Stars 2010 draft review

By Mike Farkas

The Dallas Stars made five selections in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Previous regimes made quite a habit of moving picks and changing position all over the draft. This year, the Stars only made one pick related trade. They sent the 71st overall to Colorado for 77th and 109th.

As usual, the Stars made selections from a varied group of developmental teams and leagues. Along with their seemingly annual pick from the WHL, the organization came away with two Swedish players from the J20 SuperElit league, one player from Canada’s Junior ‘A’ program, and one from the U.S. National Team Development Program

Jack Campbell
Drafted: 1st round (11th overall)
Ht: 6’3” Wt: 175 lbs.

After Alexander Burmistrov and Dylan McIlrath were selected within the first ten picks but not highly touted defensemen Cam Fowler or Brandon Gormley, the Dallas Stars had the choice of grabbing the top-ranked goalie in the draft or one of the aforementioned defensemen. They proudly selected goaltender the top-ranked goaltender in Jack Campbell.

Campbell is one of the more highly-touted goaltenders in recent memory and has proven his worth in big game situations. He has good size at 6-foot-3 and very good athleticism. He challenges very well and is always square to his shooters. While some goalies may have had a similarly impressive skill-set, Campbell sets himself apart with an undeniable coolness and confidence in his game. He is not easily rattled and has proven to be a clutch performer. His work ethic and maturity, not to mention his propensity for coming up big in important games, helped cement him as the best goalkeeper in the draft.

The 18-year-old will join the back-to-back CHL champion Windsor Spitfires (OHL) where he will likely have an opportunity to play in a few more big games.

Patrik Nemeth, D – AIK J20 (J20 SuperElit)
Drafted: 2nd round (41st overall)
Ht: 6’3” Wt: 201 lbs.

The Stars addressed their lack of blue line depth in the second round when they selected Patrik Nemeth from AIK’s (Allsvenskan) junior team. A stay-at-home defenseman, Nemeth already has big league size and strength not to mention good mobility. The big Swedish blueliner is a physical player who times his hits very well and because of good balance and agility, rarely cancels himself out of the play.

He is a player who has risen quickly on some draft boards after being a virtual unknown 12 months ago. At 18 years old, he is a bit of a project and there are some questions about whether or not he has the puck skills to be serviceable at the NHL level. As long as he continues to make smart and solid outlet passes though, he should be fine. He is sometimes a bit too aggressive and can hurt his team with penalties.

Nemeth plans to remain in the AIK organization for at least the 2010-11 season.

Alex Guptill, LW – Orangeville (CCHL)
Drafted: 3rd round (77th overall)
Ht: 6’3” Wt: 175 lbs.

The Stars traded down a bit in the third round to select the 99th ranked North American skater: Alex Guptill from Orangeville of the Central Canadian Hockey League. Scouts went to a relatively unfamiliar place to see the 18-year-old display his excellent technical skills and 6-foot-3 frame. A fine skater who can quickly shift up and down gears, Guptill can be quite elusive. He also possesses an excellent shot with a tremendous release.

Guptill is a long way away from the professional level. He has yet to get a lot of experience playing against big-time competition and will need to ensure that his game translates seamlessly. He also needs to find the weight room at the University of Michigan and begin to fill out a rather slender frame. Additionally, his lackluster commitment to the defensive aspects of the game will certainly not be tolerated at the NCAA level.

Alex Theriau, D – Everett (WHL)
Drafted: 4th round (109th overall)
Ht: 6’2” Wt: 189 lbs.

The Stars once again went to the WHL in the mid-to-late stages of the draft looking for a passed-over gem. They may have found one in Alex Theriau, a smooth skating blueliner who plays a smart, controlled, and calculated game. He seems to be improving at a steady rate and was named Everett’s most improved player this past season. He sees the game quite well and makes a lot of good decisions on the ice. Although he is a decent passer, he will likely not be a prolific point-getter.

The 18-year-old has yet to put it all together consistently. The lack of offensive punch even at the junior level is a bit concerning. Additionally, he plays a very passive game and appears to shy away from contact. The blueliner should continue to get plenty of experience in Everett and is a player that could really have it “click” for him at any time.

John Klingberg, D – Frolunda J20 (J20 SuperElit)
Drafted: 5th round (131st overall)
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 158 lbs.

With their final selection in the 2010 Draft, the Dallas Stars selected John Klingberg, another defensemen from the J20 Superelit league. The 18-year-old is another good skater but with an extremely lean frame. Despite his size, he plays a chippy game and does not back down from challenges. With some added muscle and weight, he could develop into an impressive two-way defenseman.

Younger brother to Thrashers prospect Carl Klingberg, John is a smart player that moves the puck very well. His shot is currently lacking but should improve with time. He makes good decisions in the defensive zone usually and overall has very good hockey sense.