Get to Know Kevin Shattenkirk
Prior to Friday night, odds are that you likely have never heard of Kevin Shattenkirk if you live in the St. Louis area. By Saturday morning, you awoke, rubbed your eyes and realized there'd be two new faces in St. Louis. Chris Stewart has already made a name for himself by scoring 64 points in 77 games for Colorado last season. But who exactly is Kevin Shattenkirk?
The less recognizable piece of the deal that sent Erik Johnson and Jay McClement to Colorado, Shattenkirk is one player that Blues fans should be excited about. Having just turned 22 at the end of January, Shattenkirk is a young defenseman that could bring plenty of offense to the table now that he is with the Blues.
Maybe we should start at the beginning.
Shattenkirk was drafted in the first round (14th overall) by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He decided to attend Boston University following his selection by the Avalanche and went on tie for fourth nationally in scoring amongst freshman defenseman in the 2007-08 season.
In his second year with Boston University, Shattenkirk helped carry his side to a to an NCAA title by scoring 28 points in 43 games. Later that year, he appeared for Team USA in the World Junior Championships and recorded nine points in six games. His eight assists were the most by any defenseman competing at the tournament.
The 2009-10 season was a busy and exciting one for the youngster. He started by skating in 38 games with Boston University (scoring 29 points) before making his professional debut by skating in three games with the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL (scoring two points).
Shattenkirk's 2010-11 has been an even wilder ride.
With the 2010-11 season yet to be completed, the young blueliner has already spent 10 games with Lake Erie in the AHL, 46 games with the Colorado Avalanche before being dealt to our very own St. Louis Blues.
Now that you know a bit of Shattenkirk's past, what should you expect from him out on the ice?
Simply put, he is a offensive-minded defenseman with excellent vision out on the ice. He can transition from defense to offense extremely quickly and is able to nimbly take the puck out of his own end, bring it forward and help create a scoring chances. His skating is skillful for a defenseman and he already has received rave reviews in his young career.
In a CBSSports.com
article from December 7th, veteran Adam Foote wasn't shy dishing out some complements Shattenkirk's way.
Foote said, "Shatty seems to have a real good knack for how the game should be played and he does things as a rookie that should take a while to learn," the Avs captain said. "He understands where he is and his position, and he makes the kind of plays that a lot of guys who have played in this league a long time can't make."
Initially, it's fair to find plenty of comparisons between Shattenkirk's young career and Alex Pietrangelo's young career - that's enough to make a fan's mouth water.
Clearly, the Blues are aware of his glimmering talent as well, already giving the young d-man time on the power-play in his first couple of games in St. Louis.
While it is still extremely early in his development, the Blues might have secured them one great talent through their trade - and that's not even talking about Chris Stewart.
Lastly, it's impossible not to love the way "Shattenkirk" rolls off the tongue. Now, if only the Scottrade Center would consider the suggestion to play "KHAAN!" over the speakers whenever he scores a goal ...