3View: St. Louis Jr. Blues | North American Tier III Hockey League | NA3HL
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3View: St. Louis Jr. Blues

September 4, 2023

The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2023-24 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 2023-24 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 2022-23 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

Head Coach: Matt Ocello

2022-23 Record: 47 GP, 8-39-0, 16 pts. (6th in Central Division)

2022-23 Leading Scorer: Jacob Heuerman (24 points)

2022-23 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2023-24 Division: Central

The St. Louis Jr. Blues, a staple of the NA3HL since its inception, are gearing up for a crucial 2023-24 season. After struggling in recent history, including finishing 6th in the Central Division with an 8-39-0 record this past year, the franchise is determined to return to their winning ways.

The Jr. Blues hold a lot of history in the NA3HL. They are the proud record-holders of the most Fraser/Silver Cups, with a remarkable eight championships to their name. Since the establishment of the NA3HL, the Jr. Blues have been a symbol of excellence and success.

Coach Matt Ocello, himself an alumnus of the team, knows the significance of this legacy and the expectations that come with it. “Our program is a very historic program and has a strong legacy.  We need to make sure that all our players recognize that our new coaching staff has the highest expectations of our players to compete at the highest level. We want to make sure the players understand the importance of representing the Jr. Blues both on the ice and off the ice. We owe it to the program, our alumni and to the league to have a successful season,” Ocello stated.

The Jr. Blues roster boasts several key returners, including forward Connor Westbrock and Ryan Callahan, both veterans with great leadership qualities. Matthew Mahoney, Kenneth Henning, and Jordan Behnen are expected to make significant contributions as well.

Ocello shared his thoughts on the newcomers. “With the combination of our ten veterans that have returned and our tender signings, we believe that we have players that are committed to working hard and improving every day. Being very familiar with the players in St. Louis, we have signed ten players who played at the AAA level last season in the NAPHL or T1EHL. We have also added the top players from our Affton Americans U18 CSDHL Tier II team.”

The coaching staff is another asset for the Jr. Blues. With over 150 years of combined coaching experience at all levels of the game, they are well-equipped to guide and develop the players. Their primary goal is player development, helping them progress to the next level while remaining competitive and pushing for a spot in the Fraser Cup Playoffs.

As the St. Louis Jr. Blues set their sights on the 2023-24 season, they do so with a rich history behind them and a determination to return to their prolonged success. Coach Ocello and his team are driven by the legacy of the franchise and are working tirelessly to make the Jr. Blues a force in the NA3HL again. With renewed hope, and a rich history to uphold, the Jr. Blues look to build on their storied legacy.

The Jr. Blues kick their season off in front of their home fans against Peoria on Friday, September 15th.

Next Up: Texas Brahmas

 
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