• RSS

2007 NHL Draft Review with Jarmo Kekalainen

Wednesday, 06.27.2007 / 2:11 AM CT / St Louis Blues - News
St. Louis Blues
Share with your Friends

2007 NHL Draft Review with Jarmo Kekalainen
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues selected 10 players in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The team selected forwards Lars Eller, David Perron, Simon Hjalmarsson, Travis Erstad, Trevor Nill, Aaron Palushaj, Brett Sonne along with defensemen Ian Cole, Cade Fairchild and Anthony Peluso.

Eller, 18, a native of Rodovre, Denmark, spent last season with Frolunda of the Swedish Junior League recording 55 points (18 goals, 37 assists) in 39 games played. He ranked first on the team with 55 points and 37 assists.

“Lars is a skilled playmaking center with good size and strength,” said Blues Assistant General Manager & Director of Amateur Scouting, Jarmo Kekalainen. “He sees the ice very well and is a creative offensive player.”

The 6-1, 198-pound forward represented Denmark at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships, recording 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in five games played. Eller was ranked third among all European Skaters by Central Scouting.

Cole, 18, an Ann Arbor, Michigan native spent last season with the U.S. National Under-18 team, scoring 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) in 49 games played. He guided Team USA to the silver medal at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships in Finland, scoring five points (four goals, one assist) in seven games played. The 6-1, 211-pound blueliner will attend the University of Notre Dame in the fall.

“Ian is a strong two-way defenseman,” said Kekalainen. “He is hard to play against and makes a good first pass out of the defensive zone. He sees the ice very well and has good poise with the puck. He also brings some grit and character to the Blue depth chart of defensemen.”

Perron, 19, spent last season with Lewiston of the QMJHL, recording 83 points (39 goals, 44 assists) in 70 games played. He led all rookies in goal scoring with 39 goals and finished second overall among all QMJHL rookies in points.

“David is a highly skilled forward with excellent hands and offensive instincts,” said Kekalainen.

The 6-0, 180-pound left winger played in the CHL Top Prospects Game, registering an assist. He was ranked 10th among all North American Skaters by Central Scouting.

The Blues selected right wing Simon Hjalmarsson with the 39th pick of the draft. Hjalmarsson, 18, a Varnamo, Sweden native, skated in 41 games with Frolunda of the Swedish Junior League last season, recording 54 points (31 goals, 23 assists) along with 91 penalty minutes. The 5-11, 161-pound forward represented Team Sweden at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships in Finland, leading his team while finishing tied for fifth in the tournament with nine points (four goals, five assists). He was ranked sixth among all European Skaters by Central Scouting.

“Simon is a pure scorer,” said Kekalainen. He played on the same as Eller with the Frolunda Junior Team. He is a competitive player who needs to get stronger, but he has all the tools and has great potential.”

With the 44th pick, St. Louis selected right wing Aaron Palushaj. The Livonia, Michigan native, played last season with Des Moines of the USHL, recording 67 points (22 goals, 45 assists) in 56 games played. He finished second on the team in points and assists. The 5-11, 187-pound winger will attend the University of Michigan in the fall.

“Aaron is a competitor, a warrior who can also score,” said Kekalainen.

The Blues picked forward Brett Sonne with the 85th selection. He skated in 71 games with the Calgary Hitmen last season, recording 30 points (21 goals, nine assists) along with 65 penalty minutes. The Chilliwack, British Columbia native, represented Team Canada at the Under-18 World Championships in 2006, scoring two goals in the gold medal game helping Team Canada capture the Gold. The 5-11, 200-pound forward was one of 40 draft eligible players selected to participate in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game.

“Brett is a heart and soul type of player,’ said Kekalainen. “He works extremely hard and finishes every check. He has the ability to score the big goals.”

With the 96th overall pick, the team selected defenseman Cade Fairchild from the U.S. National Development Team. The 5-11, 186-pound blueliner tallied 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 40 games played for the U.S. National Development Team. He represented Team USA at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships in Finland, recording seven points (one goal, six assists). The Duluth, Minnesota native will attend the University of Minnesota in the fall.

“Cade is a skilled, puck moving defenseman who knows when and how to join the rush,” said Kekalainen. “He has excellent timing and hockey sense.”

St. Louis selected forward Travis Erstad with the 100th pick. The Madison, Wisconsin native, played for Stevens Point, a Wisconsin high-school, recording 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists) in 20 games played. He also skated in eight games for Lincoln of the USHL. The 6-4, 182-pound forward will attend the University of Wisconsin in the fall.

“Travis is a player with a lot of raw tools,” said Kekalainen. “He has excellent size and is a good skater with hands and feel for the game.”

The Blues picked defenseman Anthony Peluso with the 160th pick. He spent last season with the Erie Otters of the OHL. The 6-3, 222-pound defenseman skated in 52 games, recording 10 points (seven goals, three assists). The King City, Ontario native led the team with 176 penalty minutes.

“Anthony is a tough player who played defense last year and racked up 176 penalty minutes,” said Kekalainen. “The Blues would like to see Anthony continue his career as a forward which he played until a couple of years ago. He is tough to play against and is willing to drop his gloves when needed.”

St. Louis selected forward Trevor Nill with the final pick, 190th overall. The 6-3, 185-pound forward played for Compuware Major Midget Team, recording 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists) in 53 games played.

“Trevor is a big forward with a lot of character,” said Kekalainen. “He is a good skater with very good work ethic. He will play in Penticton of the BCHL next year and has a full scholarship to Michigan State the year after.”




1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56


V. Tarasenko 77 37 36 27 73
A. Steen 74 24 40 8 64
J. Schwartz 75 28 35 13 63
D. Backes 80 26 32 7 58
T. Oshie 72 19 36 17 55
P. Stastny 74 16 30 5 46
A. Pietrangelo 81 7 39 -2 46
J. Lehtera 75 14 30 21 44
K. Shattenkirk 56 8 36 19 44
P. Berglund 77 12 15 -2 27
B. Elliott 26 14 3 .917 2.26
J. Allen 22 7 4 .913 2.28

Full Season
Half Season
12-Game Plans
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
STH Portal
NHL Ticket Exchange
View From Your Seat

In the System
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Alaska Aces

Regular Season
Schedule Downloads

Player Stats
League Standings

Blues Overtime Blog

Video Channels
Game Highlights


Find a Player
Mobile App
E-mail Subscriptions

Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Photo Galleries
License Plates

Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics

stlouisblues.com is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, stlouisblues.com and stlblues.com are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.