Friday, July 8, 2022

Husso traded for third-round pick; Blues select five prospects on final day of draft

Goalie goes to Red Wings, who sign him to three-year contract 
worth $4.75 million AAV; goal-scorer Snuggerud taken in first round 

ST. LOUIS -- After keeping their first-round pick on Thursday and selecting right wing Jimmy Snuggerud, the Blues were expected to have just four picks on the final day of the 2022 NHL Draft on Friday in Montreal.
Ville Husso

But trades change things, and the Blues added another third-round pick after they traded the rights to goalie Ville Husso to the Detroit Red Wings after coming to the conclusion that there was no chance in bringing the Finnish netminder back to tandem with Jordan Binnington.

The Red Wings announced they signed Husso to a three-year contract for a reported $4.75 million average annual value, which was more than what the Blues were looking to pay for a 1A/1B tandem.

So the Blues are in the market for a backup to Binnington. They could very well bring someone in from the outside, or they could stay within the organization and elevate Charlie Lindgren, who tag-teamed with Joel Hofer in Springfield and helped lead the Thunderbirds to the Calder Cup Final and who was sensational when called up by the Blues earlier last season, going 5-0-0 with a 1.22 goals-against average and .958 save percentage.

Lindgren, who signed a one-year, two-way contract last summer, could also be an unrestricted free agent, so it will be interesting to see where the Blues go from here.

They will be big shoes to fill after Husso completed a very solid 25-7-6 regular-season with a 2.56 GAA and .919 save percentage, helping the Blues in a time when Binnington struggled during the regular season. Husso started the playoffs for the Blues but was replaced by Binnington in Game 4 of the first round against the Minnesota Wild but got back in when Binnington was injured in Game 3 of the second round against the Colorado Avalanche, going 2-5 with a 3.67 GAA and .890 save percentage.

The Red Wings were obviously wanting Husso and were willing to part with a higher pick to get his rights, and the Blues did themselves well to get something out of it. Otherwise, Husso would have walked as a UFA.

Husso will reunite with former Blues teammates Oskar Sundqvist, Robby Fabbri and Jake Walman in Motown.

As for their picks, general manager Doug Armstrong left it open as to what the Blues would do with the 23rd pick. Moving up would be difficult, staying pat and making the selection was an option or moving back and acquiring more picks was definitely on the table. 

The Blues chose to remain pat and picked 6-foot-1, 188-pound Snuggerud, who played for USA's U-18 national developmental program, playing 59 games and finishing with 63 points (24 goals, 39 assists); he will play for the University of Minnesota this fall:

With no second-round pick after trading it to the New York Rangers last off-season along with Sammy Blais for Pavel Buchnevich, the Blues used their pick from Detroit (No. 73) to grab Finnish center Aleksanteri Kaskimaki (6-0, 196), who last played for HIFK JR. in the Finland-Jr. League; he finished with 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 31 games:

With their third-round pick, No. 88 overall, the Blues finally went defenseman and grabbed Guelph Storm's Michael Buchinger (6-0, 181). Buchinger played in 63 games for the Ontario Hockey League squad and the lefty finished with 44 points (five goals, 39 assists):

With their fourth-round pick (No. 120), the Blues went back overseas and selected Russian left-handed defenseman Arseni Koromyslov (6-3, 180), who played 42 games for SKA St. Petersburg of the Russia-Jr. League, putting up 19 points (four goals, 15 assists):

The Blues made it three straight defensemen with their fifth-round pick (No. 152), going to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and taking Acadie-Bathurst's Marc-Andre Gaudet (6-3, 180), where the left-hander had 38 points (13 goals, 25 assists):

And with their sixth-round pick, the Blues went to the London Knights of the OHL and picked right wing Landon Sim (5-10, 166), who had 21 points (12 goals, nine assists) in 68 games:

The Blues did not hold a seventh-round pick this year after trading it, along with goalie Jake Allen, to the Montreal Canadiens for third- and seventh-round picks in 2020.

Blues forwards Ivan Barbashev and Jordan Kyrou were on hand to play cheerleaders for their respective younger brothers, each who was drafted on Friday.

Kyrou's brother Christian, a defenseman, was picked in the second round (No. 50) by the Dallas Stars, and Barbashev had to wait longer to see his younger brother Maxim, a left wing, get picked but he finally went with the final pick of the fifth round (No. 161) by the New York Rangers.

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