1990’s NHL Entry Drafts Were Not Good To The St. Louis Blues

St. Louis Blues Barret JackmanMandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues Barret JackmanMandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 4
St. Louis Blues
Jamal Mayers #21 of the St. Louis Blues(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /


The Blues had no first-round pick.

Craig Johnson was taken in the second round, 33rd overall. The left winger went on to play 557 career games with 75 goals and 173 points.

Patrice Tardif was taken in the third round, 54th overall. The center played 65 NHL games and only seven career goals.

The main claim to fame for these two was being packaged to Los Angeles in exchange for Wayne Gretzky. The Blues gave up a 1997 first rounder in that trade.

The rest of the 1990 draft had a combined NHL total of 12 games with Jason Ruff, Kurtis Miller, Wayne Conlan, Parris Duffus, Steve Widmeyer, Joe Hawley, Joe Fleming and Geoff Sarjeant


This year may have been the worst of the bunch. Again, no first-round pick.

Only two players selected played in over 100 career NHL games and one of those players never played for the Blues. Not a great draft.

Steve Staios had a good, long NHL career. The 27th overall pick, second round, suited up for 1001 career games and racked up 1.3 penalty minutes per game. None of those 1001 were ever in a Blues uniform. He was traded for Stephen Leach, who played 31 games for the Blues, spread over two seasons.

The Blues had back-to-back picks in the third round. Surely, they hit, right?

Kyle Reeves never played an NHL game as the 64th pick. Nathan LaFayette played 187, but only 38 with St. Louis.

Grayden Reid, Jeff Callinan, Bruce Gardiner, Terry Hollinger, Chris Kenady, Jed Fiebelkorn, Chris MacKenzie, Kevin Rappana, Mike Veisor and Chris McKee were the rest of the picks. It’s disappointing to not hit on some draft picks, but when the vast majority never even played a single NHL game for any franchise? That’s a monumental swing and miss.


Hey, we’re getting somewhere here. Some of these names Blues fans will actually have heard of.

No first rounder again. However, the second round pick and the two third rounders all suited up for the Blues.

Igor Korolev was taken 38th overall in the second round. The Russian center played in 795 NHL games and scored 119 goals. Only 10 goals and 147 games were with the Blues.

Vitali Karamnov and Vitali Prokhorov were selected 62nd and 64th, respectively. This was when the Blues were trying to play catchup to the Detroit Red Wings who were drafting a lot of Russian talent. Time would show it worked in Detroit and not so much in St. Louis.

4 86 The Blues missed on Lee Leslie and Bob Lachance in the fourth and sixth round. They did find some talent in the seventh round when they picked Ian Laperriere. Laperriere played 1083 career games and was a fan favorite in St. Louis, albeit only for 71 games spread over three seasons

Lance Burns, Igor Boldin, Nick Naumenko, Todd Harris, Yuri Gunko and Wade Salzman rounded out that year’s draft. Not a game played among them for the Blues or anyone at the highest level.


This was another incremental improvement. Baby steps people.

No first rounder again. Maxim Bets was a whiff with the 37th overall pick, a second round pick. He played three NHL games.

The Blues actually hit pretty good with Jamie Rivers. The more modern-day style defender played 454 games in the NHL and actually resides in St. Louis now and is a co-host on a local radio show.

Jamal Mayers is another name we’ve actually heard of and gained some notoriety in St. Louis. Drafted 89th overall, he played 915 career games, but unfortunately he sullied himself by suiting up with the Chicago Blackhawks. It was just a paycheck, right Jamal?
Todd Kelman and Mike Buzak never played in the NHL. Eric Boguniecki played 178 games, but few with the Blues and was traded for another player that barely did anything at the NHL level.

Mike Grier actually had a very solid NHL career with 1060 games and 162 goals. Grier never played for the Blues, but he was traded for two first round picks, one of which we’ll get to in a couple years and the other was traded as part of that Gretzky deal. I’ll take that.

Libor Prochazka, Alexander Vasilevski and Christer Olsson were all no shows as late-round picks.


1994 was another awful draft year. 156 total NHL games for everyone involved that was drafted by the Blues

Stephane Roy, Tyler Harlton and Edvin Frylen did nothing and those were all earlier round picks.

Roman Vopat at least featured in the NHL and he was a seventh-round pick. Still, the Czech center only suited up in 133 NHL games. He can still say he was the only other NHL-ready player that was included in the Gretzky deal.

Steve Noble, Marc Stephan, Kevin Harper and Scott Fankhouser rounded out the rest of this dud. Only Frankhouser played in the NHL and the American goalie ended his 23-game career with a 3.31 goals against.