and not all top picks pan out.

Erik Johnson is a very good player in the NHL. He was not worth a number one selection overall, as the Blues found out.

If you can get two top-five picks in one draft, you take that. That is probably true for any team, but especially the Blues.

They are already on a championship level now. If they had an off year following their Stanley Cup, but were still in a position to benefit from this crazy pandemic and current lottery set up, you jump at that chance to bolster your depth even more.

The Blues have proven they can do well with multiple picks as opposed to one selection already. They got Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko in the same draft, in the first round, and that turned out pretty well.

Those two were taken 14th and 16th overall. Just imagine the potential of having the third and fifth picks in one draft.

That is not just the situation for the Blues either. From my vantage point, the Senators are in the same boat, even if on the opposite side of the spectrum.

Ottawa is so far from contention and such a mess that you need to get as many good players as you can. Unless you believe Lafreniere could be a franchise player immediately, in the vein of Sidney Crosby or Mario Lemieux or even Wayne Gretzky, then you keep your two picks.

The Senators could use more players as opposed to just one, again unless you think Lafreniere can be great. Even then, there have been enough great players taken in the top five that warrant keeping both picks as opposed to a two-for-one swap anyway.

Next: Kyrou's playoff chances hinge on Blues opponents

The Blues are not involved, but if they were, I would want them to keep the two picks if they were Ottawa or trade the top pick for the two picks if they were the winner of the Phase 2 draft. We will see what Ottawa and the ultimate top pick team do.

St. Louis, Chicago and Pittsburgh have proven that depth wins even above superstars such as Edmonton has drafted, but no support behind them. Take the two picks.

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