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Lindbohm, Fabbri Lead Blues Top Prospects

by Louie Korac / St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues have built themselves into a perennial top-echelon NHL team based on their ability to develop from within while allowing their prospects to grow without rushing them.

They waited patiently for Alex Pietrangelo, David Backes, Jaden Schwartz and Dmitrij Jaskin to get acclimated in the American Hockey League before bringing them to the NHL. Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera got their experience playing in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Here is a look at the Blues' top five prospects, according to NHL.com:

1. Petteri Lindbohm, D

How acquired: 6th round (No. 176), 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Blues: 23 GP, 2-1-3; Chicago, AHL: 53 GP, 6-12-18

The 21-year-old native of Helsinki was so impressive in training camp last season that the Blues this offseason were willing to part with Barret Jackman, who had been with St. Louis since being chosen in the first round (No. 17) of the 1999 NHL Draft. Lindbohm (6-foot-3, 198 pounds) will fill the void left by Jackman and provide a physical presence on the left side.

"I feel really comfortable giving Lindbohm every opportunity to make the team as part of our six," general manager Doug Armstrong said.

Projected NHL arrival: 2015-16

2. Robby Fabbri, C

How acquired: 1st round (No. 21), 2014 NHL Draft

Last season: Chicago, AHL: 3 GP, 1-3-4; Guelph, OHL: 30 GP, 25-26-51

Fabbri (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) made a favorable impression during his first NHL training camp last season, and the Blues were tempted to keep him for at least a nine-game trial had it not been for a shoulder injury sustained in the second-to-last preseason game.

Fabbri, 19, was part of Canada's 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship team. He had two goals and six points in five games before sustaining a high ankle sprain.

Fabbri will be given every opportunity to at least earn a nine-game trial, but with Lehtera needing 6-8 weeks to recover following ankle surgery Aug. 4, Fabbri could play a larger role than expected.

"It gets me excited," Fabbri said. "I have something to look forward to and to make sure that I don't lose that opportunity ... to earn it game by game. Going from here to Traverse [City] to [training] camp, you want to want to be the best you can."

Depending on Lehtera's status, Fabbri could be a wild card, but it will take a tremendous camp for him to be considered for a full-time NHL role this season.

Projected NHL arrival: 2016-17

3. Ty Rattie, RW

How acquired: 2nd round (No. 32), 2011 NHL Draft

Last season: Blues: 11 GP, 0-2-2; Chicago, AHL: 59 GP, 21-21-42

Rattie (6-foot, 178 pounds) will try to crack a tough lineup in training camp; the Blues' top nine appears to be set. But Rattie's been touted as one of St. Louis' up-and-coming players since being drafted.

Rattie, 22, has 13 games of NHL experience, and the Blues hold him in high regard after the scored 151 goals from 2008-13 with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.

Projected NHL arrival: 2016-17

4. Colton Parayko, D

How acquired: 3rd round (No. 86), 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Chicago, AHL: 17 GP, 4-3-7; University of Alaska-Fairbanks, WCHA: 34 GP, 6-17-23

Parayko, 22, has defied the odds and continues an upward trend after completing his final college season at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks last year.

At 6-foot-5, 214 pounds, Parayko's size and speed are traits that have Blues management pushing him up their depth charts.

Projected NHL arrival: 2016-17

5. Jordan Schmaltz, D

How acquired: 1st round (No. 25), 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: University of North Dakota, NCHC: 42 GP, 4-24-28

The 21-year-old finished his junior year at North Dakota. Schmaltz (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) ranked third on the team with 28 points, including a team-leading 24 assists in 42 regular-season games, helping North Dakota to its second consecutive Frozen Four.

Schmaltz had 64 points (13 goals, 51 assists) in 125 regular-season NCAA games and earned NCHC Second Team All-Star honors in 2014 and 2015.

Schmaltz signed a three-year entry level contract May 28.

Projected NHL arrival: 2017-18

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