(Thanks to Brian Weidler for an excellent FanPost. It's worthy of a bump to the front page. --Ed.)
By Brian Weidler, "St. Louis Game Time" Prospects Columnist
Here's a quick look at the six St. Louis prospects currently toiling for CCHA and WCHA schools. All stats current as of Jan, 24, 2009.
Andrew Sackrison (Minnesota State) directs Aaron Palushaj (Michigan) into position as Jay Barriball (Minnesota) sets up for the faceoff in the St. Louis Blues' 2008 Development Camp (Photo by Brian Weidler for "St. Louis Game Time").
1. Jay Barriball, Minnesota - WCHA (F, shoots L, 5-09, 170, May 27, 1987, Prior Lake, MN). Acquired by the Blues from San Jose at the trade deadline in 2007, Barriball is a feisty winger who plays bigger than his size. He's having a solid year with the highly-ranked Gophers.
19 GP, 7-14-21, 42 PIM, plus-3, 1 PP, 0 SG, 1 GW
2. Ian Cole, Notre Dame - CCHA (D, shoots L, 6-01, 211, February 21, 1989, Ann Arbor, MI). Drafted by St. Louis in the first round (18th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Cole is a sturdy defensive defenseman with a big shot. He skated for Team USA in the recent U-20 World Junior Championships.
23 GP, 3-10-13, 34 PIM, plus-14, 1 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW
U-20 WJC: 6 GP, 2-2-4, 4 PIM, even, 2 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW
3. Cade Fairchild, Minnesota - WCHA (D, shoots L, 5-10, 186, January 15, 1989, Duluth, MN). Chosen by St. Louis in the fourth round (96th overall) of the 2007 Entry Draft, Fairchild does not have ideal size for an NHL defenseman, but he is a dynamic offensive catalyst. He also skated for Team USA at the World Juniors.
20 GP, 5-16-21, 42 PIM, plus-3, 4 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW
U-20 WJC: 6 GP, 1-3-4, 2 PIM, minus-3, 1 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW
4. Trevor Nill, Michigan State - CCHA (C, shoots R, 6-01, 185, April 11, 1989, Detroit, MI). A seventh-round (190th overall) selection of the Blues in 2007, the son of Detroit assistant GM Jim Nill developed in the Compuware system and at Penticton (BCHL) before entering Michigan State this past fall.
21 GP, 1-1-2, 4 PIM, minus-6, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW
Two of the Blues' top prospects, Ian Cole (Notre Dame) and Aaron Palushaj (Michigan) take five at the Blues' 2008 Development Camp (Photos by Brian Weidler for "St. Louis Game Time").
5. Aaron Palushaj, Michigan - CCHA (RW, shoots R, 5-11, 187, September 7, 1989, Livonia, MI). Arguably the top forward prospect in the St. Louis system at the moment, Palushaj was a second-round selection (44th overall) in a strong 2007 Entry Draft for the Blues. Like Cole and Fairchild, Palushaj also skated for Team USA at the recent World Junior Championships.
23 GP, 8-20-28, 16 PIM, plus-11, 2 PP, 0 SH, 2 GW
U-20 WJC: 6 GP, 2-3-5, 10 PIM, plus-2, 1 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW
6. Andrew Sackrison, Minnesota State - WCHA (C, shoots L, 6-01, 180, November 12, 1987, St. Louis Park, MN). A former Minnesota high school "Mr. Hockey" finalist, Sackrison was drafted by the Blues at the top of the fifth round (124th overall) in 2006. He's an excellent faceoff man with a strong work ethic.
19 GP, 1-4-5, 16 PIM, minus-3, 1 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW