Star Gazing – Prospect Review

By pbadmin

Unlike the Stars’ parent club, the prospects stayed relatively healthy all
season, and this has resulted in some encouraging progress for the most part.
In turn, this article will attempt to overview many of these positives, and
some of the sparse negatives that occurred this season.

Richard Jackman-D

After about two years in minor-pro hockey Richard still has yet to put all
the pieces in place. This is not to say that he is a bust, but rather
suggests that he needs to find a role and stick to it. In other words, is he
an offensive defenseman, or is he a surly two-way d-man? The Stars’ would
like him to be a combination of the two, but his play this year suggests that
this is still to be determined. While he has the great stride and shot, his
future with this team will depend on him making better reads in the defensive
zone.

Tyler Bouck-W

This multi-dimensional forward really came on this season for Prince George
of the WHL. Not only did he increase his overall offensive production, but he
also chipped in 7 game winning goals, and stepped up in the playoffs. Also,
he racked up 183 PIM’s, while also scoring 5 short-handed goals during the
regular season. Looks to be a Grant Marshall or Daren McCarty type player
with speed, and should challenge for a job very soon.

John Erskine-D

Erskine, a much maligned player, had what might be called a break through
season for the London Knights. Not only was he named the OHL Defenseman of
the Year, but he also was invited to the Canadian World Junior try-out camp.
All of this came from a player with questionable skills, and poor skating,
but obviously his passion and focus helped him progress. In all, look for
continued progress from John, and also look for the Stars’ to really work
with him in the minors.

Mathias Tjarnqvist-W

Was one of the top rookies in the Swedish Elite League, and showed much
promise for a future with the Stars. Not only did he use his size in front of
the net, but he also showed a good passing touch. While he still needs to be
a little more physical, Dallas plans to develop his skills another year in
Sweden just to be safe.

Niko Kapanen-F

Size matters, but so does skill and smarts, and that alone gives Niko a good
chance at a future NHL career. In addition, not only was he the best two-way
forward in Finland during the regular season, but he also was the leading
scorer for his team during the World Championships. Look for him to be at
training camp next year, with a roster spot probably within his reach.

Justin Cox-RW

Turned out to be one of the late round surprises from the ’99 draft. While he
had some problems in the playoffs, the regular season was very much different
as he showed great speed, a nice shot, and some clutch play. Should continue
to add mass to his frame, and should blossom as the go to man next season for
Prince George.

Ryan Christie-LW

While he showed flashes of progress late last year, Ryan showed no signs of
having a season like he did this year. Not only did he rack up 20+ goals, and
100+ PIM’s, he also gained a brief call up with the Stars. Because of this
accelerated development, look for Ryan to get a look in training camp as he
continues to progress physically.

Jamie Wright-LW

Has really fallen off the map in terms of his future with the Stars, and
maybe doomed for a career in the minors. This is due to his lack of
production in the attacking zone, and his lack of solid puck skills. Watch
for Jamie’s name to be called during the expansion draft, as his time is
probably up in Dallas.