The Best St. Louis Blues Picks in Each Round of the NHL Draft: Fourth Round

Continuing with our series of the best St. Louis Blues draft picks, we head on to the fourth round of the NHL Draft, where the team found one of the best goalies during the 1980s. In case you’ve missed it, we revisited the best fifth, sixth, and seventh round draft picks in the team’s history earlier this week.

Our list of the best fourth-rounders includes four retired players and three honorable mentions. Two honorable mentions currently play on the Blues, while the other started his career with the team before being traded.

Reminder, the career statistics for players include data from both the regular season and playoffs.

Goaltender: Mike Liut

56th overall, 1976

Liut was one of the top goaltenders in the NHL during the 1980s. He was the Blues’ starting netminder from 1979-1985 before he was traded to the Hartford Whalers during the 1984-85 season for goaltender Greg Millen and forward Mark Johnson. Liut remains the team’s franchise leader in games played (347) and wins (151). Jordan Binnington sits only six wins back of his record.

Liut won the Ted Lindsay Trophy and was a finalist for the Hart Trophy (runner-up to Wayne Gretzky) in 1980-81. Additionally, he was awarded the Lester B. Pearson Trophy as the league’s MVP as voted by his peers.

The Blues made it to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1984 but lost in Game 7 to Minnesota. In those playoffs, the fourth-rounder was a stud in net for his squad, posting a playoff-best .920 save percentage.

During the 1980s, Liut recorded the most wins (239), shutouts (22), and games played (544). He played the 10th-most games (730) amongst players out of the 1976 draft class, most amongst goaltenders. Liut finished his career in 1992 with the Washington Capitals.

Right Wing: Jamal Mayers

89th overall, 1993

the best st. louis blues picks in each round of the nhl draft: fourth round

© Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Mayers spent 10 seasons in St. Louis and is the longest-tenured fourth round pick in Blues history. The Toronto, Ontario native was best known as a fighter and a player who always had his teammates' back. No St. Louis player played more games (643) from 1996-2008 than Mayers. He was an impactful bottom six forward and racked up 776 penalty minutes during his time, seven shorthanded goals, 254 hits (third-most), and 96 blocks (fourth-most amongst forwards).

It seems like the Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues have had a strong trading relationship over the years. Jamal was traded in June 2008 to the Maple Leafs in exchange for a third round pick. He spent only one-and-a-half seasons in the pressure-packed city before being involved in the seven-player trade that sent Dion Phaneuf to Toronto from Calgary.

Mayers finished his career in Chicago and although he didn’t play in the 2013 playoffs for the team (played 19 games in the 48-game lockout-shortened season), and didn’t meet the 23-game requirement to have his name on the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks got his name engraved on the trophy and had him end his career as a Stanley Cup Champion.

He represented Canada as an assistant captain at the 2007 World Championship where he won gold and then followed it up with a silver medal in the 2008 tournament. Mayers now works as an analyst with Sportsnet in Canada.

Center: Michal Handzuš

101st overall, 1995

the best st. louis blues picks in each round of the nhl draft: fourth round

NHL linesman Brian Murphy (left) separates Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus (26) from St. Louis Blues center Steve Ott (29) during the first period in game four of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs © Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Stanley Cup Champion with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013, Michal Handzuš, was picked 101st overall by the Blues in 1995 but spent only two-and-a-half seasons (1998-2001) in Missouri. Handzuš might be most remembered by St. Louis fans for his involvement in the significant trade that brought Keith Tkachuk to the Blues in March 2001.

The Slovak center played 15 seasons in the NHL with Phoenix, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Chicago. One of his best seasons offensively came with St. Louis in 1990-2000 when he put up 25 goals and 53 points in 82 games and was a finalist for the Selke Trophy. He was a member of the Blues’ “Slovak Pack” line with Pavol Demitra and Ľuboš Bartečko.

The big 6-foot-4 Slovak center was best known as a defensive specialist during his playing days, suiting up in 1,126 NHL games (seventh-most in his draft class), and registering 529 points. From 1998-2014, Handzuš took the eighth most faceoffs in the league (7,725) with a career percentage of 51%.

Internationally, he’s a two-time silver medalist and won gold at the 2002 World Championship with Slovakia. Furthermore, Handzuš played out his final year back home with HC Banska Bystrica and won the Championship in the top Slovak league.

Right Wing: Tony Currie

63rd overall, 1977

Tony Currie’s time in St. Louis was short-lived, but he deserves a mention as one of the Blues’ best fourth round picks due to his offensive production during his time with the team. Currie played 220 games, recording 172 points with the Blues from 1977-1982. His best season came in 1980-81 when he scored 23 goals and 55 points in 61 regular season games and added another 16 points in 11 playoff games.

Currie spent years in Vancouver and Hartford to end his NHL career before heading overseas to play in Europe from 1986-1990. He retired in 1990.

The next three players are honorable mentions, all still playing in the NHL today.

Goaltender: Joel Hofer

107th overall, 2018

the best st. louis blues picks in each round of the nhl draft: fourth round

© Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

The current backup goaltender with St. Louis, Joel Hofer, was a fourth-rounder and was the seventh goalie selected in the 2018 draft. Hofer only played 21 games in his draft year with the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL, but the Blues scouting staff recognized his potential. That potential was further identified as he backstopped Canada to a gold medal at the 2020 World Juniors. He was voted the tournament’s best goaltender after recording a 1.60 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage.

The 23-year-old netminder is coming off his first full-time season in the NHL and showcased the potential of forming a strong tandem in St. Louis with Jordan Binnington. It wouldn’t be surprising if GM Doug Armstrong has received calls asking about his young goaltender, but the team would be wise to hang on to Hofer and develop him into a potential starter.

Hofer also has a goal under his name.

Left Wing/Right Wing: Alexey Toropchenko

113th overall, 2017

the best st. louis blues picks in each round of the nhl draft: fourth round

© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The other fourth-rounder currently on St. Louis is Russian winger, Alexey Toropchenko, who really made a name for himself during the 2022 playoffs. He quickly earned the trust of former coach Craig Berube through his play as a power forward in a depth role. He had an eight-game stretch where he played less than 10 minutes in each game, but after the Berube firing, Toropchenko earned the trust of Head Coach Drew Bannister, playing 12-14 minutes a night.

Toropchenko turns 25 in a few days and enters the final year of his contract. He’s a useful penalty killer for the Blues who averages over a minute of shorthanded ice time per game. And in the last two seasons combined, he’s third on the team in hits (287) and first in blocked shots (101) amongst forwards.

Goaltender: Ville Husso

94th overall, 2014

the best st. louis blues picks in each round of the nhl draft: fourth round

© Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Look, another goaltender. The Blues scouting staff deserve a ton of credit for identifying NHL-caliber goalies in the draft. Husso was the ninth netminder selected off the board at the 2014 NHL Draft and broke into the NHL during the 2021-22 season in just his second season with the team. He recorded a stellar 25-7-6 record, a 2.56 goals-against average, and a .919 save percentage. However, his performance in net fell off in the playoffs.

Since the Blues were already committed to Jordan Binnington, they shopped Husso and acquired a third-rounder from Detroit in the summer of 2022. The Finnish netminder has had a rough go in the Motor City and with the emergence of Joel Hofer, it appears that St. Louis made the right decision of moving on from Husso.

Next up in our series is the best third round draft picks.

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