ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Evgeny Grachev was considered the type of prospect who could blossom into an NHL power forward. The 6-4 Russian, selected by the Rangers in the third round of the 2008 draft, led all OHL rookies with 40 goals and 40 assists at Brampton in 2008-09, but never made the leap in the AHL.
In his rookie year in Hartford, Grachev struggled with the transition and was 12-16-29 and shifted from center to wing, but nonetheless was ranked 21st overall on The Hockey News' 2010 Future Watch.
But Saturday, the Rangers, who had been shopping Grachev for more than a year, general manager Glen Sather confirmed, shipped him to the Blues for a third-round pick that they used to select Steven Fogarty, a Minnesota high school star.
Grachev and his agent had asked for a move, said Sather and director of player personnel Gordie Clark.
"He just felt that he wasn't fitting in with our system," Sather said. "He's been with us for three years now. We liked him but we just felt that the person we got in the trade is going to respond a little bit quicker. Sometimes guys get trapped in that situation.
"The only team that had interest was St. Louis. They'd seen him in Traverse City [a preseason prospects tournament]. If he had another poor year this year, there wasn't going to be a lot of value. He still may turn out, he just needs a fresh start."
Before the swap, the Rangers had no selections in the second and third rounds, having surrendered them in trades. In the fourth round, at No. 106, the Rangers chose Michael St. Croix, a center who has 75 points in 68 games with the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings. St. Croix was the third center taken by the team, having chosen J.T. Miller of the U.S. under-18 team in the first round Friday.
With the 134th and 136th picks in the fifth round, the Blueshirts went for a smallish, point-a-game, right wing, Shane McColgan of the Kelowna Rockets, and a big defensive defenseman Samuel Noreau from the Quebec Major Junior League. They also acquired a sixth-round pick from Nashville and took 6-3 Slovak defenseman Peter Ceresnak.