Though the Dallas Stars fell short of a playoff berth in 2015, many prospects put themselves a step closer to being able to help the cause at the NHL level. Some Stars prospects actually received a fair bit of playing time in the show and that is reflected in this year’s awards. The most resounding example being young defenseman John Klingberg, who has been just what the doctor ordered on a Dallas Stars attack needing a big time puck mover.
With former GM Joe Nieuwendyk out and former Red Wings GM Jim Nill in, the Dallas Stars seem to be even more European-friendly than usual these days. A number of young European professionals in their ranks covered the entire success/disappointment spectrum over the course of the 2014-15 season. The NCAA ranks have largely thinned out due to graduation. Devin Shore and Michael Prapavessis, the only two remaining at the collegiate level, both had very strong finishes to their respective seasons and Shore has turned professional. Overall, the Stars’ European defense pipeline continues to be very sturdy.
Emergence and trades combined with accelerated arcs and stalling players have mixed up the Dallas Top 20 prospect list quite a bit. With two slick, offensive-minded defensemen leading the way followed by some monsters in the middle portion of the list, the Stars continue to boast an eclectic mix of youngsters. While there are some projects hovering in the ranks, there is a lot of experience as well, as seven of these 20 have participated in an NHL contest.
Boasting one of the deepest, if not the most talented, group of prospects in the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings are set up for sustained success. Despite the recent prospect graduations of Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Jurco, the Wings pipeline still features the AHL’s leading scorer, one of college hockey’s most explosive players, as well as an abundance of defensive depth.