The St. Louis Blues have a reloaded farm system of dynamic forwards thanks to the recent arrivals of Dalibor Dvorsky, Zach Dean, and Otto Stenberg, to name a few. However, a 2022 first-round pick is also making a name for himself with a great start to his season.
Jimmy Snuggerud was drafted in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues, and while his pick may have been considered a reach at the time, he has risen to be one of the best prospects at his age.
The 19-year-old made a name for himself during the 2022-23 World Junior Championships, where he played on the top line with other first-round draft picks for Team USA. He posted five goals and eight assists in seven games for the Americans to earn a bronze medal at the tournament.
Like many American hockey prospects, Snuggerud opted for the traditional route of playing NCAA hockey instead of playing in a Canadian junior league. The Minnesota native is entering his second season at the University of Minnesota.
Last year for the Golden Gophers, Snuggerud and top-pick Logan Cooley led Minnesota to the Frozen Four. The winger finished with 21 goals and 29 assists, good for 50 points in 40 games played.
This year for Minnesota, he is already showing that he has taken a huge step forward as a sophomore. In his first two games with the Golden Gophers, Snuggerud has recorded four goals and one assist, including an overtime game-winner in the season opener against Saint Thomas.
If the young St. Louis Blues prospect can continue this torrid pace in the Big Ten with Minnesota, it is easy to foresee a future where Snuggerud joins the team late in the season whenever his college season is finished.
If not later this season, then expect Snuggerud to make a serious push for a roster spot next fall when the Blues open camp for the 2024-25 season. St. Louis could have a variety of spots available for a player like Snuggerud, Dean, Dvorsky, or even Zach Bolduc.
Jakub Vrana and Kasperi Kapanen are just a few of the pending unrestricted free agents that the Blues do not have locked up long-term. If neither of the forwards are brought back next season, it won’t be hard to see Snuggerud jump into the Blues’ top nine next season.