Below is the inaugural edition of the Dallas Stars prospect awards. The Stars have a wide-array of prospects and their depth is illustrated in the awards.
Team Depth Chart of NHL Prospects
- Upper-echelon forwards are progressing nicely.
- Copious amounts of sizeable, defensive defensemen.
- Tremendous amount of overall depth.
- Few prospects expected to reach "elite" or "gamebreaker" status.
- Recent grabs for offensive d-men came up short.
- Goaltending depth is limited in quantity and quality.
Legend of Players' Leagues
- Playing in N.A. Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc.)
- Playing in CHL (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
- Playing in NCAA
- Playing in Europe
- Playing in Junior 'A' (USHL, BCHL, AJHL, etc.)
- Not Categorized Yet
The Dallas Stars scour the NCAA and Europe regularly for young players and as a result have a number of quality prospects in both fields. Of the top-20 prospects in the Dallas organization, 11 of them – at some point or another – played at the NCAA level or in Europe. Many of their prominent collegiate prospects have recently turned pro and their best European prospect – Patrik Nemeth – is expected to move to the AHL next season.
Austin Smith was one of the three "Hobey Hat Trick" finalists this year after a sensational season in which he led the nation in goal scoring with 36 and finishing third with 57 points (36 goals, 21 assists) in 39 games with the Colgate Raiders. Smith's excellent senior campaign earned him numerous honors, including the ECAC Player of the Year and a selection to the All-America East First team.
If the Dallas Stars are looking to add a little fire to their lineup, they could do worse than to keep their 2000 1st round pick, LW Steve Ott, in their lineup next season. Ott has starred for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL for the past 3 seasons, providing equal parts skill and toughness on a consistent basis.
Ott led the Spitfires in scoring this season, notching 88 points (43G, 45A) in 53 games. In addition to his fine offensive work, Steve also cemented his image as a tough player, picking up 178 PIMs during the 2001-02 season. In his 3 seasons with Windsor, Steve accumulated 237 points, as well as 473 PIMs.
Steve’s good work this season did not go unnoticed, as he was named an OHL 2nd Team All Star. In addition to this award, Ott was also a member of Team Canada’s entry at the World Junior Championships, where he and his teammates earned silver medals. This was Steve’s 2nd appearance at the WJC.
This past season will in all likelihood be the last of Ott’s junior career. He has already signed a contract with Dallas, and will most likely get his pro career started with the Stars’ farm club in Utah.
I interviewed Steve prior to a recent playoff game, with the transcript of that conversation being presented below.
HF: Let’s talk about the playoffs first, I guess. You guys are down 2-0 in this series (vs. Erie, which the Otters eventually won), but other than that, you’ve had some success up to this point. What do you need to do to get past Erie in this Read more»
relationship with longstanding minor league affiliate, the Michigan
K-Wings, and began a 2 (optionally up to 4 year) deal with the Utah Grizzlies —
another IHL team from Salt Lake City. The next day Stars fans everywhere
read the headline, shrugged, told themselves “one IHL team is as good as
another”, and immediately turned over to the box scores. Few fans considered
how an interleague affiliation change could have much ramification on the development
of Stars future talent. But, though at first the
wisdom of this new relationship with the Grizzlies was not apparent in
most circles, it is definitely an improvement and a step in the right
direction for the Stars future. Here are a couple of reasons Stars fans
can look positively forward to this new affiliate:
# 1) Cold, Hard Cash
K-Wings no longer had the funds to support an NHL affiliate team. The IHL
began largely as a “bus league” for the Midwestern United States. In the league’s
infancy, IHL teams popped up in smaller towns and players were bussed from location to
location. As time went on, IHL began moving to bigger cities (i.e.
Chicago, Detroit) and profits began skyrocketing.