The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed one of their prized prospects on Monday afternoon, as Jaden Schwartz has ended his NCAA hockey career with Colorado College and will now join his NHL club after signing a 3-year entry-level deal. The salary and cap hit have not been disclosed, as of mid-afternoon on Monday, but you would probably be safe to assume that he would be making the rookie maximum salary for 2012, which is $925,000, and bonuses won't likely be leaked out for another day or two.
Schwartz has posted some pretty good numbers for Colorado College in the WCHA division of university hockey in the States, posting over 40 points in 30 games in both 2011 and 2012 seasons and the 19-year old will be added to the St. Louis Blues roster, joining the team in Chicago for Tuesday. There is no guarantee that Schwartz will suit up right away for the Blues, but just knowing that he will be there is a pretty good boost for the team, if his scouting is anything to go by.
Schwartz could possibly burn off one of his entry-level deal years, as the Blues do have 12 games left in the regular season and he would only have to play in 10 of those games. With some injury concerns to the team at the moment, Schwartz could fill in right away and try to be effective.
This will be a great audition for those looking to make some notes for next season's draft. The biggest things to look at while watching Schwartz in the Blues line-up, when he gets penciled in, is how well we stacks up physically against the larger men of the NHL. Generally speaking, hands and talent can generally be imported into the NHL game without much of a hiccup, but it is the physical wherewithal that makes the biggest difference in a young player's game. If Schwartz is ready to stack up, I would be ready to bump up his 2013 projections to something draft-worthy.