Dallas Stars Update

By pbadmin
The following article includes an updated top 15 list,
an evaluation of the
system’s strengths and weaknesses, and my grades for
each player
position.

Updated Top 15

1. Brenden Morrow-LW Had a great year with Potland. The
classic
Dallas type forward, and has good skill and speed to go along with his
great
leadership qualities. With this combination of talents Brenden is the
most
intriguing Dallas prospect, and is the eventual coveted 2nd line
left-winger
of the future. I love this guy!!!!

2. Richard Jackman-D Richard is very talented, and had a good
year
with the K-Wings. Still needs to mature a little more, but he’s on his
way to
the NHL soon, maybe even during the upcoming season.

3. Marty Turco-G Is the second most talented
prospect
behind only Jackman, but Marty has the intangibles of a winner to go
with
that. Will probably receive more seasoning in the minors next year, and
could
be the heir apparent in Dallas when Belfour is replaced. Was just named
as
the IHL Rookie of the Year, great job Marty!

4. Brad Lukowich-D Has probably played his way into
a
permanent position with the big club. Shows excellent poise and decision
making in his own zone, and displays a solid array of skills. He is not
as
talented as some of the others below him, but Brad is more big-league
ready
than any of them though.

5. Roman Lyashenko-C Regarded as the best defensive forward
prospect in the NHL by many scouts. Has done nothing to detract from
that
this year, and has even shown good offensive skills too. Should be
brought to
the States next season in order to accelerate his development.

6. Jason Botterill-LW Struggled somewhat earlier this season,
but
managed to really turn it on late. Still has the size & skill
combination
Dallas desperately needs, but must work on his foot speed a little more.
With
his recent trend of good progress we might see Jason in Dallas by next
season, and that would be great news for Stars fans.

7. Jon Sim-LW Jon continues to score goals at
every
level of hockey, despite the fact he is usually the smallest guy on the
ice.
Further more, during his late season call-up he looked like a mirror
image of
Pat Verbeek; drawing penalties, getting in scrums, and popping in the
odd
goal. Should make Dallas’s roster next season with ease, but is rated
lower
on the list due to the quality of the left wings ahead of him.

8. Peter Buzek-D A very solid player that relies
greatly on his positional play. Continued to show excellent leadership
and
stamina with the K-Wings, and posted decent numbers in his defensive
role.
With the solid core of defensemen in the Dallas ranks he appears to be
on the
outside looking in, but he is still a player.

9. Jamie Wright-LW Still has good speed and decent
hands, but is slipping on the depth chart. He just doesn’t bring as much
to
the table as most of the other left-wingers, but his future is still not
grim. Could be a solid 4th liner with Dallas, or possibly decent trade
bait.

10. Tyler Bouck-RW Was the heart & soul of Prince
George
all year, and also posted good numbers in most offensive categories.
Looks to
be a heckuva checking winger in the waiting, and would greatly improve
Dallas’s team speed.

11. Niko Kapanen-LW A great year from a very good player.
Niko
appears to be in the mold of Juha Lind & Jere Lehtinen, showing the
ability
to be a good two-way winger. He will continue to develop in Finland, and
Dallas will be anxiously waiting his arrival.

12. Gabriel Karlsson-C Shows excellent upside, but must receive
more
ice time in order to properly develop. His upside was seen at the WJC,
and
also in his play late in the season for HV-71 of Sweden. I see him as a
possible 2nd line centerman due to his good size and excellent skills,
and
because he plays with the desire Dallas covets.

13. Steve Gainey-LW “Gritty”, “tough”, “leader”, and
“talent” all
describe Steve, and also reflect the kind of season he has had. He still
needs to work on his skating some, but the rest of his skills have
really
blossomed this year. Will be with the K-Wings next season, and should
continue his rapid rate of progression.

14. Marcus Kristofferson-RW A player that showed a mean streak as
big as
his 6-3 200lbs frame this season. However, he too received little ice
time
for HV-71, and so his offensive output was minimal. On the other hand,
Marcus’s skills shined in the WJC, and he gave Dallas a glimpse of his
great
potential. Next season is a key for him, as his development could be
stalled
with a continued lack of ice time.

15. Teemu Elomo-LW Teemu used this season to learn how to
play
amongst men in the Finnish Elite League, and it went rather well. He
showed
flashes of true offensive skills, and he showed flashes of youthful
mistakes,
but in all he established himself as a good prospect. Unfortunately for
him
he broke his leg late in the season, and hopefully this important
development
stage will not be impacted because of the injury.

Analysis of the Dallas System

In General:

Strengths

1. Depth: Have decent to great depth at every position

2. Two-way play: Excellent grades in both the forward & defensive ranks

3. Leadership: Several players were team captains & most have excellent intangibles

4. Toughness: A look at penalty totals reveals many prospects with high marks

Weaknesses

1. Pure scorers: Have some good offensive talents, but no snipers at all

2. Size: Have good sized players at every position, but not as much as they need

3. Speed: Area has improved, but VERY few speed+size prospects in forwards

By Position:

Strengths

1. Left-wing Grade: B+

For many years it was their Achilles heel, but lately the Stars have
taken
many steps to correct this problem, and they have done so in fine
fashion.
This position is now stocked about nine deep, and each player brings a
little
something different to the table. Whether its grit, skill, speed, or
size,
the Stars have it at this position. While the parent club is still thin
at
left-wing right now, the future for the position looks like a completely
opposite situation, a vast surplus.
{Morrow, Botterill, Sim, Wright, Kapanen, Gainey, Elomo, Christie, Lind}

2. Defensemen Grade: B

This has long been one of the Stars major strengths, and it continues to
be
very solid. Blessed with a mixture of skill, brawn, mobility, and
smarts, the
prospect pool is rather full. Right now the depth chart goes about six
deep,
and each player has made good progress this season. As a result, at
least one
or two players should start with the big club next season, and the rest
of
them will continue to mature in the minors. Look for the Stars to pick
up a
defenseman in the 1st or 3rd rounds this year due to the graduation of
some
existing prospects.
{Jackman, Lukowich, Buzek, Tsybouk, Erskine, McKercher}

3. Goaltending Grade: B

The Stars certainly do not have the best goaltending prospects in the
NHL,
but they definitely have one of the better tandems going. Their names
are
Marty Turco and Manny Fernandez, and they make up the future of the
Stars in
net. Fernandez is a solid keeper that should be a serviceable backup in
this
league. Turco on the other hand is the prized possession for the Stars.
He
has all the skills required for stardom, and he shines in pressure
situations. Combine that with the fact that he will continue to season
in the
minors, and you have a nice goaltending situation in Dallas. As an
aside, the
expansion draft could change this situation based on the selections of
the
Atlanta Thrashers though.

Weaknesses

1. Center Grade: B-

This is the position that needs to receive the most focus in the next
couple
of drafts. While I really like Karlsson’s vast potential and the rock
solid
play of Roman Lyashenko, the overall depth of this unit is somewhat
thin.
Further more, despite the fact Aaron Gavey could be the heir to Guy
Carbonneau next season, the Stars still have yet to obtain a sure-fire
offensive threat for the present. This is important because of
Nieuwendyk’s
increasing age, and the fact that a team’s strength is usually found up
the
middle. Look for the Stars to address the problem in this year’s draft,
with
them possibly even going after a homerun pick like Charlie Stephens.
While
this is not generally how the Stars draft, one must remember that they
were
one of the teams that wanted the risky Nikolai Antropov last year.
{Lyashenko, Gavey, Karlsson, Svartvadet, Jinman, Perry}

2. Rightwing Grade: C+

Given the fact that Dallas has some of the best rightwings in hockey
(Hull,
Lehtinen, Langenbrunner, Marshall), makes this weakness seem rather
unimportant. While this may be the case, I am a firm believer in having
strong prospect depth throughout the system, and then allowing that
depth to
push veterans or set up big trades. Outside of Tyler Bouck and Marcus
Kristofferson, the Stars have little to choose from right now. As a
result,
they could use one or two more prospects with speed and size in order to
provide that valuable depth.
{Bouck, Kristofferson, Flichel, Leeb, Timkin, Patera}

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