Thursday, June 10, 2010

11th - Dallas Stars Draft Preview

I get it. A constellation of a bull ties in both celestial stars as well as the State's cattle industry and it makes perfect sense... in theory . Unfortunately, on paper, it's a constellation of the female reproductive system. The simple Texas State outline shoulder patch the team currently uses is much more appealing.

1st Pick Last Year: Scott Glennie (8th overall) – Glennie’s selection in the 8th spot was the first really big surprise pick of the 2009 draft. The Winnipeg native had a good, not great, year in Brandon this past season collecting 89 points in 66 games. He scored 32 goals along the way and was healthy for the majority of the year. His production in the WHL playoffs was a bit disappointing, only 3 goals in 15 games. At the Memorial Cup there were some who questioned his commitment and willingness to battle through adversity and minor injury as he appeared unmotivated at times.

The Good: Jamie Benn (129th overall, 2007) – This was an easy choice considering how late in the draft Benn was chosen and how well he’s developed over the three seasons since his draft year. Benn was a dominating player in the WHL and helped get the Kelowna Rockets to the Memorial Cup final in 2009. He’s played for Canada in the Ivan Hlinka tournament and the 2009 World Junior Championship as well. After an impressive 41-point rookie campaign with the Dallas Stars he dropped down to the AHL for the playoffs and leads the league in post season scoring.

The Bad: Aaron Snow (90th overall, 2006) – The former Brampton Battalion forward didn’t progress at all after his draft year and saw action with 4 other OHL teams before the end of his CHL career. Since his eligibility ended he has played 2 years at the University of Western Ontario (CIS) where he’s actually put up very good numbers – 43 points in 28 games last year. At least he wasn’t an earlier pick.

The Unknown: Perttu Lindgren (75th overall, 2005) – Lindgren has gone back and forth between the AHL and Finland a few times over the last 4 years but after a successful year with the Texas Stars, his future might be waiting for him in Dallas next October. He’s a skilled player with speed and with 16 points in 21 AHL playoff games, is a guy who contributes in the playoffs instead of fading as the pressure increases. But so far he’s only seen 1 NHL game.

Coming Down the Pipe: At the prospect level the Stars are fairly thin – they are ranked 29th in the NHL by Hockey’s Future. The notable forwards include Perttu Lindgren, Ondrej Roman, Scott Glennie, Alex Chiasson and underrated Czech forward Tomas Vincour (Photo: Andy Devlin Edmonton Oil Kings). The list of prospective blueliners is woefully short, Dallas has only 5 players with Dane Philip Larsen leading the pack. Goaltending is a huge question mark with former Colorado College standout Richard Bachman the best of a mediocre crop.

Draft Trends: Dallas has only selected 4 defencemen over the last 5 drafts; that’s 4 out of 30 picks. The Stars have looked to turn Jr. A players into sleeper picks as they have drafted from the BCHL or American prep schools quite often in recent years. The last time the team picked anyone from the QMJHL was 2003 although Alex Chiasson, playing for Boston University, hails from Quebec but played in the USHL.

2010 Prediction 11th overall:

Dean Millard: Jack Campbell (NTDP) - Campbell took over when his country needed him most, replacing Mike Lee during the World Junior Championship and leading the stars and stripes to gold. He then stood on his head for team USA at the World U18 Championship for another gold medal. Campbell is as calm as they come and unlike others who play the position, isn't a blocker; he actually reacts to shots. The pipeman should only get better next year when he joins the 2-time defending Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires. Dallas' goaltending well is almost bone dry and Campbell gives them a blue chip prospect.

Guy Flaming: Nino Niederreiter (Portland) – The Winterhawks forward goes against all stereotypes of Swiss players in that he’s physical, can be nasty, and competes harder when the opposition steps up their game against him. The 6’1, 200 lb winger was impressive in his first WHL season and even more so at the 2010 WJC where every team keyed on him and yet he scored 10 points and led Switzerland to a 4th place finish. His nationality might work against him and drop him out of the top 10 but like L.A. in 2005, Dallas would be ecstatic to have him fall in their lap. (Photo: Soobum Images)

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