Friday, August 29, 2008

The Pickup Flying Under Everyone’s Radar

A lot of people are talking about pickups like Marian Hossa in Detroit , Naslund in New York, and rookie stars like Stamkos, Doughty, and Schenn, for good reason of course.

Me, I’m ranting and raving about draftees like Jake Gardiner, Aaron Ness, and Joe Gleason (for good reason, just wait a few years.)

The biggest pickup, for the future, of course, might be the Blues signing goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux out of the University of North Dakota.

Lamoureux played three years with the USHL’s Lincoln Stars, averaging a .917 save percentage before moving on to the U of North Dakota where he was a full- time starter his junior and senior years, amassing ten shutouts and a .917 save percentage also.

The two knocks against Lamoureux are: Number one, he’s liable under pressure. I saw him play in the WCHA frozen four for UND, and he let in 6 goals versus Boston College. In the NHL spotlight, although in a small market like St. Louis, how he performs is anyone’s guess.

The other knock on Lamoureux is that he’s 5’8”. The only goalies under 5’ that have made it, that I remember anyways, are Chris Osgood, Manny Legace and Martin Gerber, and all three of those goalies have had trouble holding starting roles.

All told, one of the biggest things Lamoureux has going for him is his work ethic. He realizes his size holds him back to an extent, so he works on some other asset of his game. He’s got an amazing glove hand, one of the best I’ve ever seen, which kind of makes up for his lack of size.

Lamoureux is also in the Blues organization with former UND teammate and Hobey Baker winner TJ Oshie. Oshie should make the NHL team out of training camp, while Lamoureux will most likely get shipped out to the AHL or ECHL. Who knows though, the thought of someday playing with a former teammate might be just the confidence boost Lamoureux needs.