(HockeyStL) – He doesn’t play defense and he says he doesn’t have a hard shot like his father, but the Blues could select Ryan MacInnis, son of former Blues defenseman Al, with the 21st pick of the first round in Friday’s NHL draft.
Ryan MacInnis, who was born and grew up in St. Louis, is a 6’3” center weighing in at 185 pound. He has 16 goals and 37 points in 54 games as a rookie in the Ontario Hockey League and within his 2014 draft class, he ranks 20th among North American skaters. And he is the spitting image of his father.
When asked if he has a shot resembling his father, Al won the NHL’s hardest shot competition a record seven times, Ryan told NHL.com, “No, not even close. We’ll go outside a lot whenever I’m home and we’ll shoot a lot. He’ll just feed me one timers and he’ll teach me about the art of shooting.”
NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr says MacInnis is an intelligent skater.
“A responsible, two-way center with a very good hockey IQ,” he said, “He sees the ice and anticipates very well to generate scoring chances. He’s a good playmaker, but just needs to work on his shot and shoot more often.”
His size and hockey sense is attractive, but the reason the Blues lost to the Blackhawks in the 2014 playoffs wasn’t a lack of scoring chances. The Note needs someone who can put the puck in the net.
Which is why the Blues could consider taking little guy Brayden Point, a 5’10” center from Calgary and plays in the Western Hockey League.
The right-handed center has 91 points in 72 games (36 goals-55 assists) with Moose Jaw and moved up in the ranking among North American skaters, from 53 to 31. He finished the season 36 points ahead of the next highest scoring player on his team.
Marr says, “What makes him stand out is that he’s one of those guys who won’t be denied. He has that competitive factor where he can go out there, make a difference and make it at a quick pace.”
These players aren’t expected to make an immediate impact, but Dmitrij Jaskin, who made his debut with the Blues last season was drafted in 2011.
And the Blues have had success with their first round picks, taking Jaskin, Ty Rattie, Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Pietrangelo, Lars Eller, Ian Cole, David Perron, Erik Johnson, Patrik Berglund, TJ Oshie and Barret Jackman all in the first round over the last 14 years. All but three of those players still wear the Note on their chest.
The Blues have nine picks this year, instead of just four in 2013. They have one pick in the first round (21), two in the second (33, 52), one in the third (82), one in the fourth (110), one in the fifth (124), two in the sixth (172, 176) and one in the seventh (202).
The draft will be held in Philadelphia with Round 1 beginning a 6 p.m. on Friday. Round 2-7 take place on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.