St. Louis Blues: EJ Emery D, draft portfolio

We'll know soon, but for now, hockey fans can only guess who their teams will draft in the upcoming 2024 NHL Draft. For now, we read pundits' predictions.
U18 Five Nations Tournament
U18 Five Nations Tournament / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Craig Button, the respected hockey analyst for TSN, predicts that the St. Louis Blues will select EJ Emery with the 16th pick in the upcoming draft.

Not many pundits have mentioned Emery in this selection, which makes this prediction stand out.

The youngster, who's from California, is 6'3" and weighs around 185lbs.

Perhaps this underlines why we don't hear his name as often: Emery is a product of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program.

That's where we find his statistics of worth.

USA Hockey

2023-24 | NTDP

61 games,16 assists.

2022-23 | NTDP

60 games, two goals and 10 assists for 12 points.

He's a University of North Dakota commit, which could resemble the path of Jimmy Snuggerud.

If selected, GM Doug Armstrong must have faith in the system and allow his skills to be honed by collegiate play. Playing for North Dakota could prove to do just that, as they consistently stand as one of the best hockey programs in the NCAA.

"Emery absorbs and erases opposing rushes with smooth backward strides and a stable, perfect posture. Stick in front of him, extended but not overreaching, he pushes opponents wide and pivots onto them, knocking the puck away with a precise pokecheck," EliteProspects.

If you want a player sooner rather than later, Emery might not be your selection. But if Armstrong is willing to wait out the process and allow him to get noteworthy coaching from North Dakota, he could end up being a steal.

In some of the latest mock drafts before the big day on Friday, St. Louis Blues fans wait patiently, but if pundits have indicated anything, expect defensive talent to enter the Blues roster in the upcoming years.

As P.K. Subban has constantly reminded us, defense wins championships. The Blues could use a lot of help in this area.