Here we are, June 1, the first day of the Stanley Cup Finals and we’re here today talking … NHL draft? That’s right, for the Dallas Stars there is, once again, no chance to lift the Cup this year. The owner is still unknown, it’s still questionable how active the Stars will be in free agency and who knows how the Brad Richards sweepstakes will turn out. What we do know is that there will be a draft this year and the Stars currently have their hands on the 14th pick.
The NHL Draft will occur this year on June 24-25 in Minnesota, the first time it has been there since the Stars moved to Dallas. With the NHL scouting combine going on this week, mock drafts are starting to fine tune their selections. Taking a look at some mock drafts around the country, the Stars pick comes down to two positions, defenseman or center. A defenseman would be sorely needed on this team for obvious reasons while a playmaking center would be needed for the likely case that Richards leaves the team in free agency or has his free agent rights traded for more draft picks.
Dallas has seven picks in this year’s draft, one in each round, but they will have to trade over either their second or their third round pick over to the New Jersey Devils. If the Stars re-sign Jamie Langenbrunner before the draft, New Jersey will receive the second rounder. If they don’t re-sign him, the Devils will still get Dallas’ third rounder this year.
- Round 1 pick 14
- Round 2 pick 44 (14th pick in 2nd round)
- Round 3 pick 75 (13th pick in 3rd round, New Jersey has pick 69 but will have to forfeit it)
- Round 4 pick 105 (14th pick in 4th round)
- Round 5 pick 135 (14th pick in 5th round)
- Round 6 pick 165 (14th pick in 6th round)
- Round 7 pick 195 (14th pick in 7th round)
With all that said, here’s a look at a few mocks and some other prospects that the Stars should be targeting.
From NHL.com Mike G. Morreale: (Last update unknown)
- He has Dallas taking Jonas Brodin, a Swedish defenseman who plays for Farjestads.
- Brodin is just 17-years-old (turns 18 in July), but has had plenty of experience. He currently plays in the Swedish Elite league and has been a member of Sweden’s U20 and U18 national teams. He would be ready to step in and play in the NHL if called upon.
- He’s got some good size to him, 6’1″ and 172 lbs, and he will gain more muscle and body volume as he continues to grow. As comparisons in size, Mark Fistric is 6’2″ 232 lbs and Alex Goligoski is 5’10″ 177 lbs. Brodin would eventually be one of the bigger d-men on the team.
- As for his playing style, Brodin is described as a smart, mature player with good skating ability.
- According to NHL’s Central Scouting, he’s ranked number 3 among European skaters in this year’s draft and top 5 among all (North American and European) defensemen.
- He played 56 games last year (including playoffs) in Sweden, tallying two goals and four assists.
From NHL.com Adam Kimelman: (Last update unknown)
- He has the Stars taking Mark McNeill, a Canadian center playing for Prince Albert in the WHL.
- McNeill is 18 years old and stands 6’2″ and 210 lbs.
- He’s played for Canada in the Junior World Championships.
- He had a solid year last season in the WHL. He played in 70 games and had 32 goals and 49 assists. He was second on his teams in points and was the leader in assists.
- He’s described as a bulldog of a player, working hard on both ends of the ice and has a willingness to drive the net (something the Stars really need). He lacks speed but that’s not too surprising given his size.
- He’s ranked number 14 among North American skaters and is a top 10 prospect among all centers.
From NHL.com Steven Hoffner: (Last update unknown)
- Hoffner also has the Stars taking Mark McNeill.
Some other prospects:
Nathan Beaulieu – Defenseman: Saint John’s Sea Dogs, QMJHL
- He’s not expected to fall to the middle of the first round, but he’s definitely someone that Dallas should have their eye on.
- 6″2 174 lbs
- He’s ranked number 5 on the North American Skater list and a top 3-5 among all defensemen.
- He’s a puck moving, smooth skating player and is projected to be a top-line defenseman, something the Stars traded for last year in Alex Goligoski.
- Beaulieu is the second best offensive defensmen in this draft, behind only Ryan Murphy.
- This previous year in the QMJHL, he had 12 goals and 33 assists in the regular season in 65 games and 4 goals and 13 assists in 19 playoff games.
- His career totals, regular season and playoffs are: 220 games played, 34 goals, 99 assists, 133 points and 154 penalty minutes.
- Dallas has some good prospects playing in their affiliate teams at the moment, but Beaulieu would be an excellent addition to the team.
Jamieson Oleksiak – Defenseman: Northeastern
- Saying this guy is a big dude would be an understatement. He stands 6’7″ 244 lbs and gets the obligatory big guy comparison to Boston giant Zdeno Chara. He’s 18-years-old so he could get even bigger.
- This was his freshman year at Northeastern, but he led the team in plus/minus (+13) and was their second best scoring defenseman (13 points).
- Ranked number 13 among North American skaters and in the top 10 among all defensemen.
Duncan Siemans – Defenseman: Saskatoon, WHL
- 6’2″ 192 lbs
- Siemans is a good blend of offense and defense and has the ability to become the complete package in what a team looks for in defensemen.
- Played 72 games this past year and had 5 goals, 43 points and was among the team leaders with a +40 rating. He also willingly jumped into fights, gathering 121 penalty minutes this year.
- Ranked number 10 among North American skaters and top 5 in all defensemen.
Mika Zibanejad – Center: Djurgarden, Swedish League
- 18-years-old, 6’2″ 191 lbs
- Ranked number 2 among European skaters and in the top 5 among all prospective centers.
- The Stars are a bit short on good center prospects in their organization so someone like Zibanejad wouldn’t be a bad pick at all.
- He has some good size to him and he is an excellent skater. He’s described as having excellent hands and vision, and is a solid skater.
Zack Phillips – Center: Saint John, QMJHL
- 18-years-old, 6’1″ 178 lbs
- Ranked number 15 in North American skaters and top 10 among all centers.
- He was second on his team in goals, assists and points and led the team in power-play goals. He was one of the best players on a loaded Saint John’s Sea Dogs team, which has a projected 4 guys going in the first round.
- He’s excellent on the power-play, which Dallas will need if Richards is no longer with the team. He’s a playmaker, which you can never have too many of.
Mark Scheifele – Center: Barrie, OHL
- 18-years-old, 6’2″ 182 lbs
- Ranked number 16 among North American skaters and top 10 among all centers.
- In his first year in the OHL, he 22 goals and 75 points and was the rookie leader with 53 assists.
- He’s a solid two-way center and a play-maker on the offensive end. He had 13 power-play goals this year.
- He was the leading scorer for team Canada in the U18 tournament.