St. Louis Blues 2024 NHL Draft Profile 1.0 involves an imposing blueliner

The St. Louis Blues are lucky to fall into a draft stacked with blueliners, and one in particular stands out over all the others.
Calgary Hitmen v Winnipeg Ice
Calgary Hitmen v Winnipeg Ice / Jonathan Kozub/GettyImages
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What does Carter Yakemchuk’s defensive play look like?

As a blueliner, Carter Yakemchuk must possess sound defense, or else he may as well convert to winger, right? Well, if you thought he was a physical player with his sheer size, you guessed correctly. Yakemchuk isn’t afraid to engage in puck battles along the boards, and he’s not giving up until an opponent finds a way to pass the puck into an open area of the ice, but if it isn’t there, he’ll just take it and give his team a chance offensively. 

Put it this way, the last thing an opponent wants to do when they’re in control of the puck is to try and take it along the boards when Yakemchuk is nearby. It won’t end well for them as he will, at the absolute least, pin them against the boards and make sure the puck’s up for grabs. What’s even scarier is that Yakemchuk can also do the same in open ice. 

He’s competitive, there’s no doubt there, but he can be over-competitive at times and deliver unnecessary hits. When one is over-competitive, it also means an opponent can draw them in early, and Yakemchuk is prone to that, which will cause an odd-man rush to develop. 

Both the unnecessary hits that lead to penalties and biting too much when his team isn’t in possession of the puck are two major areas of concern, so he needs to improve them to further balance out his game. 

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