Armstrong shares approach to first-round pick at 2022 NHL Draft

As of right now, the St. Louis Blues are expected to make their first pick in the 2022 NHL Draft at No. 23 overall.

General Manager Doug Armstrong hinted that could change, though.

“There are some guys we’re excited about that we think will be there (for us) at No. 23,” Armstrong said. “If they’re not there, we’ve studied the teams that have multiple picks in the late 20s and early 30s to potentially move back. We’ve contacted those teams, so now it’s just a wait-and-see attitude when you start crossing names off on Thursday night.”

Round 1 begins Thursday at 6 p.m. CT at Bell Centre in Montreal (ESPN, ESPN+), while Rounds 2-7 will be held Friday beginning at 10 a.m.

While Armstrong said he would consider moving back, he also stated he didn’t force a scenario in which he would trade up for a higher selection in the first round.

“As of today, I haven’t visualized any way that we can move up, and I haven’t been presented with an idea from another team on how they see we can move up,” he said. “So I don’t see us making a move higher into the draft, but again, that all changes with one phone call and one idea of someone smarter than me that has (something) that I can’t come up with right now.”

Wherever the club picks, Armstrong said his philosophy would be to select the best player available – not necessarily to address the current team’s biggest needs.

“The needs of today’s team shouldn’t reflect in what we do at the Draft,” he said. “The player that we select at No. 23 if we select there, you’re probably looking is three years away, maybe two if he fast tracks to playing in the NHL – and that’s just playing, that’s not contributing in the NHL – that’s just getting your eight to 11 minutes a night and finding your way. What we need today could change tomorrow with one trade of an NHL player, so we need to take the best player available.”

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