This Spring, the Dallas Stars organization severed its 13-year
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
Yes, columnists have been speculating for the last 2 years that the Michigan
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.
The K-Wings, however, were somewhat outpaced by the growth of the IHL. They Read more»
The Dallas Stars 2000 draft consisted of ten picks, with eight of the ten being European. Dallas selected an overage prospect later in the draft. Below is a detailed look at the Stars’ 2000 draft day.
#25 Steve Ott, C
6-0 168lbs 10-19-82 Windsor (OHL)
Must gain weight to be effective in the NHL, but already has the necessary skills. Has speed, good puck control, and good passing ability, while also maintaining a distinct edge to his game. Proof of his skills lie in the fact that he led his team in scoring as a rookie, and was MVP for Team Cherry in the ’00 CHL Prospect Game.
Solid pick with good upside, and should develop into a nice two-way player
Regular Season gp-66 g-23 a-39 pts-62 pim-131
playoffs gp-12 g-3 a-5 pts-8 pim-21
Dan Ellis, G
6-0 180lbs 6-19-80 Omaha (USHL)
A butterfly goalie that played last season in the weaker USHL, and will attend college next season. Possesses good quickness, rebound control, and focus, but must translate his game to the higher levels of competition.
A reach made because of need, but his progress has been encouraging.
gp-55 w-34 l-16 t-4 so-11 gaa-2.25
Joel Lundqvist, C
6-0 182lbs 4-2-82 Vasta Frolunda Jrs. (Sweden)
He has played well in recent international tournaments, while showing Read more»
-Like to select two-way forwards, hulking defenseman, players from the WHL, and recently forwards with plus skating ability.
-Since the Stars have been in Dallas they have not selected a goaltender in the first two rounds, and almost never select Slovakian, Czech, or QMJHL players.
-Goal scoring forwards with size and speed
Picks held: (as of 6/16/00)
#25, #55, #62 (from Min.), #85, #115, #145, #175, #205, #245, #275
What to expect in this year’s draft:
First four picks
-At least two versatile forwards, with each having plus speed.
-Maybe one goaltender, and at least one defenseman.
-Look for one or more “reaches” by the Stars, as a weak draft and vastly varying opinions could make for some interesting picks.
Late Round Picks
-Look for at least one player 20 or older to be selected.
-Look for a majority of Europeans to be selected here, as they are a
better value late.
-Will select a goaltender here if they pass on one in the earlier rounds.
-They have traded out of the first round the last two years, and they might again, but anticipate them making a selection this year.
-Could conceivably put together a package of picks and/or players to obtain a veteran goal-scorer on draft day.
Possible picks at #25:
Unlike the Stars’ parent club, the prospects stayed relatively healthy all
season, and this has resulted in some encouraging progress for the most part.
In turn, this article will attempt to overview many of these positives, and
some of the sparse negatives that occurred this season.
After about two years in minor-pro hockey Richard still has yet to put all
the pieces in place. This is not to say that he is a bust, but rather
suggests that he needs to find a role and stick to it. In other words, is he
an offensive defenseman, or is he a surly two-way d-man? The Stars’ would
like him to be a combination of the two, but his play this year suggests that
this is still to be determined. While he has the great stride and shot, his
future with this team will depend on him making better reads in the defensive
This multi-dimensional forward really came on this season for Prince George
of the WHL. Not only did he increase his overall offensive production, but he
also chipped in 7 game winning goals, and stepped up in the playoffs. Also,
he racked up 183 PIM’s, while also scoring 5 short-handed goals during the
regular season. Looks to be a Grant Marshall or Daren McCarty type player
with speed, and should challenge for a job very soon.
Erskine, a much maligned player, had what might be called a break through Read more»
Has really been solid in his pro debut. Examples can be seen in his play away from the puck, his vision with the puck, and his ability to take a hit to make a play. Look for Roman to remain in Dallas the whole year, despite being 20 years old, and look for him to be no less than a third line center during his stay.
Has shown the ability to play a power game while maintaining a solid skill level. Brenden is an excellent body-checker, drives the net, and has good adeptness with the puck. Further more, he has shown a tendency to go to the backhand when passing to an open man, and he has been rather successful in doing so. Further more, Brenden has found what looks to be a permanent spot on the second line, with the result being a surprising chemistry on that line. In all, his play has pushed Jon Sim out of the picture for now, while virtually assuring himself a long- term future on the second line.
While John’s skating is still rather poor, his overall skill level has improved quite a bit. As a result, even though critics abound (including myself), all must take notice of this fact. This fact presents itself in the form of increased discipline, improved puck control, and large amounts of ice time. Given these facts, one must admit that this progress does lend itself to some feelings of optimism for a future in the NHL.
Tyler Bouck-F Read more»