There's a lot of interesting players in this draft. As always it depends on who is drafting in front of you and who they chose and how you have your draft board ranked.
I'm of the opinion that you go for skill heavily balanced with character. You only break from character in later rounds looking for home-run picks, the kind which can gain value in a potential trade.
So some of the things we have learned since the lock out are:
1)Young players are bringing more skill and speed to the game.
2)Young players are more capabel at this point of having an impact on the game(One caveat I'd mention is that this will slow down a bit as the talent changes).
3) Goaltending and dfense are still of the harder positions to draft for concerning fullfilling potential.
4) One of the most important positions to draft is center. Size, character and skill does matter.
The best teams tend to have large, strong, skilled with speed centers. That is one of the main patterns thus far. Center as you probably know is an important position because they play the full ice surface and take draws. They in effect control the game. These teams hae this even more so than a number dominant defenseman. Though that of course helps. But they do have a defenseman that can run a power play and another that is pretty dominant in their own end.
You can also move young centers to the wing with far more sucess than the reverse.
Thus the Blues have been smart to load up in the draft with centers and defensmen. The problem is that a number of these centers don't have the size or as of yet haven't developed the killler offensive skills as of yet to be a dominant force.
The Blues should soon be reaping rewards on their drafted defensemen. They will also have to continue to refill that cupboard.
The Blues are weak in developing goaltenders and having goaltenders in the system.
That is why at this time where the Blues draft they will likely consider players like Austin Watson, Riley Sheahan and Jack Campbell. I had hoped that they'd have a shot at Jeffery Skinner because so many people hadn't paid him too much attention until recently. Recently he's broke out in the play offs having scored at a ridiculous pace against some of the top talent.
But with the draft you don't just draft on stats but also on potential. When you weigh potential into the mix I think it would be best to handicap their potential based on their character. The worse their character the less you should rely on their potential. The same should be said about those who have shown themselves. The Blues have been decent in this aspect so far but decent is not good enough.
They need to stress character in their considerations. It's been my feeling that some of the veterans that were in effect helping to raise these players have lacked character. One way to insure character and effort are rewarded and stop becoming the exception to is to hold players accountable without reguard to their experience level. When the Blues start to combine these two aspects they will find more success.