The 2012 season had a lot of positives for the St. Louis Jr. Blues hockey team. In its second season in the newly formed North American 3 Hockey League, the Jr. Blues, as a team, claimed the Central Division regular season title, Central Division Playoff title, and finished the year as finalists in the NA3HL playoff tournament. In a very competitive division and conference, the squad compiled an overall record of 38-14-3.
While the record itself is impressive, the Jr. Blues are proud of their player development and the advancement opportunities players were given throughout the season. Head Coach J.P. Beilsten fielded numerous telephone calls and emails about current players on the roster from Tier I and II junior teams. College coaches from NCAA and ACHA schools also reached out to coach Beilsten as they look to fill roster spots left behind by their graduating seniors.
This season saw players getting game opportunities with NAHL teams and practice time with USHL teams. A total of six players received promotions to play in NAHL games. At the conclusion of the 2012 season, forwards Johnny Mueller (Janesville Jets), Trace Jablin (Keni River Black Bears), and Daniel Rosse (Fresno Monsters) were tendered by North American Hockey League Teams. Shortly after this season ended, 96 birth year defenseman Paul O’Connor was invited to skate with Cedar Rapids of the USHL for a couple of practices. O’Connor returned home with a tender offer to play for the Rough Riders next season which he quickly signed.
The NA3HL did a great job of promoting and exposing the league’s players through the showcases they hosted. In addition, six Jr. Blues will get an opportunity to showcase their game during the Top Prospects All Star Tournament in Dallas. The Top Prospects Tournament is made up of 80 3HL players that will participate in the tournament that is held in conjunction with the NAHL’s Robertson Cup.