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Blues Take Jaden Schwartz With 14th Pick In NHL Draft

With their first pick in the 2010 NHL Draft the St. Louis Blues selected Jaden Schwartz, of the USHL Tri-City Storm. SB Nation blog Western College Hockey had this to say about the undersized playmaker:

Jaden Schwartz first got noticed in a big way in 2007-2008, when he broke scoring records held by NHL stars Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards at the famous Notre Dame Prep School in Saskatchewan.(Despite that, it should be noted Schwartz likely won’t even be the first player off that Notre Dame Midget team to be picked in the draft, with that honor going to Brandon Gormley. Another ND teammate, Sean Couturier, may be next year’s top overall pick) Schwartz, despite not being the biggest player, hasn’t stopped scoring since. After a successful season in the SJHL, Schwartz decided to raise the level of competition in his draft year and play for Tri-City in the USHL. He did nothing less than impress by leading the league in scoring.

Schwartz is coming into the NHL Draft at the right time. Years ago, a player with his size would have been heavily downgraded, but the latest focus in the NHL is on finding extremely skilled players, regardless of size, and Schwartz definitely fits that bill. He’s like a slightly less-polished—or some might argue merely less-hyped—version of Jeff Skinner, who may reach the top 10 of the draft. Schwartz will likely be on the bubble between the late first round and early second round.

The risk in taking a player like him is that if he can’t continue scoring at such a rapid pace in the pro level, there’s really not a lot else he’s going to provide a team, but if a team is willing to swing for the fences, they may end up with a home run in Schwartz.