How should the St. Louis Blues draft with Robert Thomas as a factor?

Robert Thomas is the star of the St. Louis Blues, earning his first All-Star appearance in 2024. Given his youth and promising future, the Blues should focus on bringing in additional talent to build their team around him.
St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins
St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

Robert Thomas, locked into a long-term deal, is "fingers-crossed" the foundation and star of the St. Louis Blues.

Thomas has had three rather impressive seasons:

2021-22: 72 games, 20 goals, 57 assists, 77 points.
2022-23: 73 games, 18 goals, 47 assists, 65 points.
2023-24: 82 games, 26 goals, 60 assists, 86 points.

Thomas, an official alternate captain, is the ideal center for the St. Louis Blues as they rebuild their identity after the departure of veteran players from their 2019 Cup championship team.

Although Thomas isn't known for extreme goal-scoring, his exceptional ability to provide crucial assists and find his teammates sets him apart as one of the league's top ten centers.

Given his youth—he turns 25 this summer—the logic holds that Blues fans might have just seen the beginning of Thomas' full potential.

Should the St. Louis Blues draft around Robert Thomas?

While hockey isn't focused on a single player, on a veteran-based team with aging players focusing on supplemental talent to bolster Thomas' existing skills is an ideal philosophy for GM Doug Armstrong.

Armstrong has likely already made such decisions, having concentrated on identifying numerous future prospects during last year's draft.

Expect nothing different from this year's selections.

Stardom expectations remain surrounding Thomas and his future. Almost from the day he wore a Blues uniform, the media followed him and predicted his greatness.

The Blues front office had high expectations, even having him live with the Tkachuk family and being discipled by legendary St. Louis Blues player Keith Tkachuk.

Thomas has accumulated years of experience, a Cup victory, an All-Star nod, and an alternate captain role.

All of the above scream Thomas is the future, and the team will be built around him.

This shouldn't be surprising; we see it all the time in hockey. Due to his youth and great career achievements, he stands as the foundational piece of a new era of St. Louis Blues hockey.

Armstrong has set the team up for success in the future, relying on Dalibor Dvorsky, Theo Lindstein, and Jimmy Snuggerud.

Thomas might be unaware, but he holds the keys to the building. His nod of approval for coach Drew Bannister may have solidified his role as the team's cornerstone.