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30 in 30

Top prospects for St. Louis Blues

Petteri Lindbohm, Jordan Schmaltz, Vince Dunn offer defensive depth

by Louie Korac / Correspondent is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 30 teams throughout August. Today, the St. Louis Blues.

The St. Louis Blues focused on selecting centers at the 2016 NHL Draft, feeling the need to replenish a system lacking at the position. Tage Thompson, the No. 26 pick, headlined the group.

But most of the prospects ready to make the jump to the NHL are defensemen and their arrival could make it a position of strength.

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Here are the Blues' top five prospects, according to

1. Ty Rattie, RW

How acquired: Selected with No. 32 pick in 2011 NHL Draft

Last season: St. Louis: 13 GP, 4-2-6; Chicago (AHL): 62 GP, 17-29-46

Rattie, 23, has been touted as one of the up-and-coming prospects the past couple of seasons but has not been able to stay in the NHL. He will have his best chance at making the opening roster this season with the Blues going with youth and will have every opportunity to battle for a top-nine role in training camp.

Rattie (6-foot, 178 pounds) was the Chicago Wolves' third-leading scorer last season and had 136 points (69 goals, 67 assists) in three seasons in the American Hockey League. That followed a junior career with Portland of the Western Hockey League, where Rattie had 348 points (151 goals, 197 assists) in 269 games through four-plus seasons.

"With a younger, different lineup, it's going to give Ty Rattie an opportunity to come in and gain a spot," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "I look at it as windows, and what we've always talked about is as one window closes, we want to have this window propped up."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: STL@CAR: Rattie beats Ward to open scoring in 1st

2. Petteri Lindbohm, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 176 pick in 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: St. Louis: 10 GP, 0-0-0; Chicago (AHL): 43 GP, 3-8-11

Lindbohm, who will turn 23 on Sept. 23, burst onto the scene in 2014 when the Blues had injuries on defense and he filled in admirably. He made an impression with management and the coaching staff but couldn't push his way into a full-time role last season because of St. Louis' depth.

Lindbohm (6-3, 198) likely will be one of the top call-ups.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

3. Jordan Schmaltz, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 25 pick in 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Chicago (AHL): 71 GP, 6-30-36

Schmaltz, 22, is part of a group of defensemen having a tough time breaking into the NHL with the Blues. His first season in the AHL left a favorable impression, and he will get a good look in training camp.

Schmaltz (6-2, 190) is expected to play a second season with the Wolves, but like Lindbohm will be among the players summoned should injuries become a factor.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

4. Ville Husso, G

How acquired: Selected with No. 94 pick in 2014 NHL Draft

Last season: HIFK Helsinki (SWE): 39 GP, 25-8-6, 1.91 GAA, .927 SV%

Husso, 21, will make the jump to North America and should vie for a spot in the AHL with the Wolves but could skate in the ECHL.

Husso's size (6-3, 205) falls in line with goalies in the NHL today, one reason St. Louis has high hopes for him.

"He's impressive," Blues goalie development coach Ty Conklin said. "He's a guy who's been playing against men for two or three years. He looks very comfortable. He's a confident kid anyway."

Projected NHL arrival: 2018-19

5. Vince Dunn, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 56 pick in 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Niagara (OHL): 52 GP, 12-31-43

Injury slowed Dunn, 19, last season but the left-handed shooting defenseman was able to put up solid numbers after having 56 points (18 goals, 38 assists) in 68 games the previous season.

Dunn (6-0, 187) had a strong first training camp with the Blues last year and has a realistic chance of playing in the AHL this season.

Projected NHL arrival: 2018-19

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