The Stars haven’t drafted a super star since taking Jarome Iginla 11th overall in 1995, and while he never helped them directly, Iginla did net them current G.M. Joe Nieuwendyk as a player who played a large role in Dallas winning the 1999 Stanley Cup. The franchise – going back to Minnesota – still has a first overall pick in the line up with Mike Modano, and guys like Brenden Morrow, James Neal and Jamie Benn are making the stars scouting staff look good.
Here’s who else Dallas scouts are counting on in the future.
Top Forward:Scott Glennie
6.01, 188, 63 GP 30—50-80
The highest Dallas draft pick since Richard Jackman went 5th overall in 1996, Glennie has tremendous upside to his game. He carries the puck very well and has nice vision when setting up teammates. His 30 goals this year tell you that he can also pick his spots to use an underrated shot. Glennie can play both the wing and centre and the right handed face man is pretty good on the dot. While he has decent size the knock sometimes on Glennie is that he doesn’t use it properly or enough. His defensive game could also be improved, but there’s no question he had a nose for the net and can at times be very streaky. Earlier this year the Wheat King forward notched 19 points in an 8 game stretch. Durability might be a question mark as he’s never played a full WHL season, although some of his time missed this year was due to attending Canada’s World Junior camp in December. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Top Defenceman:Philip Larsen
5.11, 185, 39 GP 1-9-10
When the Stars traded Ivan Visnevshkiy to Atlanta earlier this year it pushed Larsen to the top of the blueline prospect list. The Denmark born blueliner has had a taste of the Swedish Elite League since 2006. He’s suited up for Denmark in 4 World Junior Championship tournaments scoring 11 points in 21 games for an undermanned Denmark squad. Last year Larsen also took part in the World Championship for his country. After a productive 17 point season in 53 games last year, Larsen is down a bit with just 10 points in 39 games this season. Larsen has good vision and makes a crisp first pass, but his size is what people worry about. He’ll have to get a lot stronger to be able to handle big power forwards in North America.
Top Goalie:Matt Climie
6.03, 194, 18-15-3, 2.43, .920
If Brent Krahn could ever stay healthy he would top this list, but he’s played just 39 games over the last 3 years in the AHL and after being named goalie of the month in November hasn’t played the 22nd of that month. Texas has used 4 different goalies this year and after getting a chance Richard Bachman was dispatched to the ECHL. That has left Matt Climie as the main man in the minors. His goals against and save percentage numbers are nice and he’s even 2-1 in 3 starts with the big club this year. Climie has had a slow but stead progression after signing with the Stars following his senior season with Bemidji State, last year he won 27 games in his first pro campaign. While right now it might appear that Bachman has better upside, Climie is the best option right now and with patience could become a serviceable option for the Stars.
Most Underrated:Tomas Vincour
6.02, 205, 56 GP 28-20-48
Vincour was the top player taken in the 2007 CHL import draft and while he showed some flashes of his talent in his first 2 WHL seasons, it wasn’t until this year where he’s taken his game to a new level. On a very bad Oil King team in Edmonton Vincour had 17 goals in 33 games and was an even rating. He’s added 12 goals and 10 assists in 23 games since being acquired by the Vancouver Giants. The Czech forward uses his size well to protect the puck and has a good shot, although he needs to use it more often. Vincour impressed Stars management at rookie camp last year and should get a decent playoff run with the Giants this year. The smooth skating hard worker should make a nice transition to the AHL next season.
Buzz Worthy:Ondrej Roman
6.00, 173, 26 GP 1-2-3
I’m not sure if Ondrej Roman is using the John Candy/Steve Martin method of transportation to get to Texas but it’s sure taking him a while. Dallas signed the 2007 draft pick to an entry level deal last month and he was supposed to report to the Stars affiliate in Cedar Park Texas but has yet to show up. All the bouncing back and forth between Europe and North America has to be concerning for Stars fans as it’s been a trend for Roman. He spent 2 years with Spokane, helping them win a Memorial Cup in 2008. He started last year in the Czech Republic before finishing the season back in Spokane, and this year has just 3 points in 26 games back home. Unless there is some kind of visa issue I’m not aware of I have to wonder why he’s not in the AHL yet? Roman has a ton of creativity and if he pans out will make the 2007 draft very successful for the Stars, especially the 5th round where they also snagged current Star Jamie Benn, Austin Smith who has 40 points in 34 games with Colgate University, and Michael Neal who’s played mostly in the ECHL this year.