Blues prospect Jimmy Snuggerud shines in World Juniors, winning gold medal

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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues sent seven prospects to the 2024 World Juniors tournament, an annual international hockey event that features some of the most talented hockey players in the world under 20 years old.

The International Ice Hockey Federation organizes the tournament and traditionally holds it from late-December of one calendar year to early-January of the next. The 2024 IIHF World Juniors just came to a close on Friday in Sweden with a championship for Team USA.

One key player on the USA’s title-winning squad was Jimmy Snuggerud, a 2022 first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues.

Snuggerud, a right-winger by trait, scored USA’s first goal of the tournament in a 4-1 victory over Norway on Dec. 26. Two days later, he followed up with a hat trick and an assist in USA’s victory against Switzerland. In the Gold Medal game, Snuggerud finished with an assist and nearly 17 minutes of ice time.

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USA finished with a perfect 7-0 record in the World Juniors, defeating Sweden in the championship game on Friday by a score of 6-2. Snuggerud finished the tournament with an impressive five goals, three assists, and a +7 plus/minus rating over six games.

“He creates his own shots,” said Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong in an interview with Bally Sports Midwest in late-December. “He’s such a dynamic player. He’s sort of had to cut his own path. He’s a big player on Team USA.”

Hockey sports commentator John Buccigross suggested on Twitter that Snuggerud could be ready for an NHL promotion in late March if the Blues need his help for a playoff push. It’s certainly worth monitoring for a Blues team in the lower quartile of NHL teams in goals for this season, but it’ll likely be a wait-and-see situation based on Snuggerud’s work in the upcoming week, plus contract and salary cap considerations.

Snuggerud will report back to the University of Minnesota to finish his sophomore year of college hockey. He has 11 goals and five assists in 18 games with the Golden Gophers this season.

Looking beyond Snuggerud, the World Juniors offered plenty of promise for several other Blues prospects. Their core scored a combined 44 points (22 goals and 22 assists) throughout the tournament, led by forward Otto Stenberg (5 G, 4 A) and Theo Lindstein (2 G, 6 A) for the runner-ups in Team Sweden.

Last year’s first-round pick, Dalibor Dvorsky, also impressed with three goals and three assists in five games.

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