This St. Louis Blues draft was as unknown as any we have seen in a while, with the lack of scouting and players not playing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pick is clearly an unknown player being picked while others who were ranked “higher,” remained undrafted.
The Blues made their fourth and final pick on an unknown commodity, using the 198th pick in the seventh round to do so.
Ivan Vorobyov, Right Wing (Pick No. 198) (5-foot-11, 157 pounds)
CS Ranking: Not Ranked / THW Ranking (Zator): Not Ranked
After having only the four picks in this draft, the Blues used their last one on Ivan Vorobyov, a Russian winger from Mamonty Yugry of the MHL.
Vorobyov was not a player that was expected to be drafted, as there was no sign of him on any rankings, but clearly, the Blues have done their homework. He projects as a scorer that can develop into something at the AHL or NHL level, but you never know, especially with a seventh-rounder.
Overview: What He Does Well
I’d be lying if I told you that there was a wealth of information on Vorobyov, but I’ve dug up what I can on the Blues’ seventh-round pick.
Looking at the numbers, he tallied 50 points in 52 games for Mamonty Yugry of the MHL this season, 21 of those being goals. Those numbers are positive, but that’s junior hockey, and he must prove that he can do it at a higher level, which remains to be seen. He actually took a complete step forward from the 2019-20 season to the 2020-21 season, as he had scored just 17 points in 47 games last season for Mamonty Yugry.
Assuming that the Blues like what he brings to the table and his improvements from one season to another, that could’ve been appealing this late into the draft. From looking at size, numbers, and some reports, his quickness and scoring ability shouldn’t be questioned, since he has other improvements to make.
Overview: What He Needs to Work On
Clearly, by seeing his 5-foot-11, 157-pound frame, he needs to grow into his body to succeed at the next level. It’s not really his height, but 157 pounds won’t play in the NHL or AHL, for that matter.
He must take a step forward when graduating from the MHL, a Russian Junior League, into the VHL, which is a step above. He could certainly improve his overall game after putting on weight, so he could become one of those seventh-round picks to stick onto an AHL role or somehow an NHL role.
Scout and Draft Analyst Thoughts
Gabriel Foley, St. Louis Gametime: “Vorobyov is a man with a nose for the net. It’s terrific. His stickhandling is incredibly strong. He lets the puck pull him from side-to-side, shifting his weight which gives him a terrific ability to move laterally and beat defensemen with ease. He isn’t the fastest player in a dead-straight but this fancy stickhandling and great elusiveness really makes him quick around the offensive zone. He likes driving the net, isn’t scared of physicality, and does what he needs to score.”
When there is hardly any public information on a draft prospect, it is hard to measure his potential. I think there is some serious skill with room to grow into his body and add to his game. Not every pick can be viewed as a steal like the Simon Robertsson pick for the Blues.
At the end of the day, anytime you are picking in the NHL draft, let alone the seventh round, you trust the developmental parts of your franchise. You just never know how it will work out, the Blues took a shot with this one, and we’ll see if it pans out.
I have been covering sports for nearly a decade. I started with FanSided as a Baseball Contributor. Now I am writing about the NHL and the St. Louis Blues for The Hockey Writers. I grew up in Central Illinois as a huge fan of every sport. Finally, I do various podcasting across all major platforms.