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 /
3 of 4
Jochen Hecht (55)Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Jochen Hecht (55)Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /


1995 was actually a decent draft, at least considering the other drafts of the Blues in the 90’s. Off the bat, there’s just another year with no first-round pick.

In the second round, the Blues actually struck a decent NHL player. Jochen Hecht ended his NHL career with 833 games played and 186 goals, with 458 points. He spent a decade in the wastelands of Buffalo, but did play 138 games with the Blues. Additionally, his trade brought Doug Weight to the Lou.

Third round pick, Scott Roche, failed to play an NHL game in net. However, fourth-round pick Michal Handzus played over 1000 games in the NHL. Oddly, the Blues were the third most games played of any team with 187. Like Hecht, Handzus was valuable as a trade asset as he was packaged to bring Keith Tkachuk to St. Louis.

Fifth-round pick Jeff Abrosio didn’t play a game, so we seem to be bouncing around in this draft. Sixth round selection, Denis Hamel played 192 games but none with the Blues.

The Blues took Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre in the seventh round. He played 269 NHL regular season games, but none on the St. Louis blue line.

The Blues took Derek Bekar in the eighth round. He played 11 career games, with one being for the Blues.

Ninth-round pick, Libor Zabransky played 40 games. All of them were with the Blues, but he eventually went back home to play in the Czech league.


1996 had some similarities to the previous draft. At least the Blues were not completely striking out. Still, it wasn’t filled with gems.
However, the Blues did finally have a first round pick. They used it on American center Marty Reasoner. Reasoner played in just under 800 games and scored just under 100 goals. Reasoner was part of the package that sent Weight to St. Louis though, so still worked out.

The Blues had no second round pick this year. They took Gordie Dwyer in the third round and he played 108 games, but the Blues never even looked at him and he eventually got taken in the Re-draft in 1998.

St. Louis completely missed on Jonathan Zukiwsky, Andrei Petrakov and Stephen Wagner in the fourth, fifth and sixth round. Daniel Corso and Reed Low were selected in the seventh round and both had games played with the Blues, with Low becoming a fan favorite.

Andrej Podkonicky was taken in the eighth round. He had a cup of coffee in the NHL, but not with the Blues. His draft mate in the same round, Tony Hutchins, never played in the NHL.

Konstantin Shafranov, the ninth-round selection, had an incredibly long career – just not in the NHL. He played five games with St. Louis and then spent the rest of his career in the IHL, AHL or some Russian leagues. He kept playing until 2009-10.


This draft ranks up there for the worst for the Blues.

The Blues first three selections did not play an NHL game anywhere. They had picks in the second and two in the fourth round, named Tyler Rennette, Didier Tremblay and Jan Horacek

Fellow fourth-round pick Jame Pollock played nine NHL games. Those were actually with the Blues.

St. Louis missed on their sixth-round defenseman. Nicholas Bilotto never played in the NHL.

St. louis kept hitting on late-round picks though. Ladislav Nagy was taken in the fourth round and played 435 games. Nagy was part o the trade that brought Tkachuk to St. Louis though, and he forged a decent career in Phoenix.

Eighth-round pick, Bobby Haglund and ninth-round picks Dmitri Plekhanov and Marek Ivan did not play in the NHL. The total of games played for this entire draft by the Blues was less than 500 games.


St. Louis actually rounded out the decade with two of their three first-round picks. Only one really hit and it wasn’t this year.

No offense to Christian Backman, who played 302 NHL games, but that wasn’t the best pick to take in the first round. Granted, you don’t know these things at the time, but the Blues could have had Scott Gomez, Brad Richards or Jonathan Cheechoo

Maxim Linnik was taken in the second round. Don’t mind his name because he never played.

Matt Walker played 314 NHL games, taken in the third round. 175 of those were with the Blues, though he never featured in a full season.

The sixth round was a waste. Brad Voth and Andrei Troschinsky never touched NHL ice, nor did Brad Twordik in the seventh round or Yevgeny Pastukh in the eighth round.

John Pohl was taken in the final round. He played 115 games, but only one for St. Louis.


The final year of the 1990’s and it was a lot of nothing for the Blues outside of their rare first rounder.

Barret Jackman was taken with the 17th overall pick. He turned out pretty good, logging 876 games and over 800 games were in a Blues sweater.

Say what you will about his later years, but Jackman was a good defender when he was brought in. He did not win the Calder Trophy accidentally. His flaw was coming up as a certain style of player and then having that style basically outlawed after one of the NHL’s many lockouts.

The Blues got six out of the 28 career games from third-round pick Peter Smrek. They got no games, nor did any team, from their fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounders (Chad Starling, Trevor Byrne, Tore Vikingstad and Phil Osaer)

The eighth round yeilded some games. Colin Hemingway played three NHL games with the Blues and then Alexander Khavanov had an NHL career of 348 games. Khavanov became a playoff performer, scoring five goals in 26 career playoff games with St. Louis.

The ninth round was more of nothing. Brian McMeekin and James Desmarais did not play an NHL game.