3View: St. Louis Jr. Blues
The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2021-22 season, with two teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 3View goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all the head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2021-22 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2020-21 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 3View will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
St. Louis Jr. Blues
2020-21 Record: 21-16-3, 45 pts (3rd in Central Division)
2021 Playoffs: Lost in Division Semifinal
Head Coach: Brian McGlynn
2021-22 Division: Central
Last season marked a sixth consecutive playoff qualification for the St. Louis Jr. Blues, an impressive run which highlight’s the team’s long-standing tradition of success in Junior hockey.
The team’s ability to thrive year after year is no accident — having been a staple of the Junior hockey landscape in the United States since 2000, the Jr. Blues are a destination for players wanting to develop their skills while fighting for a championship.
Following the departure of long-time Head Coach Chris Flaugher, the Jr. Blues will feature a new voice behind the bench in Brian McGlynn, who looks to maintain — and improve upon — the high standard that the organization has set for itself.
“St. Louis has been a Junior hockey program in the US for a long time and prides itself on putting a competitive team on the ice each year. We have a largely new group that is very skilled and young. The key to success lies in the group performing as a ‘team’ and moving through the season with success together. The coaching staff looks forward to helping the players learn and grow through participation in the NA3HL. No team is successful without hard work and commitment and we will count on that as our building blocks to success,” said McGlynn.
McGlynn knows to expect some curveballs in his first year behind the bench. His goals for the year are not driven by statistics or records, but rather by seeing his team steadily improve throughout the roster.
“The measure of success for the Jr. Blues this season will be based on the compete level for the team. The players will dictate the compete level through their hard work and commitment to the game. Individual successes will result in team success, and if the players approach every game with the attitude that they can win, then the season will be viewed as successful,” he said.
The 2021-22 Jr. Blues roster will be refreshed from top to bottom. Just one player — forward Jack Dapron — will return from last year’s squad, affording McGlynn the opportunity to build the team from scratch — his way.
“(Dapron) will lead the way offensively and we count on him to mentor and guide some of the younger players as they navigate through the season. He can be an explosive player and can put up some offense. Defensively, we have a strong group of newcomers who will defend with the best of them. They will become solid performers as they progress through the season,” said McGlynn.
And as he constructs a largely new roster, so too does McGlynn look to put his stamp on the team’s playing style.
“The Jr. Blues fans can expect to see a fast and hardworking brand of hockey. The team believes that it can compete with the top teams and looks forward to the competition,” he said.
Carrying on the tradition of success in St. Louis means more than just winning games. The Jr. Blues committed four players to college last year, marking another season of strong development.
As McGlynn shifts into the head coaching role, he looks forward to propelling more of his players into higher levels of hockey.
“Player advancement is at the top of our list. The Jr. Blues pride themselves on advancing players and plan to continue the tradition. Again, hard work and commitment to the game by the players is necessary for advancement and the staff will assist the players through the journey,” he said.
The bar has been set high in St. Louis, with an impressive playoff qualification streak and a history of championship hockey. But even as the voice behind the bench changes, expect the tradition of success to continue for the Jr. Blues.
Next up: Texas Brahmas