Stars 2010 draft preview

By Mike Farkas

Top 10 prospects

1.    Scott Glennie, RW
2.    Philip Larsen, D
3.    Alex Chiasson, RW
4.    Ondrej Roman, C
5.    Perttu Lindgren, C
6.    Richard Bachman, G
7.    Curtis McKenzie, LW
8.    Matt Tassone, C
9.    Colton Sceviour, RW
10.    Sergei Korostin, RW

The Dallas Stars hold the 11th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Team Needs

The Stars are in a state of transition, which is magnified in net. The Marty Turco era has ended in Dallas; it will be the first time in the 21st century that the Stars won’t have Turco on the roster. The solution to the Stars goaltending woes rests squarely on the shoulders of Kari Lehtonen. But the backup goaltender position is up for grabs and it is an important one looking back at Lehtonen’s history of injuries. Brent Krahn and Matt Climie are both unrestricted free agents but could be brought back for the role. Younger prospects in the system such as Richard Bachman, and to a lesser extent Tyler Beskorowany, have a chance to secure the job in camp but would probably be better served gaining experience in the AHL

On the blueline, it was a tough year for a number of Stars defensemen. If any Stars defenseman stuck out for the better, it would be the recently graduated Mark Fistric. Sticking out for the worse would be the recently graduated Matt Niskanen. There are some holes to fill on the blueline and the Stars inability to replace their former No. 1 defenseman Sergei Zubov hurt them severely. In addition to Dallas missing an impact rearguard, the prospect pool lacks one as well. The organization dealt away Ivan Vishnevskiy to pick up Lehtonen and that left them with Philip Larsen as the top dog on defense. And while Larsen has been improving at a rapid rate and shows a lot of promise, his immediate impact on the NHL will probably be limited. 

The Stars have a pretty prominent group of forwards as it stands right now. The bottom-six forwards have a better chance of being replaced than the big-name, big-money top-six forwards.  Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson, Brendan Morrow, James Neal and Jamie Benn can reasonably be molded into the top two lines. The organization can provide most of the remainder of the forward depth by way of already signed players such as Steve Ott and Toby Petersen and by way of prospects such as Colton Sceviour or Aaron Gagnon

Organizational Strengths

Dallas does continue to produce forwards from good drafting. Recently, Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn, Tom Wandell and James Neal have made a positive impact on the franchise. These system prospects were supplemented with the likes of Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow.  In recent years, the Stars prospect pool has been nearly over-saturated with forward prospects.  Currently, 16 of the Stars top 20 prospects are forwards. Players with top-end potential include Scott Glennie, Alex Chiasson and Curtis McKenzie. Meanwhile, there is no shortage of future depth forwards in the system either with Colton Sceviour, Raymond Sawada and Aaron Gagnon playing in the minors this past season.

The Stars lack of defensive prospects can somewhat be attributed to the number of defenders they have graduated to the NHL in recent years. Trevor Daley, Mark Fistric, Nicklas Grossman and Matt Niskanen all are apart of Dallas’ current defense corps. That said, the Stars do need to quickly supply their prospect pool with blueliners. 

Organizational Weaknesses

In recent years, the Stars have been unable to sustain a stable of blue-chip or near blue-chip prospects. The Stars have largely supplemented their team with relative surprises. James Neal and Jamie Benn’s immediate impact on the NHL was a pleasant surprise not a foregone conclusion.  But it’s difficult to pinpoint the last time the Stars had a can’t-miss, impact blue chipper who fans were anxious to see take to the NHL ice. They’ll once again have the chance to draft one in 2010.

Defense and goaltending are lacking in the system. Tyler Beskorowany has yet to put anyone’s concerns to rest about his ability to be a professional player. He should get a good look in the minors next year though. Richard Bachman played just fine this year but he still is a long way from becoming starter material at the NHL level. It couldn’t hurt to add another goalie prospect into the system just in case the tandem of Beskorowany and Bachman doesn’t turn out at the pro level. 

There are scant few defensemen in the system. Danish sensation Larsen is the most prominent of the bunch and is ranked No. 2 among all Stars prospects. The next is ranked 18th, and that’s the diminutive defensive defenseman Hubert Labrie. That tells the whole story. The Stars should be inclined to make this a defensemen-heavy draft. 

Draft Tendencies

The Stars have had a few regimes rule over the past few years. One consistency is the inclination to dip into WHL and have had great success by drafting out of the Western League.  Additionally, the Stars do not seem to hesitate drafting out of Junior ‘A’ programs for players that haven’t moved to major junior or college programs yet. Outside of now-departed 2006 first rounder Vishnevskiy, the Stars have not drafted out of the QMJHL since 2003 sixth rounder Francis Wathier

The Stars own picks No. 11, 41, 71, 131 and 161. The Stars moved their fourth pick with Ivan Vishnevskiy for Kari Lehtonen. They also moved their seventh pick to Chicago for Doug Janik. 

Hockey’s Future Staff Mock Draft Pick: Derek Forbort, D, USNTDP