The Dallas Stars continue to exhibit a very balanced prospect group where a good variety of player types abound. They have a veritable cornucopia of players designated as prospects by Hockey’s Future’s standards – 42 in all, including 18 defensemen (not including Jamie Oleksiak and Jyrki Jokipakka). As a result, some very noteworthy players such as bulky winger Brett Ritchie, QMJHL champion goalie Philippe Desrosiers and the Swedish defense duo of Patrik Nemeth and Mattias Backman will not be mentioned below.
Movement abounds in the newest Dallas Stars Top 20 list. The acquisitions of Mattias Backman, Mattias Janmark and, most recently, Stephen Johns all make their respective impacts while two 2015 draft picks make the list as well. Meanwhile, three defensemen graduate the prospects list for regular NHL duty: John Klingberg, Jamie Oleksiak and Jyrki Jokipakka. The Stars also bid adieu to Ludwig Karlsson and 2009 top ten pick Scott Glennie, neither of whom received a qualifying offer.
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.