Prospect Capsules..

By Keith Riskey

Prospect Capsules — 2001 Entry Draft

1: Jason Bacashihua, G, Chicago [NAHL] (26th overall)

Many Stars fans expressed disappointment after Dallas picked a goaltender first, when the need for skilled offensive players

seemed so pressing. Even more disappointing for fans, Bacshihua was not held in high esteem by most draft experts prior to

the draft. Bacshihua was generally regarded as the 15th or so best goaltender in the draft, though other sources ranked him

higher. The Hockey News scouting report called Bacsasihuha a “good cominbation of balance, speed, and good post-to-post

movement”. Red line reports had him ranked as high as 3rd among goaltenders, and their scouting report reads: “He can be

streaky and inconsistent, and has trouble getting up for games of lesser importance, but is always at the top of his game

when when the stakes are highest.”

Regardless, the Stars had him in the top 15 on their draft board from the very beginning, and they believe “Cash” (Jason’s

nickname) is a sleeper pick. Cash was a much sought-after recruit for NCAA power Michigan last year, but — because of grade

problems — he was forced to continue playing with the Chicago Freeze of the North American Hockey League where last year he

was 24-14-0, with a 3.23 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.

According to the Stars head amateur scout, Tim Bernhardt, Jason is a worthy first rounder. Bernhardt proclaimed him to be a potential

number one goaltender in the NHL, and Gainey supported his head scout, saying “[h]aving an ex-goaltender as your head scout

really helps. Tim Bernhardt saw Jason early in the year and he came right on to our page at our January meetings [I] think he

sees things in him that are strong base components of a really good goaltender, which is such an important position and a

place in our organizational charts we need to fill in some holes.” [source: ESPN2]

18 year old Bacashihua is 6-1, 172 pounds, and he will begin next season in Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League.

3: Yared Hagos, C, Sweden (70th overall)

The 6’1, 202 lb, 18 year-old center played 26 games in Swedish Juniors last season, where he compiled 24 points for AIK (10

goals, 14 assists). Though Dallas drafted Hagos early in the 3rd round, he was originally projected to go somewhere in the

2nd.

Hagos has all the tools a young hockey player needs — strength, size, work ethic, leadership, and natural offensive talent.

He knows how to utilize his size, and is believed to have definite potential to make the NHL. The reason Yared comes this

late in the draft is that he is still relatively unproven and clearly needs more development before it becomes evident

exactly how good he can be.

In addition to averaging nearly a point a game in Sweden’s under 20 Juniors league, he averaged around a point a game in

World Juniors, compiling 1 goal and 4 assists in 6 game with international competition.

3: Anthony Aquino, RW, Merrimack (92nd overall)

Anthony Aquino progressed in every aspect of his game during his sophomore season in Merrimack. This year, he registered

thirteen more points in his second season (progressing from 29 points overall to 42 points overall). Anthony was named to the

All-Hockey East Second Team following this sophomore campaign and was named to the Silverado Shootout All-Tournament Team. He

was also named Hockey East Player of the Week after notching his first collegiate hattrick in a 5-5 tie with the University

of New Hampshire.

Aquino had spent the 1999-2000 Season playing for Merrimack College, where he had an immediate impact. He finished second in

scoring on the team with fifteen goals and fourteen assists for twenty-nine points. His eleven goals and nine assists for

twenty points in Hockey East play gave him more points and more goals than any other freshman in the league. He was named to

the Hockey East All-Rookie Team and was the runner-up for Rookie of the Year in Hockey East. However, Aquino had put up some

great numbers before Merrimack. In the 1998-99 Season he had thirty-one goals and forty-four assists for seventy-five points

in forty-seven games. He led Bramalea to the 1999 Royal Bank Cup Junior A Championships. He was also selected 208th by Owen

Sound in the 1999 OHL Priority Draft. He also led his team to the World Championships of Pee-Wee Hockey when he was younger.

Aquino, at 5’10″, 175 lbs, is not a big, physical presence in front of the net, but his puck handling ability in open ice is

terrific. His speed and quickness made some of the best defensemen in Hockey East look bad. He has combined a great shot

with his skills to get him open looks well. He sees the open ice well and has a great mind for the game of hockey. It is

primarily because of his dimunitive size and his playstyle (more of a space utilizer than a space creator) that Aquino was

sill available at this point in the draft.

Anthony Aquino will be a junior in the fall at Merrimack College, where he could progress into an even better player. Anthony

was one of the select few that play US college hockey to be invited to the Team Canada’s National Junior Development Camp

that will be held in early August in Calgary, Alberta. Top ranked prospects Mike Cammalleri (Michigan) and Chuck Kobasew

(Boston College) are the only other NCAA players invited to the camp.

4: Daniel Volrab, C, Czech Republic (126th overall)

6’1″, 180 lb forward Daniel Volrab has all the tools of a two-way hockey player. He is able to play two positions — center

and left wing — and is a smart, defensively aware forward. Daniel is a also an excellent faceoff man, has excellent vision,

good “hockey sense”, and is a consistent scorer. When Daniel has open ice, he is able to create offense with very good

passing and puck handling ability, and he is able to take advantage of a breakaway. He posseses all of the tools of a

two-way player in today’s game.

Unfortunately, Daniel lacks in the intensity department. He doesn’t use his size well and often shies away from physical

play. Furthermore, he sometimes seems to lose interest and not be as involved mentally in the game as others, and Daniel’s

past season was largely a wash because of a four month absence with mononucleosis.

Were it not for his “psychological” shortcomings, Daniel was viewed as potentially 1st or 2nd round player in this year’s

draft, but his lack of production last year and his perceived intensity problems make him a potential sleeper in the 4th

round. It will likely be three or four years before Daniel is able to make a bid for the NHL.

5: Mike Smith, G, Sudbury [OHL](161st overall)

The 19-year-old goalie was ranked 21st among North American goalies by Central Scouting. He played in 43 games for Sudbury of

the OHL, posting a 22-13-7 recored, a 2.52 goals against average, a.913 save percentage and three shutouts. At 6-3, 189

pounds he’s a big goalie, but is said to move well regardless. Like all goaltenders who are drafted into the NHL, Mike Smith

has a definite knack for making big saves and raising his intensity as the game warrants. He is a sound fundamental goalie

who Stars scouts believe can control/redirect rebounds and move laterally with good speed.

6: Michal Blazek, D, Czech Republic (167th overall)

The 6-2, 187 pound defenseman was ranked 99th among European forwards and defensemen by Central Scouting. Michal played for HC-Vestin of the Czech Junior league last year, where he demonstrated good offensive vision from a defensive “quarterback” position. By the time he has matured enough for the NHL, Michal should be big enough in stature for his size not to be an issue.

6: Jussi Jokinen, LW, Finland (192nd overall)

5’11″, 180 pound left wing. Smallish but considered to be talented offensively. Still too young to tell.

8: Marco Rosa, C, Merrimack (255th overall)

In an interesting move, the Stars also picked up Aqunno’s linemate from Merrimack College — 6’0″, 170 lb Rosa. Rosa is an

unproven freshman who score 6 goals, 18 assists in 33 games. Right now, he is viewed as a skilled player with lots of speed.

He is unlikely to be an NHL-calibre player, but he possesses definite offensive potential.

9: Dale Sullivan, RW, Hull [QMJHL] (265th overall)

An extremely unknown candidate, Sullivan compiled only 8 goals, 14 assists in 72 games with the QMJHL (an extremely

high-scoring hockey league). Sullivan is billed more of as a defensive-minded, gritty player than an offensive one.

9: Marek Tomica, NA, None (285th overall)

In yet another interesting move, the Stars added another draft pick’s linemate late in the 9th. Marek Tomica is the linemate

of Ladislav Vleck, a potentially gifted Czech player whom the Stars drafted last year. Little is known of Tomica except that

he was a part of the World Junior Championship Czech team and played very promisingly — netting 1 goal, 1 assist in 6 games.

Note: The profiles at the side of the page will be updated shortly.