The St. Louis Blues chose forward Jimmy Snuggerud with the 23rd overall pick of the 2022 NHL Draft on Thursday. He is from the U.S. National Development Program and will attend the University of Minnesota for the 2022-23 season.
Jimmy Snuggerud, Right Wing (Pick No. 23) (6-foot-2, 185 pounds)
Central Scouting Ranking (North America): 11th / THW Ranking: 26th (Baracchini)
Snuggerud is the first U.S.-born first-round pick by the Blues since Tage Thompson in 2016, before that it was Jordan Schmaltz in 2012. Neither of those players worked out for the Blues per se, but they used Thompson to acquire Ryan O’Reilly, so it all worked out in the end.
Overview: What Snuggerud Does Well
To the surprise of nobody, Snuggerud plays a solid two-way game, which is a priority for the Blues. He also possesses a great shot, making him a potential high-level goal scorer at the next level. While playing for the U.S. National U18 team this season, he had 20 goals and 56 points in 51 games.
Snuggerud has the perfect build for the Blues, which is why this choice makes a ton of sense. His shot and two-way ability alone make him worthy of a first-round selection. He also has a high hockey IQ and his strengths make him a strong prospect for the organization moving forward.
It seems like general manager Doug Armstrong is trying to make a future forward-line with his last three first-round picks. Snuggerud with Jake Neighbours and Zachary Bolduc would be fun to watch, as they all would mold together quite well with their offensive prowess and two-way ability. The strengths of Snuggerud’s game just make so much sense for why the Blues took him, as it all lines up with the organization’s philosophy of being tough to play against.
Overview: What Snuggerud Needs to Work On
Not that he needs to do this, but Snuggerud’s playmaking certainly lacks in comparison to his shooting ability. As a winger, I don’t see a major need for him to make those plays with the puck, as there’s a chance that he will have a center like Robert Thomas or Bolduc next to him down the road, and those two would make those elite plays with the puck for him.
Other than that, it seems like general development will be the process for Snuggerud. It should be fun to watch him in college at Minnesota, playing with the third overall pick Logan Cooley next season.
Scout and Draft Analyst Thoughts
(Snuggerud is a…) Powerful offensive weapon with good size and an array of deadly shots in his repertoire. Has the potential to develop into an effective goal scorer at the NHL level.Nick Richard – dobberprospects.com
His (Snuggerud) smooth hands allow him to be good in tight areas with and create chances others couldn’t. He does a great job as a forechecker being relentless until he gets to the puck. He excels offensively when he’s able to play a north-south style of hockey with his good skating ability.Douglas Larson (From Jimmy Snuggarud Game Report, FCHockey, Oct. 10 2021)
Snuggerud’s Overall Upside
Snuggerud currently projects as a scoring middle-six winger, according to many draft analysts. I view him as more of a top-six winger down the line, but a lot of that is due to my trust in the Blues to develop him. He’s going to a fantastic hockey school and should have all the time he needs to develop his skills, and playing with somebody like Cooley should help him immensely.
Snuggerud’s timeline could line up well with Bolduc, with about two or three seasons to develop if needed at Minnesota. The biggest strengths that he has, which are his shot and two-way ability, should be on display right away when he attends the Blues’ prospect camp this summer. It’ll be fun to watch him at camp and in Minnesota, as another high-end prospect develops their game to reach the next level. In the end, this was a good pick with quality value for Armstrong.
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.