Jack Campbell leads Dallas Stars major junior prospects

By Mike Farkas
Photo: Jack Campbell has seen his fair share of struggles in his first season of CHL play. His lack of confidence was so great the Spitfires brought in a sports psychologist to help him work things out. Campbell has, for the most part, looked to have regained his confidence, winning six of his past eight. (Photo courtesy of Holly Gunning/HF)

The Stars have six players playing Canadian major junior hockey this year (including one signed last week) and another playing in the USHL.

OHL

Jack Campbell, G – Windsor Spitfires
Acquired: 1st round (11th overall) in 2010
January 9th, 1992. Ht: 6’1, Wt. 171 lbs.

The two-time Memorial Cup champs Windsor Spitfires got off to a slow start, thanks to a virtual dismantling that is common with the ebb and flow of junior hockey. Their defense has been suspect and their goaltending has not really bailed them out of enough tough spots. Jack Campbell was off to such a slow start that Windsor (OHL) general manager Warren Rychel summoned a sports psychologist to help Campbell who was, by his own admission, battling confidence issues for the first time in his career. In his first seven starts, Campbell went just 2-4 with a lofty 4.99 GAA and .855 save pct.

Campbell has begun to shake out of his funk however. In his last eight, the 2010 first rounder has gone 5-3 with a 2.55 GAA and an impressive .918 save pct. On the aggregate it’s still a faulty 3.58 GAA and .890 save pct., but it’s certainly an improvement. Campbell appears to be settling in to the pace of the OHL and isn’t overplaying, over-committing or cheating as much as he had been in his first few starts. It appears Windsor might be set to unload some veteran players at the deadline. Campbell will unlikely get dealt, but his name has been brought up due to the nature of his draft status (not drafted out of Canadian juniors).

WHL

Matt Fraser, LW – Kootenay Ice
Acquired: Free agent, 2010
May, 20th, 1990. Ht: 6’2, Wt: 218 lbs.

The Stars recently signed Matt Fraser from the Kootenay Ice of the WHL. Fraser returned for his overage season after a 30-goal campaign last year and a two-game pro tryout with Peoria (AHL). The 20-year-old has ten goals and ten assists in 24 games this year for the Ice. Fraser is a big power forward with a physical edge. He’s got a great shot (especially useful on the power play) and some skill with the gloves off as well. At the very least, he will add a lot of size to any lineup.

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

Another team that is bordering on relative disarray, the Brandon Wheat Kings are looking at an uphill battle if they want to be a major threat in the WHL. Scott Glennie represents a lot of Brandon’s scoring but it’s clear now that Brayden Schenn (LA) was the engine that made the Wheaties go in recent years. Much like fellow first rounder Jack Campbell, Glennie was off to a slow start, recording just six points in his first ten games. Despite that, he has achieved a point-per-game pace (31 in 27) – making him one of only two Wheat Kings to produce at such a level (Mark Stone 35 pts in 28 GP).

Glennie appears to be in need of a change of scenery. He has settled into a playmaking role which may or may not have anything to do with his unwillingness to go to the dirty areas to score. Ideally, he would be a great supplement to a team with clearly defined star producers already in place.

Jace Coyle, D – Medicine Hat Tigers
Acquired: Free agent, 2010
May 24th, 1990. Ht: 5’11, Wt: 180 lbs.

Coyle returned to Medicine Hat (WHL) for his overage season on a rather talented Tigers team. Coyle is an offensive-minded blueliner that can move the puck well. Despite missing six games due to injury, Coyle is only one point out of the team lead in defensive scoring. To date, Coyle has 11 assists and 13 points along with a plus-10 rating. The numbers look good for an offensive guy, even as an overager, but he really needs to take this time to find his defensive game. Too often he tries to do too much with the puck as the last guy back or makes a poor decision at either blue line.

Coyle is a great skater and can lead many rushes into the offensive zone and make a nice crisp pass. He needs to work on his game-to-game consistency especially in his own end. If he wants to make it further than the minors, he’ll need to toughen up a little along the wall – and there’s no better place to start than against kids that are largely younger.

Alex Theriau, D – Everett Silvertips
Acquired: 4th round (109th overall) in 2010
February 14th, 1992. Ht: 6’1, Wt, 195 lbs.

Theriau has played largely on the mid and lower pairings so far this season and continues to work on polishing up his defensive game. His lack of production should not be a major concern as he is not an offensive defenseman. His early season suspension for a cross-check excluded, Theriau’s main concern should be upping his aggressiveness and determination and eliminate his passive ways. As of late, he has been getting some second unit power play opportunities now and again. Theriau has four helpers in 21 contests and a minus-seven rating.

QMJHL

Hubert Labrie, D – Gatineau Olympiques
Acquired: Free agent, 2009
July 12th, 1991. Ht: 5’11, Wt: 190 lbs.

Hubert Labrie has not yet played a game this season due to a knee injury he sustained in training camp. A timetable for his return is unavailable at this time.


USHL

Alex Guptill, LW – Waterloo Black Hawks
Acquired: 3rd round pick (77th overall) in 2010
March 5th, 1992. Ht: 6’3, Wt: 185 lbs.

Alex Guptill has moved to the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks to continue his development. Guptill has been limited to six games this season due to an undisclosed injury. He has scored two goals thus far, both in his fourth game of the season, and they came 1:48 apart in the second per
iod against Dubuque.

The Stars most recent third rounder is speedy with a high level of skill. He’ll get plenty of time to bulk up and work on his defensive game as he moves from Waterloo to the University of Michigan following this season. In the meantime, Guptill is expected to return before the calendar year is out.