St. Louis Blues: Have we fully grasped the meaning of the 2023 NHL Draft?

The St. Louis Blues held the most first-round picks in the 2023 NHL Draft. Are fans aware of what awaits them?
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Jeff Vinnick/GettyImages

Out with the old, in with the new.

2023 was probably more impactful than what most St. Louis Blues fans genuinely understand.

With the three first-round picks in the 2023 draft, GM Doug Armstrong selected prized scoring talent Dalibor Dvorsky, highly anticipated weapon Otto Stenberg and defenseman Theo Lindstein.

The first-round highlighted the two-day event, with two picks coming in the third-round and fourth-round, followed by single picks in the sixth and seventh rounds:

3rd Round:

Quinton Burns
Juraj Pekarcik

4th Round:

Jakub Stancl
Paul Fischer

6th Round:

Matthew Mayich

7th Round:

Nikita Susuyev

The future is bright in St. Louis

Make no mistake, some of the later-round picks, such as Quinton Burns and Jakub Stancl, are intriguing. Lest fans forget that stars and quality players come from any draft round.

But naturally, the attention is on the first-round selections, especially in hockey.

With development, coaching, and a process that emphasizes nurturing existing talent into NHL skills, the picks of Dvorsky, Stenberg, and Lindstein are essential.

Although two picks are later first-round picks, Dvorsky probably stands alone as the most prized selection. Nevertheless, with proper development and growth, later first-round picks have the ability to become star players.

It might help us remember that Robert Thomas was chosen 20th overall in 2017 and Jake Neighbours 26th overall in 2020.

Sure, Neighbours needs to prove himself, as Thomas has done. But if 2023-24 was any indication, he will.

Armstrong's impressive performance in 2023 positions the Blues for success in the upcoming years if the three players can emulate Thomas' and Neighbours' success.

We all know busts occur. Whether it's injuries, a lack of drive, or talent, it's the harsh truth of professional sports. But give Armstrong credit. His track record in selecting players is noteworthy, especially in the first-round.

Sure, there have been questionable calls like the Dominik Bokk selection. But don't forget about picks outside of Thomas and Neighbours, notably Jordan Kyrou (2nd-round pick), Vince Dunn, Ivan Barbashev, Colton Parayko, and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Although players such as Zachary Bolduc and Jimmy Snuggerud have yet to establish themselves in Blues history, Armstrong has a remarkable track record in draft picks.

We're counting on all three 2023 first-round picks to do well, but even if only 2 out of the 3 turn out to be as talented as Thomas or Neighbours, Armstrong still did an amazing job.