At the 2016 NHL Draft, the Blues made eight selections - seven forwards and one goaltender.
Clearly, the organization felt their crop of young forwards had become increasingly thin and made it their goal to replenish it.
The season is young and there are still ups and downs to experience and bumps and bruises to absorb, but it appears that the Blues may have found a couple of future contributors in the early rounds.
With the 26th overall pick in 2016, the Blues took towering 6-foot-5,195-pound centerman Tage Thompson out of the University of Connecticut. The Phoenix, Arizona, native could not participate in training camp but he was in town for prospects camp in July. Thompson impressed not only the coaches and Blues brass, but the on-looking crowd, drawing "ooohs" after making flashy plays or placing accurate shots behind the goaltender.
Thompson was as advertised - strong, lengthy and smart. As a bonus, he was one of the better skaters in camp, which is no given for a player of his size. During his freshman campaign, Thompson delivered 32 points, including 14 goals, in 36 games. This season, the 19-year-old sophmore leads the club with 14 points through 11 games, including a two-goal performance against Ohio State in his most recent outing.
Prior to his collegiate career, Thompson, the son of former NHL defenseman and Peoria Rivermen coach Brent Thompson, captured a gold medal with Team USA at the 2015 U-18 World Juniors.
The Blues acquired their second pick in the trade of Brian Elliott to the Calgary Flames. The deal allowed the Blues to pick again nine spots after Thompson, and with that opportunity, the club selected 6-foot, 174-pound forward Jordan Kyrou of the OHL's Sarnia Sting at No. 35 overall.
Kyrou, 18, is making a big jump this season. In 2015-16, he logged 17 goals and 51 points in 65 games. This season, he is already more than halfway to the aforementioned point total through just 18 games. The Toronto, Ontario, native ranks second on the Sting with 27 points thus far, including a team-leading 20 assists.
Currently, Kyrou is riding a nine-game point streak, including five goals and eight assists. What's more, he's been a plus or even player in 16 of 18 games this season and boasts the third best plus/minus on the team at plus-13.
Kyrou was a part of the Blues' 2016 Traverse City roster and took part in training camp. He was an early cut from camp but that is no surprise for a developing prospect.
Outside of the early picks, Blues fans should keep an eye on forward Nolan Stevens, who was taken 125th overall in 2016. Stevens is a 6-foot-3, 183-pound forward at Northeastern University. He jumped from four goals and 20 points in his freshman season, to 20 goals and 42 points as a sophomore, and has tallied three goals and five points in six games thus far this season.
Stevens was in town for prospects camp in July and look impressive. He brings a lot of energy, tenacity on the forecheck and a great nose for the puck. The Sea Isle City, New Jersey, native is a product of the U.S. Developmental Program and could prove to be late-round steal for the Blues.