The top priorities for the St. Louis Blues in the 2024 NHL Draft

With the 16th selection in the NHL Draft, the St. Louis Blues can snag a quality player. For a team with almost mediocre stats in every category, what should the Blues concentrate on in the upcoming draft?
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Much like baseball, the likelihood of a sixteenth pick in the first-round playing right away is slim. Hockey emphasizes developing and building skills at the developmental league level.

With that being said, whether it’s the first-round or later-round picks, expect St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong to target one specific positional player in the 2024 draft.

The St. Louis Blues need help on defense

The Blues need supplemental scoring, but they lack any big names on defense, especially in terms of productivity.

In terms of points, the three top defensemen of the 2023-24 season were:

Torey Krug–39 points.
Justin Faulk–30 points.
Nick Leddy–28 points.

All three are aging veterans and have large contractual figures.

While the 2024 draft picks will most certainly not see ice time in the upcoming season, a look at the current roster signals major problems at defense both in the present and future.

The St. Louis Blues lack any young major players on their current roster to build upon within the defenseman position.

There’s great optimism and expectations within the winger and center position, but the same sentiments don’t stand true within the defense.

St. Louis Blues: Will Blues fans see Theo Lindstein soon?

Although Theo Lindstein was drafted for defense last year, it’s unlikely that any significant prospects will join the NHL soon.

Lindstein very well could be a difference maker, and might wear a Blues jersey sooner than later, but even with his addition, the Blues need help, and they need it fast.

Free-agent acquisitions are anticipated to bolster the defense, but the aging and underperformance of the current roster still needs to be addressed.

Armstrong should plan for the future, realizing his aging defenders aren’t going to be the future of the team. With a handful of talent coming up in the next few seasons in Dalibor Dvorsky, Jimmy Snuggerud, and Otto Stenberg, and with existing youngsters Jake Neighbours and star Robert Thomas, Armstrong must supplement their talent defensively.

Expect to see the defense addressed in Las Vegas at the NHL Draft on June 28th and 29th. Armstrong’s hands are tied; the Blues need help both now and in the future.