St. Louis GM Todd Snider capped off an impressive Dispersal haul by landing superstar Sidney Crosby ahead of a probable Lafreniere selection.
Heading in to the BEARD Hockey Dispersal Draft, there were a lot of questions as to how rookie GM Todd Snider would handle it. Mere hours before the draft began, the Blues GM was able to trade up four spots in hope of being able to draft the franchise player he wanted.
With their first pick Blues opted to take young future All Star goalie Carter Hart.
Snider, when asked about his selection, said “I’m thrilled to land the talented netminder. He was the player we coveted most at the 21st selection.”
His next two picks made him equally excited as he landed former Norris and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Victor Hedman, and then secured the rights to the first overall pick in this year's Entry Draft.
From there on out, the Blues organization went about drafting players that would make this team hard to play against. The likes of Evander Kane and Nazim Kadri were selected, along with mammoth rearguards Brandon Carlo, Dustin Byfuglien, Denis Savard, and of course Hedman.
Throughout the draft, Snider chose a nice mix of vets and young players, including youngsters like Jesper Kotkaniemi, Jake Debrusk, Rasmus Sandin, Cale Fleury, Trent Frederic, Klim Kostin, Shane Bowers, and prospect Dylan Cozens, who may be the Blues' best up-and-coming two-way center.
Evaluating his forward talent, Snider knew he was missing something: a bonafide #1 center and a mentor to likely #1 overall pick Alexis Lafreniere. With this known, St. Louis made a huge trade shipping out Kyle Palmieri, Anthony Beauviller, and three draft picks for Sidney Crosby.
“Being able to land a superstar like Sid to lead this team and have him mentor the young players while still being one of the elite players in this league is something I could only dream about before today," said Snider. “We believe we will contend immediately.”
The rest of the draft was made up with filling out both Pro and Farm rosters with quality players to compliment the earlier selections.
With final two picks in the DIspersal Draft, the Blues signed their coaches. Michel Therrien was named and signed to a three-year deal to coach the Blues. Ironically, Crosby’s first coach when he came into the league was Therrien, and Crosby has said he was instrumental in his development and should do wonders for Lafreniere should the Blues select him.
Marc Savard was named Springfield Thunderbirds coach and will be tasked with developing the young players in the organization. He was also signed to a three-year deal.
Asked if the roster was complete, Snider mentioned "always looking out for quality players", and perhaps will seek someone to play with Crosby on the right side.
"We’ll see if anything else develops. Overall, we think we had a great draft and are looking forward to getting the season getting started.”