A Closer Look at the St. Louis Blues First-Round Draft Decision: Two Options Revealed

Do the St. Louis Blues address a defensive need and weakness? Or does GM Doug Armstrong go after a scoring threat? Sitting at the number 16 selection, the St. Louis Blues have plenty of options to strengthen their team.
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The St. Louis Blues are well-positioned in the 2024 NHL Draft with general manager Doug Armstrong at the helm.

With the No. 16 selection, the Blues must address major weaknesses within their current roster.

While defensive weaknesses are evident, a lack of scoring is also a legitimate concern.

Two players with OHL experience might be a good option for the sixteenth pick.

Marek Vanacker

Marek Vanacker, who is predominately a left winger, has two years of OHL experience.

The 18-year-old played for the Brantford Bulldogs in 2023-24, recording 82 points, highlighted by an impressive 46 assists and 36 goals.

Vanacker lacks some size, but further development could address this issue in the weight room and conditioning.

He’s a legitimate scoring threat expected to be drafted in the middle of the first round, with some analysts arguing he could fall to the second round.

“Crafty rush creator with quick hands and an accurate shot. Skating and defense need work, but he has upside as a middle-six scoring winger,” wrote Dobber Prospects.

A native of Canada, Vanacker is not a pick that is expected to make an immediate impact, as further development and a polishing of offensive skills is necessary.

Based on his impressive scoring record in the OHL this past season, he is viewed as a top prospect with the potential to become a reliable player in the NHL.

Jett Luchanko

Another Canadian skater who plays mainly in the center position is Jett Luchanko.

Luchanko played in 68 games last season with the Guelph Storm of the OHL, recording 74 points, highlighted by his 54 assists and 20 goals.

While Luchanko has more weight on him than Vanacker, his size is still limited.

“High-motor forward with natural athletic abilities and a knack for middle drives. Limited puck skills, but projects as a top-nine energy winger, “ wrote Dobber Prospects.

Luchanko's future in the NHL seems promising. He is projected to excel as a winger and has an impressive NHL Certainty score of 8.0.

Luchanko, who will turn 18 this summer, is making significant strides in his development, making him the perfect candidate, especially in the first round.

Although the Blues require more depth and help at defense, selecting a player at No. 16 won't provide immediate improvement, as it is highly unlikely the pick will play in the upcoming season.

It might be wise to plan for the future and focus on building a powerful line centered on scoring