Building for the Future: St. Louis Needs a First Round Pick

We’re a little less than a week out from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and the St. Louis Blues find themselves without a pick until 54th overall in the second round. That fact should be displeasing to not only the Blues organization, but also the fans.

The NHL is full of immensely talented players and it is without a doubt the best league in the world. Most of those skilled forwards, defencemen, and goalies, however, were involved in the draft at some point or another.

Oshie and the Blues' PK unit has been a point of concern as of late (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Oshie was the 25th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Blues. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

A characteristic of that same NHL is money. The business side of professional hockey means cuts have to be made and personnel have to leave in order to keep teams balanced. Essentially, that concept is what makes drafting so incredibly important because it allows for teams to acquire elite talent without sacrificing current roster members.

Tarasenko was drafted by the Blues 16th overall in 2010.  (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Tarasenko was drafted by the Blues 16th overall in 2010. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Below are three of the reasons St. Louis needs to acquire a first round pick in this year’s draft if they want to give themselves the best chance at success during the upcoming season.

Number 3: Cap Room

As redundant as it may seem, the salary cap’s lack of growth for the upcoming season is going to mean costly roster changes league-wide, with the Blues being no exception. If St. Louis can manage to trade away one of their higher cap-hitting players for a first round pick, they’ll not only get a new player, they’ll also make a short-term solution for their cap problem this fall.

Number 2: Talent

This year’s draft is one of the best in recent history, making it one of the best ever. With claims that expected first overall pick Conner McDavid could be a better player than Sidney Crosby goes to show just how high the bar has been set for these young men. As a team that is rather anxious to hang their first Stanley Cup banner up at Scottrade Center, the Blues would undoubtedly benefit from drafting a first-rounder next weekend.

Number 1: Immediate Help

In the typical route to the NHL players will be drafted, play for a few years either in college or for an affiliate team of their organization, and then they’ll make their NHL debut. While there might be a few call-ups in between, it normally takes a few years before a prospect becomes a mainstay in the league.

That norm isn’t always true with first round picks, though. Often times they begin their NHL careers immediately, and have even proven to be extremely successful in their rookie campaigns. If the Blues can acquire a first-rounder, especially if they got a top ten or fifteen pick, that prospect could turn into a season regular this fall, which would absolutely boost the team’s success this upcoming season.

The fact of the matter is there are no bad players that go in the first round. Even if a team sets their eye on one guy in particular and another team drafts him, they’re still going to end up with a great prospect regardless. Therefore, St Louis should avoid taking the risk of missing out on that near-guarantee, or face the consequences down the line.

Do you think the Blues should trade for a first-round pick? Why or why not? Leave your thoughts in the comments.