Photo: New General Manager Jim Nill (right) and the Stars’ 10th overall selection, Russian winger Valeri Nichushkin, will play key roles in the club’s future (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
It might be a new ranch, but it is not his first rodeo. Dallas Stars new General Manager Jim Nill embarked on his first substantial opportunity to put his mark on his new team at the National Hockey League Entry Draft in Newark, NJ in the midst of an otherwise indiscernible June afternoon and evening. Nill and his staff entered the day with nine picks in seven rounds, including five of the first 68 selections. Like many drafts as they approach, this one was touted as the “next great one” and if that is any indication (it normally is not), the Stars were primed to really push their already burgeoning prospect pool to the boiling point.
Photo: Radek Faksa, the 13th overall pick in 2012, is only the third forward selected in the first round by Dallas since former captain Brenden Morrow was drafted in 1997 (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Upheaval was required after the Dallas Stars failed to clinch a playoff berth for the fifth consecutive season. General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk fell on the sword despite a plethora of in-season moves that unloaded roster players. Long-time Red Wings Assistant GM Jim Nill came in and dispatched Head Coach Glen Gulutzan as well.
Photo: Rookie pro Alex Chiasson was sidelined by injury after a great debut in Dallas. Upon his return during the AHL playoffs, other injuries in the Texas lineup forced him to make the difficult shift to center (courtesy of Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
Despite a resolute late push by the now-younger Dallas Stars in the regular season, they were unable to clinch a playoff berth for the fifth consecutive season. And once again, upheaval was afoot. The Stars sacked head coach Glen Gulutzan after two seasons but not before canning general manager Joe Nieuwendyk as well. Conversely, at the minor league level, the Texas Stars enjoyed a very successful regular season and won a playoff round.
Photo: Goaltender Jack Campbell put together a strong rookie AHL season playing behind the Texas Stars, which captured the best record in the AHL’s Western Conference during the regular season (courtesy of Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
In the second edition of the Dallas Stars
prospect awards we find a repeat winner on the blue line, another Stars prospect graduates into the NHL with a boom, and last year’s breakout prospect becomes this year’s most improved – much to the relief of Stars fans across the globe.
Photo: Senior winger Curtis McKenzie finished the 2012-13 season third in points and first in penalty minutres for the Miami Redhawks (courtesy of Tim G. Zechar/Icon SMI)
The Dallas Stars are not afraid to delve into the European ranks at the pro or junior level. In fact, many of the Stars best defensive prospects were drafted out of Europe and have worked their way up the ranks fairly quickly. Former Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk, a Cornell alum, did not at all mind going for NCAA or NCAA-bound players. As a result, the Stars boast a pretty impressive pipeline coming in from the college ranks.