St. Louis Blues’ 2022 Draft Deep Dive: Jimmy Snuggerud

The St. Louis Blues chose Jimmy Snuggerud on Thursday with the 23rd overall pick of the 2022 NHL Draft. He is from the US National Development Program and will attend the University of Minnesota in the 2022-23 season.

Central Scouting Ranking (North America): 11th / THW Ranking: 26th (Baracchini)

Snuggerud is the Blues’ first US-born first-round pick since Tage Thompson in 2016, before that it was Jordan Schmaltz in 2012. Neither player necessarily worked for the Blues, but they used Thompson to take over Ryan O’ . Reilly, so it all worked out in the end.

Overview: what Snuggerud does well

To no one’s surprise, Snuggerud plays a solid two-way game, which is a priority for the Blues. He also possesses a great shot, making him a potential top scorer at the next level. Playing for the US U18 national team this season, he had 20 goals and 56 points in 51 games.

Related: Jimmy Snuggerud – 2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Snuggerud has the perfect build for the Blues, so this choice makes a lot of sense. His shot and two-way ability alone make him worthy of a first-round selection. He also has a high hockey IQ and his strengths make him a strong prospect for the organization moving forward.

Jeremy Snuggerud USNTDP
Jeremy Snuggerud USNTDP (Rena Laverty / USA Hockey’s NTDP)

It looks like general manager Doug Armstrong is trying to make a future vanguard with his last three first-round picks. Snuggerud with Jake Neighbors and Zachary Bolduc would be fun to watch as they would all go really well with their offensive skills and two-way ability. The strengths of Snuggerud’s game make so much sense for why the Blues took him, because it’s all in line with the organization’s philosophy of playing hard against.

Overview: what Snuggerud needs to work on

Not that he should, but Snuggerud’s game definitely falls short compared to his marksmanship. As a winger, I don’t see a great need for him to make those plays with the puck because there’s a chance he’ll have a center down the road like Robert Thomas or Bolduc next to him, and those two would have that elite playing with the puck in front of him.

Other than that, it looks like general development will be the process for Snuggerud. It should be fun to see him in college in Minnesota playing with third overall pick Logan Cooley next season.

Thoughts of scout and concept analyst

(Snuggerud is a…) Powerful offensive weapon with a good size and a range of deadly shots in its repertoire. Has the potential to develop into an effective goalscorer at the NHL level.

Nick Richard –

His (Snuggerud) slick hands allow him to be good in tight spaces and create chances that others couldn’t. He does a great job as a forechecker and is relentless until he gets to the puck. He excels offensively when he is able to play a north-south style of hockey with his good skating skills.

Douglas Larson (from Jimmy Snuggarud Game Report, FChockey, October 10, 2021)

The overall benefit of Snuggerud

Snuggerud is currently projecting as a scoring mid-six winger, according to many concept analysts. I see him as more of a top-six winger down the line, but a lot of that is down to my confidence in the Blues to develop him. He attends a fantastic hockey school and should have plenty of time to develop his skills, and playing with someone like Cooley should help him immensely.

Jeremy Snuggerud USNTDP
Jeremy Snuggerud USNTDP (Rena Laverty / USA Hockey’s NTDP)

Snuggerud’s timeline could align well with Bolduc, with about two or three seasons to develop if needed in Minnesota. His greatest strengths, namely his shot and two-way ability, should be immediately apparent when he heads to the Blues prospect camp this summer. It’ll be fun to see him at camp and in Minnesota while another high-end prospect develops their game to take it to the next level. Ultimately, this was a good choice with quality value for Armstrong.

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