Blues 2023 First-Round Draft Targets: Oliver Moore

The St. Louis Blues will have a golden opportunity to add to their prospect pool at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft with three first-round picks at their disposal. The club will have two choices in the latter half of the first round and one that could land within the top 10, providing them with their highest-drafted prospect since 2008 when they selected defenseman Alex Pietrangelo fourth overall. 

Related: Blues 2023 First-Round Draft Targets: Brayden Yager

The Blues have several choices for a well-rounded, talented forward to pair alongside current forward prospects Zachary Bolduc, Jimmy Snuggerud, Zach Dean, and Dylan Peterson. However, general manager Doug Armstrong should target one in particular: 18-year-old Oliver Moore.

Oliver Moore Scouting Report

Moore was born on Jan. 22, 2005, and is a center for the U.S. National U18 Team. Born in Mounds View, Minnesota, and listed at 5-foot-11 and 176 pounds, he’s known for his speed and offensive upside and is potentially one of the most slept-on prospects in the first round. After spending the past two seasons with USA Hockey National Team Development Program (USDP), he will be taking his talents to the NCAA and the University of Minnesota. This season, the 18-year-old has scored 26 goals and 64 points in 53 games for the U.S. National U18 Team in the USDP and an additional eight goals and 25 points in 23 games to date for the USNTDP Juniors in the United States Hockey League (USHL).

Oliver Moore USNTDP
Oliver Moore, USNTDP (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

Tony Ferrari of The Hockey News had this to say about Moore back in Dec. 2022: “Moore is a high-paced thinker who changes speeds, alters angles and moves the puck into high-danger areas with regularity. Moore is a manipulative attacker, feinting one direction before bursting through space in another or stutter-stepping like an NFL wide receiver running a stop-and-start route.” (from ‘FERRARI’S 2023 NHL DRAFT RANKINGS: MID-SEASON TOP 50,’ The Hockey News, Dec. 19, 2022)

Where Moore Fits With the Blues

At this time, the Blues have multiple forward prospects who can play at the center position. However, as fans have seen year after year, prospects who may have been drafted as a center do not find themselves in the position long-term as they take to hockey’s highest level of competition. With that said, players currently listed as center prospects like Dean, Bolduc, and Aleksanteri Kaskimäki could ultimately end up wingers throughout their careers. Drafting a player with the upside of a player like Moore could prove to be franchise-altering. His speed, along with his continued desire to consistently improve his all-around game, makes him one of the most intriguing players in the upcoming draft.

Blues fans witnessed the benefit of adding players who not only have offensive upside but the gift of speed on their side. After adding Kasperi Kapanen and Jakub Vrana to the lineup before the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, the club was able to help not only use their speed to their advantage but use it in a way to help their forwards thrive. With the chance at drafting a player like Moore, the Blues have a chance to bring a one-of-a-kind prospect into the fold. The franchise currently boasts multiple highly skilled forwards that can continue to create and reinforce their prospect pool. However, the addition of a player like Moore could help put the future of the club over the top.

Moore Could Be Part of Blues’ Transition

The Blues are in a time of transition, and while this is a disappointment for many fans, the timing could not be better. The club currently boasts multiple prospects that could top out as very capable second, even first-line players at the peak of their careers. By adding a player like Moore to the depth chart, the future of the organization has the potential to have one of the most lethal threats down the middle across the NHL.

The continued demand for reliable centers in the NHL remains at a premium across the league, and the Blues have an opportunity and luxury to add one more to their prospect pool and out of the hands of their opposition. A future that showcases Moore alongside prospects like Bolduc, Dean, Snuggerud, Peterson and current NHLers in Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou, and Jake Neighbours could offer fans a true sense of excitement for the future of the franchise and the opportunity for a second Stanley Cup.

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