When the St. Louis Blues drafted Alex Pietrangelo with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, they knew they had a pretty good defenseman on their hands. It was hard not to in the top five that year as Drew Doughty and Luke Schenn (he was good back then) were also taken in the top five.
What they didn’t know is Pietrangelo could very well challenge Dought for the best defenseman to come out of that draft. While Doughty might have made the Olympics first in 2010, Pietrangelo will make his debut five days from now when the 2014 edition of Team Canada starts their tournament.
He has also now something that Doughty hasn’t done. With his assist in this past Thursday’s game, Pietrangelo became the first defenseman since Dion Phaneuf to record at least 40 points in his first three seasons in the NHL.
To achieve this is obviously no small feat as Phaneuf accomplished it from 2005 to 2008. So it’s been six years since anyone has accomplished it. This feat is just another symbol of why Pietrangelo is a future Norris Trophy Candidate and will probably be a staple on Team Canada’s defense if NHLers continue to participate in the Olympics.
With Pietrangelo’s style of play, it would not be a surprise to see this streak of 40+ point seasons for quite some time. Pietrangelo has the potential to be one of the best defensemen in this generation of players. The Blues definitely don’t regret that pick they used to take Pietrangelo.