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Blues Draft Four

NEWARK  – The St. Louis Blues selected four total players in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark.  With their first pick overall, the Blues selected defenseman Thomas Vannelli in the second round, 47th overall.  The Blues then traded the 83rd, 94th and 113th overall picks to Edmonton in exchange for an additional second round pick (57th overall), which they used to select forward William Carrier.  In addition, the Blues sent the 203rd overall pick and a 4th round pick in 2014 to Nashville in exchange for a fourth round pick (112th overall), which they used to draft St. Louis native, foward Zach Pochiro.  With their final pick, the Blues drafted defenseman Santeri Saari in the sixth round, 173rd overall.

Vannelli, 18, split last season between Minnetonka of the Minnesota High School League (MSHSL) and Team USA (U-18) of the United States Hockey League (USHL), leading Minnetonka defensemen with 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 25 games while recording two points (one goal, one assist) in 14 games with Team USA.   In addition, Vannelli appeared in five games during the 2012 USA Hockey Select 17 Player Development Camp registering six points (one goal, five assists) in six games.  In 2011-12, the Minneapolis, Minnesota native also led Minnetonka defensemen with 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) in 28 games.  The 6’2”, 165-pound defenseman was ranked 44thamong North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Carrier, 18, has spent the past three seasons with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s (QMJHL) Cape Breton Screaming Eagles including 2012-13, when he led the club as an Assistant Captain with 42 points including 16 goals and 26 assists to go along with 41 penalty minutes in 34 games.  In addition, Carrier served as the lone representative for his team at the 2012 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Canada-Russia Super Series, appearing in two games.  In 2011-12, the 6’2, 198-pound forward finished second on the team with 70 points including 27 goals and 43 assists to go along with 65 penalty minutes in 66 games.  Carrier also helped Team Canada earn the Bronze Medal at the 2012 Under-18 World Championship, dressing in all seven games.  In 2010-11, his QMJHL rookie season, Carrier posted 12 points including eight goals and four assists as well as 54 penalty minutes in 61 games.  The La Salle, Quebec native was ranked 18thamong North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
      Pochiro, 19, appeared in 65 games for the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars in 2012-13, ranking third on the club with 39 points including 15 goals and 24 assists while leading the Cougars with 105 penalty minutes.  In 2011-12, the 6’1, 161-pound forward dressed in 52 games for the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) Wichita Falls Wildcats, leading the club with 34 points including 18 goals and 16 assists to go along with 154 penalty minutes.  A native of St. Louis, Pochiro was ranked 173rd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Saari, 18, dressed in 46 games for Jokerit Jr. of the Finland-Jr. League in 2012-13, posting 23 points including five goals and 18 assists to go along with 34 penalty minutes.  In addition, the 6’2, 191-pound defenseman dressed in seven games with K-Vantaa of the Finland-2 League as well as two games with Jokerit Helsinki of Finland’s SM-liiga.  In 2011-12, Saari appeared in 13 games with Jokerit Jr. logging four points (two goals, two assists) and 10 penalty minutes while also registering 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) and 48 penalty minutes in 33 games with Jokerit U-18 of the Finland-Jr. U-18 League.  The Helsinki, Finland native was ranked 116th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

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