Drafting Skills: Dallas Stars

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Dallas Stars

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Jamie Oleksiak (D) 14th overall – Oleksiak hasn’t turned into a top-4 defender, which is what you hope for when drafting one this early in the draft. He played 41 games this year in the NHL, but has just passed the 100 game mark this season, 6 years after being drafted. 8 other defensemen taken after him have played more games, so my guess is the Stars would want this pick back.

Round 2 – Brett Ritchie (RW) 44th overall – Ritchie played the full season at the NHL level this year, but managed only 24 points in 78 games. He’s going to need to produce at a better rate if he hopes to remain there long-term, as the Stars have their sights set on a Cup run, and will want more out of him than that.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to New Jersey for Jamie Langenbrunner. He played in 39 games for the Stars, adding 18 points. The pick became Blake Coleman, who hasn’t had an impact at the NHL level, so the Stars come out the winner on this trade in my opinion.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Radek Faksa (C) 13th overall – Faksa has taken a while to establish himself as an NHL regular, but did so this year playing in 80 games and scoring 33 points. He should be able to grow those numbers, and the Stars will need him to if they hope to make a run in the next couple of years. He’s fallen behind some of his fellow draftees in terms of production, but will have a good chance of playing top-6 minutes all of next season.

Round 2 – Ludwig Bystrom (D) 43rd overall – Bystrom has now played in the AHL for the past 3 seasons, but the Stars likely don’t have any openings on the blueline next year. The Stars missed on taking Jake McCabe, a defender taken by Buffalo with the next pick, who has already played in 162 NHL games. Big miss here by the Stars, as McCabe would improve their blueline today.

Round 2 – Mike Winther (C) 54th overall – Traded Mike Ribeiro to the Capitals for Cody Eakin and this pick. Eakin has become an NHL regular for the Stars, playing a very solid defensive game, and alone would make this trade worthwhile. Winther is playing University hockey now in Canada, while Chris Tierney was taken with the next pick – who has played in over 200 NHL games. Another miss by Dallas here in the 2nd round.

Round 2 – Devin Shore (C) 61st overall – Traded Nicklas Grossman to the Flyers for this pick, and a 3rd that was later traded to Pittsburgh (Jake Guentzel – whoops). Shore played in all 82 games this year for Dallas, scoring 33 points. He looks like a steal this late in the draft, especially with only giving up Grossman.

Round 3 – Esa Lindell (D) 74th overall – Personally, I’m a fan of Lindell’s game. He looks to have great upside, skating in 73 games in the NHL this year. He had 18 points in his rookie campaign, and is likely to be a fixture on the blueline going forward. This was a good find by the Stars down in round 3.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Valeri Nichushkin (RW) 10th overall – Nichushkin had great promise, but could never figure it out in the NHL. There’s hope that he makes a return sooner rather than later, as he spent last season in the KHL. Right now, it looks like a big miss by the Stars, with the likes of Max Domi, Alex Wennberg, amongst others still available after him.

Round 1 – Jason Dickinson (C) 29th overall – Traded Jaromir Jagr to Boston for this pick, which has turned out poorly for Dallas. Jagr is still an effective player today for Florida, and Dickinson has played in only 11 NHL games.

Round 2 – Remi Elie (LW) 40th overall – Elie made the late season jump and didn’t look out of place in the NHL. He put up big numbers in junior, but hasn’t yet at the pro level, topping out at 28 points in 53 AHL games this year. He will need to figure out his game if he hopes to be an everyday player, because the Stars won’t be waiting around long if he struggles early on.

Round 2 – Philippe Desrosiers (G) 54th overall – Traded Derek Roy to the Canucks for this pick, as well as Kevin Connauton. Currently Desrosiers is playing in the ECHL, and likely won’t be on the NHL radar any time soon. He’s had terrible numbers with a GAA of over 3.7 this past year, and a SV% under 0.900.

Round 3 – Niklas Hansson (D) 71st overall – Another d-man that looks like he’s far away from being NHL ready, Hansson is currently playing in Sweden, where he managed only 11 points in 41 games. It’s always tough judging in the 3rd round, but this one is looking like a miss for the Stars.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Julius Honka (D) 14th overall – Honka made his NHL debut this year, after putting up impressive numbers in the AHL over the past few seasons. Last year he had 44 points in 73 games, and followed that up with 31 points in 50 games before being called up late in the year. The Stars are hoping he can be a secondary scoring defenceman behind John Klingberg, and it’s looking likely that will happen. He’ll get a full chance to make the club out of camp next year and should have no issue. Good pick by the Stars, even if Dylan Larkin was picked right after him.

Round 2 – Brett Pollock (C) 45th overall – Pollock isn’t looking very promising, after spending all the majority of the season in ECHL where he put up only 31 points in 61 games. He’s a longshot to evolve into any sort of NHL player at this point.

Round 3 – Alex Peters (D) 75th overall – Peters put up 34 points in his final OHL season, which is good for a young blueliner, but not impressive when he’s a 20 year playing against teenagers. He’s a big guy, at 6’4”, but will need time to develop and get used to the quicker pace at the pro level. Not an awful pick by the Stars, but Brayden Point was still available here…

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Denis Gurianov (RW) 17th overall – Gurianov played his first North American pro season, and struggled. He scored only 27 points in 57 AHL games. He doesn’t look like he’s shaping up to be a top-15 pick, and while it’s still early to call him a bust, he’s being passed quickly in terms of prospect ranking by players who were taken after him.

Round 2 – Roope Hintz (LW) 49th overall – Hintz had a great year in Switzerland, with 30 points in 40 games. He’s likely on his way to NA next year and will start in the AHL, but he looks like a solid pick in round 2.

Round 2 – The Stars traded their own 2nd rounder in the package that brought in Jason Spezza. The pick turned into MacKenzie Blackwood, who has pretty solid potential, but Spezza has really solidified their second line. I like this trade for both teams for Dallas, as they’re built to win now.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Detroit for Mattias Janmark, the 2nd round pick in this draft, and Mattias Backman, for Erik Cole and this pick. The best player out of this whole trade lands in Dallas’ hands, which I will give a pass with flying colors.

Overall, the Stars have missed on a few early picks. If they could re-do a lot of their first round selections of these 5 drafts, I’m sure they would. That’s usually a poor sign, luckily for them though, they have the likes of John Klingberg, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn in charge.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm

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