Stars 2009-10 junior prospects update

By Mike Farkas

Most of the Dallas Stars prospects have turned pro in the 2009-10 season, leaving the organization’s junior ranks rather depleted. Reinforcements were signed in the form of Medicine Hat center Tristan King and Gatineau defenseman Hubert Labrie, however. As per Dallas’ drafting style, two-thirds of their junior prospects reside in the Western League. The goaltender Tyler Beskorowany and the lone defenseman of the group Labrie play in the OHL and QMJHL, respectively.

WHL

Scott Glennie, RW, Brandon Wheat Kings
Acquired: 1st round (8th overall) in 2009
Feb. 22, 1991. Ht: 6’1, Wt: 188 lbs.

The Stars first pick in 2009 has rejoined Brandon and his outstanding Western League teammates Brayden Schenn (LA) and Matt Calvert (CLB). Additionally, they have a new piece to spur an already potent offense – diminutive Finn Toni Rajala (EDM). With six players scoring at a better than point-per-game pace, Glennie clearly has a lot of talent around him. So far, he’s amassed 21 points in 20 games while being a +12.

The speedy winger is looking to grab a spot on the Canadian World Junior Championship team for the first time. Glennie is already on the Team WHL roster for the Subway Super Series later in November. The offensively-gifted right-handed shooter will look to impress on a national stage and justify his lofty draft status.

Tomas Vincour, RW, Edmonton Oil Kings
Acquired: 5th round (129th overall) in 2009
Nov. 19, 1990. Ht: 6’2, Wt: 205 lbs.

Steady improvement is the best way to describe Tomas Vincour’s development since being the No. 1 selection in the CHL Import Draft in 2007. After being selected in the fifth round by Dallas, Vincour has a chance to really elevate his stock with a big year in Edmonton this season. Already with 10 goals and 17 points through 19 games, the Czech-born winger is tied for first on his club in goals and is ranked second in points.

Vincour plays a power forward game but his skating needs some improvement. Once he builds up the inertia he can move at a pretty good clip – but his agility and quickness are certainly lacking. He possesses very good offensive instincts and a quality shot, which will allow him to thrive at the junior level. The 6-foot-2 winger has twice represented the Czechs in the international arena – once with the U18 club and last year with the U20’s.

Tristan King, C, Medicine Hat Tigers
Acquired: Signed as a free agent 9/19/2009
Nov. 7, 1990. Ht: 6’0”, Wt: 191 lbs.

Just prior to entering his fourth year of junior hockey (his second with Medicine Hat), King signed his first professional contract with the Dallas Stars. Plagued quite a bit by injuries, the Minnesotan had his season abbreviated in 2008-09. Despite playing in just 47 games, he established career marks in goals (14), assists (22) and points (36). King is off to an even stronger start in 2009-10 with 21 points in his first 24 games.

The handsy 19-year-old forward will look to give his numbers a serious boost this season while being a major piece of Medicine Hat’s high-octane offense. King will need to shake off the cobwebs left by a concussion and groin injury from yesteryear and become more involved in the dirty areas to get goals.

Matt Tassone, C, Swift Current Broncos
Acquired: 6th round (176th overall) in 2008
Nov. 28, 1989. Ht: 6’2”, Wt: 202 lbs.

A surprising performance last season by Tassone has put him on some radar screens across the hockey world. Despite appearing in just 52 games in his last campaign, Tassone tallied 36 goals and 55 points while amassing another 100 penalty minute season. His willingness to go into the trenches and battle for goals has proven most valuable for the Alberta native.

Unfortunately, Tassone went under the knife to make some repairs on his shoulder and that has held him out for the entire season up to this juncture. Tassone is hoping to return before the calendar turns to 2010.

OHL

Tyler Beskorowany, G, Kingston Frontenacs
Acquired: 2nd round (59th overall) in 2008
Apr. 28, 1990. Ht: 6’5”, Wt: 205 lbs.

Last year Beskorowany faced a seemingly infinite barrage of shots while a member of the Owen Sound Attack. Despite his trade to Kingston, Beskorowany faces just as many (or more) shots per game this season.

On the plus side, the large netminder is the unquestioned starter in Kingston; he’s been in the crease for roughly 87 percent of his team’s minutes played this year. The statistics have improved slightly through 20 games. He’s 8-10-2 with a 3.40 GAA and .903 save percentage but still battles game-to-game consistency. He’ll put together a remarkable, game-stealing performance one night and then get yanked after surrendering a half dozen through two periods. He’s still a work in progress, but the Stars brass is hoping that this change of scenery is ultimately a positive one.

QMJHL

Hubert Labrie, D, Gatineau Olympiques
Acquired: Signed as a free agent 9/19/2009
July 12, 1991. Ht: 5’11”, Wt: 170 lbs.

With a noticeable dearth in defensive prospects in the pipeline, the Dallas Stars went out and grabbed the undrafted Labrie. Once thought to be an upper-echelon prospect for the 2009 NHL draft, Labrie slipped all the way through the cracks to undrafted status. This was largely due to his diminutive stature – last year he was listed at just 5’10, 158 pounds. That said, he’s willing to battle every step of the way against opposing forwards.

Typically, smaller smooth-skating blueliners are known for their offensive talents. That’s not the case with Labrie however, as if his 30 points in 136 career QMJHL games didn’t reveal such a revelation. Labrie has been used as one of Gatineau’s better shutdown rearguards. The lone current QMJHL player in the Stars system will need to continue to smooth out his game and gain strength in order to have an NHL future.