Predicting the Pick: St. Louis Blues will roll with a surprise forward in the NHL Draft

The St. Louis Blues will face the ultimate ‘best available vs. organizational need’ conundrum in the 2024 NHL Draft.
Peterborough Petes v Oshawa Generals
Peterborough Petes v Oshawa Generals / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages

Going back to my mock draft simulations, the St. Louis Blues didn’t always go for organizational needs. In Mock Draft Simulations 1.0 and 2.0, they went with forwards in Round 1, but these were simulations in which I was only controlling picks for the Blues. 

Now, I did say “should” in Mock Draft 1.0 despite the pick being a forward and not a defenseman. But that particular forward had two-way, power forward traits, so he also wouldn’t make for a half-bad pick on draft day despite the fact he’s not a blueliner.

While taking a defenseman is the best and most logical route, it’s not what I see general manager Doug Armstrong doing on draft day if my 32-team mock draft holds water. Hopefully, I’m wrong, and there were players available who I believed he should take, especially at the blue line, but someone else jumped out. 

Just for some background information, the above 32-team mock draft was not a simulation, but a manual one in which I predicted what each organization will do in the first round, not what they should do. So, I don’t condone a projection that has the Blues going with Beckett Sennecke, and I would be far more impressed with Stian Solberg, as pointed out in my team-by-team mock draft simulation.

If that simulation more closely resembles what will happen on June 28th, maybe Solberg is the guy, but we also know the draft is full of surprises, which is how Beckett Sennecke got the nod over Solberg and other available defensemen, like Carter Yakemchuk and Adam Jiricek. 

Rolling with a forward would be a surprise for the St. Louis Blues, but…

While I would criticize the Blues for taking Beckett Sennecke over players like Stian Solberg, Carter Yakemchuk, and Adam Jiricek, I would also justify this one. One reason I predicted this pick is thanks to Sennecke’s epic performance in 79 regular and postseason OHL games, in which he hit the 90-point mark, with 37 goals. 

Sennecke’s best play came in the playoffs, with 22 points and 10 goals coming in 16 contests, indicating that he can be at his best when the stakes are at their highest. He also showed flashes productivity-wise in 2022-23, with 56 points and 21 goals in 66 regular and postseason contests. Yeah, he made a massive jump this year, but it was nothing near the spike in production as other prospects. 

Finally, he’s already 6’2, and he will have not just plenty of time to fill out his frame, but he would be yet another playmaker to ultimately team with Jimmy Snuggerud, Dalibor Dvorsky, and those already in Gateway City. 

So, a defenseman makes sense for Doug Armstrong, and many of us would advise that he goes in that direction, something I also outlined in my Mock Draft Simulation 3.0. But Beckett Sennecke is a prospect who already checks all the boxes; he just needs a few seasons’ worth of refinement, but what mid-first-round pick doesn’t?


(Statistics powered by Elite Prospects)