The NHL Draft creeps ever closer for the St. Louis Blues. This go around, we explore a possible pick from our neighbor to the north.
The St. Louis Blues say they have their ducks all in a row for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. That could mean a hundred things, however, since the team picks so late in the draft.
There is no way of knowing which direction they might go with their first selection since so much depends on who is available. You might get a name that was a sure-fire mid-round pick that falls into your lap, or all your main names on your list might have been poached before you make the call.
Drafts are a funny thing. To paraphrase Yoda, from The Empire Strikes Back, always in motion the draft is.
Another interesting name has emerged from the ether. Our competitor site, St. Louis Game Time participated in a mock draft with their parent site, SB Nation.
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In that mock draft, they selected Brendan Brisson for the St. Louis Blues. Brisson is a young player, who would likely not be a pro for some time, but definitely has the talent.
He has quickly ascended through the ranks already. Brisson grew up in California and then spent just six games with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL before signing with the Chicago Steel of the same league.
In 45 games, the Steel centerman scored 23 goals and 59 points. He won rookie of the year honors in the USHL, an award that has produced six NHL stars out of the last 15 winners, according to the Game Time article.
Brisson’s 59 points was good enough for second in the entire league, despite being a rookie. Interestingly, the top scorer was Brisson’s linemate, Mathieu De St. Phalle. As Gabriel Foley points out, Brisson was responsible for setting up plenty of De St. Phalle’s goals, since Brisson played on the same line.
Brisson is highly thought of, though there is discrepancy as to what some believe his talent ceiling is. That is why he might be available in the late round – that and an occasional bias with the USHL.
That’s high praise when you consider Lafrieniere is the consensus top pick. Speaking of gushing, Foley waxes poetic about Brisson’s abilities and why he was the Blues selection for their draft.
"Brisson boasts great skating, with solid speed being matched with elite agility and edgework. While his top-end speed could use a bit more control, he’s painfully the best skater on the ice when things slow down in the offensive end. Great feet allow Brisson to seemingly effortlessly float around the ice.Brisson packages this great skating with the best set of hands on his team, at least. He not only has great stick-handling but manages to be incredibly quick with his hands, releasing shots before goalies can even realize what’s going on. It’s deceptive, it’s fast, and damn is it impressive. – Gabriel Foley, St. Louis Game Time"
Circling back to Brisson’s ascension, he only spent one full season in the USHL. He is now committed to the University of Michigan.
The Wolverines might not be as consistent as they once were, but they’re still one of the most prominent programs in collegiate hockey. Nine national championships does not lie.
The downside for the Blues in this instance is they would be waiting at least a couple years on Brisson. That does not mean it would be impossible for him to make a jump early if he proved himself, but if he was capable of that, he would not be available when the 26th pick rolled around.
Nevertheless, it might be a sound, smart pick. Brisson has shown scoring talent and is a talented center as well.
The Blues have good depth up the middle at the NHL level. They’re thin at center elsewhere.
Thus, Brisson would be a good fit. He has the speed for today’s game and is an intelligent player and on-ice smarts is often overlooked.