Following the conclusion of the regular season, General Manager Doug Armstrong talked about what the St. Louis Blues would look like next year. In that press conference, he mentioned Dalibor Dvorsky, the 10th overall pick in the 2023 Draft. Armstrong said he expects the 18-year-old to contend in training camp for a spot on the Blues' roster. According to Armstrong, Dvorsky agrees.

"He thinks he's going to be here in St. Louis," Armstrong said, "and I'm not going to dash that dream. But if it's not, we'll find a nice home for him."

Dvorsky had a rough start to his 2023-24 campaign. He started out in the Swedish Hockey League, playing against grown men. Through 10 games, however, he went scoreless and wasn't getting much ice time. It was decided he'd be better served playing against his own age group, so he joined the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League.

"He went to a situation that was looking pretty good in Sweden but was really bad," Armstrong said. "You're hoping it's better when he gets to the OHL, and he made it a great situation."

Dvorsky dominated in Sudbury. Including both regular season and playoffs, he finished with 88 points in 52 games. He scored 45 goals and finished fourth in the league in points per game (1.69). On top of that, he had six points in five games representing Slovakia in the IIHF World Junior Championship.

While Armstrong cautioned against rushing a top prospect to the pro level, he said Dvorsky's dominance is a sign he's getting close to NHL-ready.

"When I saw what he did at the World Juniors, plus what we see him doing against his peer group in the Ontario Hockey League, and how we've seen players that do what he did in the Ontario League progress to the NHL, there's a path there," Armstrong said. "But that path won't be rushed so we can say we have young players in the NHL."

He compared Dvorsky's path to those of Zack Bolduc, Zach Dean and Matthew Kessel - rookies who ended this season with the Blues after starting in the AHL. Armstrong said all of them, Dvorsky included, will need to prove they're ready to be full-time NHLers at training camp in the fall.

"This isn't a charity case that we're running here," Armstrong said. "In the extent that, in order to show growth, we have to put players in the NHL that aren't ready for it...The NHL fails as many players as players fail the NHL, and I don't want to fail these guys."