St. Louis Blues: Was size a factor in Doug Armstrong's drafting decisions?

The 2024 NHL Draft featured a common theme for the St. Louis Blues: Notable, big skaters on both sides of the ice were drafted.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

One of the most common criticisms of the current St. Louis Blues roster is its lack of physicality and size.

On the current roster, Colton Parayko and Alexey Toropchenko are the most prominent players on the ice.

Regarding height, counting Parayko and Toropchenko, there were four players over 6'3" in the 2023-24 season.

From the outset, it's evident that the acquisition of the 2024 draft picks was a strategic move, precisely addressing the team's need for physicality and size. This should reassure Blues fans about the team's future direction.

2024 St. Louis Blues Draft Picks

Adam Jiricek – 6'3" 167lbs
Colin Ralph – 6'5" 226lbs
Lukas Fischer - 6'3" 182lbs
Ondrej Kos – 6'3" 176 lbs
Adam Jecho – 6'5" 201 lbs
Tomas Mrsic – 6'0" 170 lbs
William McIsaac  - 6'3" 192lbs
Antoine Dorion – 6'1" 190 lbs
Matvei Korotky – 6'1" 198 lbs

First, we note that height doesn't automatically equate to talent in professional hockey. But even with some smaller body weight players such as Jiricek, there are reasonable expectations to build mass on the prospects further.

Only four current players are above 6'3" on last season's St. Louis Blues roster, but six of the nine picks are above 6'3". This can't be just a coincidence.

Also, it wasn't just defensemen but also offensive threats such as Kos and Jecho.

Jecho is a potential hidden gem, and the Blues have drafted multiple physical players who have room to grow.

With further conditioning and development, there's a strong potential for the draft picks to become tough, physical players. With the top picks being defensemen all over 6'3", it's clear that Armstrong has high expectations for the prospects and will seek to develop them into physical players. This should make Blues fans feel optimistic about the future as we might see a more physical team in the years to come.