St. Louis Blues: What can we expect from Adam Jiricek?

The St. Louis Blues selected defenseman Adam Jiricek with the No. 16 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

"St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the Blues have signed Adam Jiricek - their 2024 first-round pick (No. 16 overall) - to a three-year entry-level contract," announced the St. Louis Blues press release on July 2nd.

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong addressed defensive needs, selecting three defensemen with the top three picks the Blues held.

As the first selection, Adam Jiricek carries the highest expectations. His selection as a first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft is a testament to his potential and the Blues' confidence in his abilities.

What can St. Louis Blues fans expect from Jiricek?

Jiricek's 2023-24 play was limited due to injuries, which might understandably concern some Blues fans. However, it's important to note that these were not career-threatening injuries and with proper rehabilitation, he is expected to return to full form.

Playing for the Plzen HC in Czech Extraliga, Jiricek played in two partial seasons:

2022-23: 12 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points.
2023-24: 19 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point.

Jiricek's play was limited, which might worry fans and hockey scouts. However, enough talent was present for Armstrong and the front office to draft Jiricek in the first-round.

The scouts were most impressed by his performance in the junior league:

HC Plzen U20
2022-23: 41 games, 12 goals, 17 assists, 29 points.

His draft report in 2024 read:

"Jiříček has the vision to identify the right play at pace and even the ability to deceive and manipulate opponents from the blue line to create those openings himself. And his touch as a passer? Beyond reproach. He can feather a puck through traffic with the best of them." – EliteProspects.

Dobber Prospects classified him as having great "potential."

The scouts took notice of his aggressive play, which shows his strong competitive spirit and determination. However, it's his ability to read the ice and set teammates up with goals that truly sets him apart. This skill is a key part of his playing style and a major strength that will benefit the Blues.

Jiricek, who turned 18 on draft day and stands at 6'1", possesses immense potential and is poised to thrive in further development, instilling a sense of hope and optimism among the fans.

Despite his injuries, he exhibits a strong defensive and offensive IQ, as his scouting reports indicate.

Blues fans should not expect to see him on the ice soon; instead, they should understand the need for patience as he undergoes further development and healing from previous injuries.