The St. Louis Blues have a multitude of prospects spread throughout the world. While the team undergoes a transition at the NHL level, its prospect pool continues to grow and mature until the day they can earn a phone call that will bring them to the NHL. Here’s a look at the Blues prospects playing in college this season and a look at their future.
Blues forward prospect, Dylan Peterson completed his third year with Boston University this year scoring a career-high 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in 39 games. The 6-foot-4, 21-year-old has continued to grow and add size and muscle to his large frame, adding 11 pounds over the last two years. As a player that finds success setting up in front of the net, he continues to be a force and difficulty for defenders to contain. Over three seasons in the NCAA, he has appeared in 84 games scoring 18 goals and 40 points, along with 69 penalty minutes. He remains unsigned by the Blues as of this writing.
Peterson and the number five-ranked Terriers had their season ended in a 6-2 loss to fellow Blues forward prospect, Jimmy Snuggerud and the top-ranked Minnesota University on April 6. After completing his third season with Boston University, Blues forward prospect Dylan Peterson continues to be a bit of a project piece. There is no denying the talent that he brings to the ice on every shift. However, fans that are expecting to see a player that will become a top-six impact forward may have to lower their expectations. While his offensive abilities and all-around play should afford him the ability to play up and down the lineup in the NHL, he should find a regular role in the middle six of an NHL team.
A late addition to the Blues roster, the free-agent defenseman was signed on March 6 to a two-year, entry-level contract worth $1.9 million. Born in Österhaninge, Sweden, he grew up playing in the Djugardens system. This highly regarded Swedish hockey program has produced multiple NHL players like Jonathan Lekkerimäki, Alexander Holtz, and William Eklund. In the 2019-20 season, he posted nine points in 41 games at the J20 SuperElit level and was promoted to play four games in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and one game in the Champions Hockey League tournament.
The 6-foot-4, 203-pound, left-shot defender registered three goals and three assists, along with 16 penalty minutes in 33 games in the NCAA this season with Bowling Green State University. Throughout three seasons with Bowling Green, he tallied seven goals, six assists, and 56 penalty minutes in 89 NCAA games. He joined the Springfield Thunderbirds in seven games this season on an Amateur Tryout. His contract will begin in the 2023-24 season. Malmstrom will have some work to do and grow his all-around game if he intends to make a push for a roster spot in the NHL one day. His athleticism is one major plus to his game that could get him a boost, even just for a game or two.
Drafted by the Blues in the seventh round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft at 194th overall, Beck is a big-bodied, right-shot defender standing at 6-foot-4, 183 pounds. After a breakout 2021-22 season scoring five goals and 22 points, along with 24 penalty minutes in 37 games, Beck appeared in his third season with Clarkson University this year in 37 games, scoring six goals and 23 points.
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It is difficult to tell where the ceiling is for Beck at this point. The 22-year-old is an intelligent and mobile defenseman that can play both sides of the puck well and has shown that he can do damage with the puck on his stick. He will have his work cut out for him with a crowded blue line and multiple defensemen with a similar playstyle (Matt Kessel and Scott Perunovich). He will get an opportunity to showcase his skills but could be sent to the ECHL before jumping to the AHL with the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Quite possibly one of the most electrifying prospects of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, Jimmy Snuggerud set the NCAA world on fire by scoring 21 goals and 50 points in 40 games as an 18-year-old freshman. The University of Minnesota forward quickly worked his way up the lineup this season finding consistent time on the top line with Matthew Knies (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Logan Cooley (Arizona Coyotes). This season, Snuggerud earned a multitude of milestones with the Gophers like being named a Big Ten Scoring Co-Champion (36 points in B1G play), HCA Tim Taylor Award Watch List (Rookie of the Year), All-Big Ten Second Team, All-Big Ten Freshman Team, and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Finalist.
Snuggerud’s performance this year earned him an eventual roster spot on the Team USA World Junior Championship-20 roster. During the tournament he continued to excel, scoring the third-most points in the tournament with 13 (seven goals, five assists) in seven games. Despite an impressive rookie campaign, he confirmed he will be returning to Minnesota for his sophomore season earlier this month. Should Snuggerud continue to build upon an impressive first year in the NCAA, he could be in line to make an immediate jump to the Blues after next season.
The rebuilding Blues have built themselves a prospect pool that should help return the team to a competitive force in the coming years. The players in the NCAA reflect only a small list of that prospect pool and have showcased a variety of talent and potential they can bring to the Blues and the NHL.