Photo: Acquired from Sarnia during the 2011-12 season, Brett Ritchie is expected to be a key cog in the IceDogs' offense in 2012-13. (courtesy of Terry Wilson / OHL Images)
With terrific drafting and progressing development, the Dallas Stars have quietly amassed one of the finest prospect pools in the National Hockey League. While it might be “standing room only” to start out in the minor leagues and some European pro leagues, the Stars will ultimately prevail with a stable full of exciting prospects who will garner heavy focus throughout the season.
Photo: The Dallas Stars' first pick at the 2012 NHL Draft, Radek Faksa, debuts at #4 in the ranking of their top 20 prospects (courtesy of CHL Images)
One would be hard-pressed to find a top-20 prospects list that has evolved and grown as rapidly and completely as the Dallas Stars has in the last few years.
Photo: Forward Radek Faksa was the first selection made by the Dallas Stars in the 2012 NHL Draft. A Czech playing in the CHL, Faksa has been compared favorably to 2011 draft pick Gabriel Landeskog. (Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
As the Dallas Stars continue to shift the focal point of their team and its leadership to its younger players, they took to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh as an opportunity to make some moves and continue to supplement their consistently-growing prospect pool.
Photo: Jamie Oleksiak was the Dallas Stars' first round pick in 2011. The 6'7 Oleksiak is one of several Stars prospects who possesses great size. (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
For the fourth consecutive season, the NHL hockey season in Texas ended in early April. The Dallas Stars finished with 42-35-5 record, but six spots out of the final playoff spot. With young players such as Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson becoming the new face of the franchise while veterans such as venerable captain Brendan Morrow approach the twilight of their career, it is safe to say the team is in a state of transition.
Sniper Chris Kreider recently joined the Rangers for their extended 2012 playoff run. Kreider has been one of the Rangers top prospects since he was drafted in in 2009. (Rich Kane/Icon SMI)
Below is the middle third of Hockey's Future NHL Organizational rankings as voted by the Hockey's Future staff. To determine the ranking, each team's entire prospect pool was taken into consideration. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice each season, in the fall and spring.