Jarmo Kekalainen was a successful scout, assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting for the St. Louis Blues. His list of scores at the draft ranges from T.J. Oshie and David Perron to Alex Pietrangelo. He was generally a "best player available" guy, which meant at times the Blues draft haul was heavy at one position or another. But that's not the scout's problem; it's the general manager's problem. And Blues GM Doug Armstrong handled an imbalance in the Blues asset portfolio -- inherited from Kekalainen -- in ways that are paying off handsomely for the Blues in 2013. Going back to the beginning of the Blues rebuild, after former owner Bill Laurie essentially stripped the team (good bye, Chris Pronger) and sold them for parts, the team faced a decision with the first overall draft pick in 2006. Go with forward? Jonathan Toews and Phil Kessel were available. Or go with defense? Hot Minnesota product Erik Johnson was available too. The Blues selected Johnson, entering the debate of whether you can project a franchise defenseman at age 18 or not. But more importantly for Doug Armstrong several years later, the Blues that year selected the first of what would be three blue chip right-shooting defensemen.
St. Louis Blues asset management
SB Nation | Feb 7