The first of the gushing compliments about Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was dropped in December 2010 before a Blues-Detroit game.

"It looks like he's been touched by a wand by God," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told the Post-Dispatch.

Five months later, Pietrangelo suited up for Team Canada at the 2011 world championships, where Ken Hitchcock was his coach.

"He has the same puck patience characteristics as Nick Lidstrom," the future Blues coach told reporters that May. "He's calm when he should panic … he has that quality about him that's very, very unique where he does not panic when he's under challenging situations."