Jack Campbell debuts as top prospect for Dallas Stars

By Mike Farkas
The Dallas Stars top pick in the 2010 draft, Jack Campbell, debuts as the Stars top prospect. (Photo Courtesy of Holly Gunning/Hockey’s Future)

The Stars newest blue-chip prospect is also the newest number one prospect in the system. With the unexpected free-fall of touted defensemen Brandon Gormley and Cam Fowler, it looked like the Stars were set to bolster their depleted rearguard reserves. They went in a different direction though. Just days away from the Stars letting their long-time franchise netminder walk away to unrestricted free agency, the Stars may have just ushered in the new guard with Jack Campbell. Four of the Stars five draftees in 2010 premier on the new top 20 list.

Top 20 at a glance:
1. [NR] Jack Campbell, G, 8.C
2. [1] Scott Glennie, RW, 7.5C
3. [2] Philip Larsen, D, 7.5C
4. [3] Alex Chiasson, RW, 7C
5. [4] Ondrej Roman, LW/C, 7C
6. [7] Curtis McKenzie, LW, 7C
7. [11] Tomas Vincour, RW, 7C
8. [6] Richard Bachman, G, 7D
9. [13] Reilly Smith, RW, 7C
10. [12] Tyler Beskorowany, G, 7D
11. [5] Perttu Lindgren, C, 7D
12. [10] Austin Smith, RW, 7D
13. [NR] Patrik Nemeth, D, 7D
14. [17] Hubert Labrie, D, 6.5C
15. [8] Colton Sceviour, RW, 6.5C
16. [16] Tristan King, C, 6.5C
17. [9] Sergei Korostin, LW/RW, 6.5D
18. [NR] Alex Theriau, D, 6.5C
19. [19] Aaron Gagnon, C, 6B
20. [NR] John Klingberg, D, 6.5C

1. (NR) Jack Campbell, G, 18
Drafted 1st round, 11th overall, 2010

The Dallas Stars feel they may have hit the jackpot when they selected Jack Campbell with the 11th choice in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. No goaltender has been chosen higher than Campbell since 2005 when Montreal selected Carey Price. Campbell comes from the US National Team Development Program and is moving to the powerhouse Windsor Spitfires (OHL) in 2010-11. Campbell will now have a chance to win a Memorial Cup championship which will fit nicely between his U18 and U20 World Junior Championships gold medals.

Campbell has all the tools to be a talented NHL netminder, but he also has the cool, calm and collected mentality which is just as crucial. He has the size, athleticism, reflexes and intangibles of a franchise goalkeeper. It shouldn’t be too long until Campbell is challenging Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen for the starting gig in the Lone Star state.

2. (1) Scott Glennie, RW, 19
Drafted 1st round, 8th overall, 2009

Scott Glennie’s spot atop the Stars top-20 list was short-lived but he figures in nicely as the Stars best forward prospect. As expected, Glennie improved on his offensive numbers in 2009-10. He set new career bests in goals (32), assists (57), points (89) and perhaps most importantly, games (66). While Glennie saw himself on both the first and second lines this year, he still propelled the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) to the playoffs and later to their automatic bid in the Memorial Cup. Unfortunately, once the Wheat Kings were in the Memorial Cup, Glennie was not as noticeable. He’ll need to have a sensational season if he wants to take Brandon back to the championship round.

Glennie has very good wheels, excellent skills and a projectable frame. He appears to be another Western Leaguer and winger that may find himself in the Stars nightly lineup before too long. Glennie compares favorably to another Ontario native – Philadelphia Flyers center Jeff Carter.

3. (2) Philip Larsen, D, 20
Drafted 5th round, 149th overall, 2008

With Ivan Vishnevskiy peddled to Atlanta, Philip Larsen remains the team’s number one defensive prospect. He has come a long way from being a virtually unknown fifth round pick a couple years ago but has made impressive strides in his development. He completed another season in the Elitserien for his club Vastra Frolunda; he has participated in over 100 games in the top Swedish league by the age of 20. Once again he represented Denmark on the international stage and for the first time he got a crack at the NHL. He appeared in two games for Dallas late in the year, recording one assist.

Larsen uses his excellent hockey sense and tremendous skill to compensate for what is still a somewhat slender frame. He has been filling out nicely since he was drafted in 2008, but will need to prove he can handle the rigors of a long NHL season and the physical work along the walls of a smaller rink. He opens up the transition game with pinpoint passes and plays a good positional game. The Stars will give him a strong look in training camp but with many defensive contracts on the books, the Stars will probably have him serve a year of AHL duty for development purposes and to aid in his adjustment to the North American game.

4. (3) Alex Chiasson, RW, 19
Drafted 2nd round, 38th overall, 2009

Alex Chiasson’s freshman campaign at Boston University was quite successful. Getting into 35 games, Chiasson scooped up seven goals and 12 helpers to lead all team freshmen in scoring. The Quebec native stepped right into the Terriers plans after spending the 2008-09 season in the USHL. Already a fixture in the BU lineup, Chiasson will continue to work his way up through the ranks as he gains experience. To that extent, it wouldn’t be too surprising if the 6-foot-4 forward found himself on the first line when the leaves change in Eastern Massachusetts.

Chiasson is a big power forward with offensive skill to spare. His size for a winger is nearly ideal once he fills out. If he can bring it all together consistently he will be force at the NHL level. In the meantime, he’ll be a fan favorite at Boston University.

5. (4) Ondrej Roman, LW/C, 21
Drafted 5th round, 136th overall, 2007

The past two seasons have been somewhat hectic for Roman as he was caught in the middle of some transfer agreement issues. In 2008-09, he was able to figure out his way back to North America and the WHL. Unfortunately for Roman and the Stars last year, the former Spokane Chief got stuck in the Czech Republic playing in the top league, the second-tier league and the U20 junior affiliate. Roman excelled at the lower levels but was unable to gain a lot of ice-time among veterans in the top league. Roman left the Czech Republic but the AHL was unwilling to be a party to the uncertain atmosphere surrounding transfer agreements. Roman spent the time in North America working out and training but was left without a place to play.

Roman is a small but skilled playmaking forward. With Perttu Lindgren likely headed for Europe again, a center ice spot for an on-ice visionary such as Roman may have just opened up.

6. (7) Curtis McKenzie, LW, 19
Drafted 6th round, 159th overall, 2009

Another power forward freshman took to campus ice in 2009-10, University of Miami (Ohio) winger Curtis McKenzie. Like Chiasson, he made quite an impression as an 18 year old. McKenzie finished sixth on the club in scoring with six goals and 27 points and a team-leading 88 penalty minutes. The Redhawks play a game that features stifling defense from all angles, including backchecking forwards. McKenzie certainly made positive strides in his defensive game, which was an area in which he needed improvement. With some forwards graduating, McKenzie looks poised to slide up the depth chart very quickly and should play a major part in any success the Redhawks experience next season.

McKenzie plays a tough, gritty game and uses his size well. He can be quite the physical presence and has the makings of an excellent team player. His skills may translate to the next levels, but that’s a long way off. The British Columbia native will continue his heavy forechecking while continuing to improve his backchecking this year as he is expected to play a greater role.

7. (11) Tomas Vincour, LW/RW, 19
Drafted 5th round, 129th overall, 2009

Czech winger Tomas Vincour continues to climb steadily up the prospect list as expected. The WHL forward was dealt from the Edmonton Oil Kings to the Vancouver Giants for the latter’s playoff push. The sizeable winger’s play improved as he was surrounded by more talent and put together an impressive stretch run and playoffs. All told, Vincour potted 29 goals and 48 points in 57 games before playing in the first playoffs of his North American career.

Yet another fifth or lower round pick in the top-10 for the Stars (four already), Vincour provides a high amount of skill to either wing. Vincour is a natural-born sniper. It seems he may be a near-perfect counterpart for fellow Czech prospect Ondrej Roman, as Vincour has size and is willing to dig in the dirty areas to score. Scouting reports that list his skating as atrocious are exaggerating.

8. (6) Richard Bachman, G, 23
Drafted 4th round, 120th overall, 2006

After just two seasons at Colorado College, goaltender Richard Bachman turned pro in 2009-10. Bachman put together an impressive season as a first-year ECHLer. While splitting time with Rejean Beauchemin, Bachman out-dueled him with a 2.28 GAA and .910 save pct. Bachman stepped it up in the playoffs where he played in eight games posting a 1.59 GAA and .943 save pct. All this gave Bachman a spot on the all-rookie team and a nod to the ECHL second-team all stars.

At 5’10, Bachman is disadvantaged in terms of size, many under-six-foot goalies fail to make a strong inroads at the National Hockey League level. He has the athleticism and quick lateral movement to perhaps overcome his relatively diminutive stature in due time. It seems likely that Bachman will spend much of the year in the AHL in 2010-11 and he’ll have challenges from Brent Krahn and Tyler Beskorowany in all likelihood.

9. (13) Reilly Smith, RW, 19
Drafted 3rd round, 69th overall, 2009

Joining fellow Stars prospect and freshman Curtis McKenzie at the University of Miami (Ohio) was speedy winger Reilly Smith. Smith put up a respectable eight goals and 20 points in 44 games. He quickly showed that he’s a step above the depth forwards on the team and will almost certainly be a focal point of the offense in 2010-11. His excellent wheels will make him a valuable asset in the more controlled pace of college hockey.

Smith needs some more time in the gym but has to be careful not to offset his speedy nature. He has nice hands and good playmaking skills. There’s a chance his playmaking skills combined with graduating forwards could see Smith spend some time at center.

10. (12) Tyler Beskorowany, G, 20
Drafted 2nd round, 59th overall, 2008

The Stars’ tallest goaltending prospect, Tyler Beskorowany, left the Owen Sound Attack but didn’t escape a barrage of pucks in Kingston after a midseason trade. He has shown steady improveme
nt throughout his junior career but regrettably never was a part of a winning team. In all likelihood he’ll get the chance to supplant Richard Bachman’s spot in Idaho (ECHL) a team that has been successful over the past few seasons. Similarly, he should get a look in Texas (AHL) more than a few times and their magical run in their inaugural season certainly speaks volumes.

Outside of a pretty massive frame, Beskorowany’s best attribute might be his stick-handling. He has quality reflexes and covers a lot of net. He’s still a very raw prospect even two years after being drafted. Barring any unexpected leaps in his developmental trajectory, Beskorowany might need a few years in the minors to find his game completely.

11. (5) Perttu Lindgren, C, 23
Drafted 3rd round (75th overall) in 2005

After a year in Finland, Lindgren returned to the AHL to play for the fledgling Texas Stars (AHL). Although the Stars played a strong defensive game, Lindgren was still able to produce a respectable 33 assists and 47 points in 74 games and he put together an impressive playoff performance too as the Stars challenged for the Calder Cup. Lindgren appeared in his first NHL game in 2009-10, but doesn’t appear too interested in continuing his future in North America. Back in the middle of April, Lindgren removed any uncertainty of his 2011-12 location by signing with Lukko Rauma (SM Liiga).

Despite a gradual fading in both performance and expectations in Finland from a sensational rookie season, Lindgren will return to improve his reputation. A silky smooth playmaking center, Lindgren shows flashes of brilliance at times but rarely can he string it together for more than a handful of games. It’s disappointing he won’t try his hand at the NHL – supposedly in the near future – but it’s likely that he was too soft to compete meaningfully at the NHL level anyhow.

12. (10) Austin Smith, RW, 21
Drafted 5th round, 128th overall, 2007

Another strong season for Austin Smith at Colgate University is certainly enticing to the Stars’ brass. He led his club in points with 41 in 36 games. Smith will have a challenge ahead of him in 2011-12 though as he will no longer be able to rely on older linemate and friend David McIntyre (NJD) for offensive support. He will likely have the services of senior Brian Day (NYI) but even more of the offensive load is going to fall on the speedy junior’s shoulders.

Smith is a ball of energy and should meet the challenge quite well. He seems passionate for the game and displays an excellent compete level. In terms of translating his skills to the next level, Smith will need to continue to put on some size without sacrificing his speed and agility. It’s likely that Colgate will live and die with the talents of Smith for the next two seasons.

13. (NR) Patrik Nemeth, D, 18
Drafted 2nd round, 41st overall, 2010

The Stars second round pick steps immediately onto the list at 13. They passed on a big name defenseman with their first round pick but scored a big, mean one with their second pick. Nemeth was a relative unknown until he helped the Swedes to silver at the U18 World Junior Championships and put together an impressive J20 SuperElit season for AIK. Depending on the conditions, Nemeth could see a two-fold promotion as AIK will play in the Elitserien in 2010-11. However, he has yet to establish himself as an Allsvenskan regular.

Nemeth is big, strong and quite mobile relative to his size. He’ll never wow anyone with his puck skills but he doesn’t appear to be incompetent when he just keeps it simple. He’s physical and can be intimidating. Sometimes he gets into some penalty trouble, but that will smooth itself out with maturity. Unfortunately, barring any unseen circumstances, Nemeth doesn’t appear to be headed for the U20 World Junior championships this winter but may get a look in 2012.

14. (17) Hubert Labrie, D, 19
Signed as an undrafted free agent (September 2009)

Diminutive and undrafted, Hubert Labrie continues to improve in the QMJHL after receiving an entry-level deal from the Dallas Stars after an invite to the Traverse City Prospect Tournament in 2009. Labrie totaled career highs in goals, assists and points this past season but unlike many d-men his size, Labrie is actually a defensive-minded defenseman. After an impressive playoff performance where he placed third on the club in points, the Victoriaville native will look build upon his last campaign when he returns to Gatineau in 2010-11.

Labrie uses sharp skating ability and great hockey sense to the best of his ability. He’s always had to fight an uphill battle in terms of size, but makes up for it with drive and tenacity. If he was 6-foot-3 he would have likely been a top-two round pick in his draft year, but instead he quietly sits in Dallas’ pipeline waiting to graduate to the professional ranks.

15. (8) Colton Sceviour, RW, 21
Drafted 4th round, 112th overall, 2007

After several strong seasons in the WHL, Colton Sceviour moved on to the professional world. He debuted for Texas (AHL) and played the entire season there, notching nine goals and 31 points. The former Lethbridge Hurricane played as a depth forward for most of the season and should be expected to do the remainder of his career.

Sceviour plays the game with determination and can be the defensive conscience of any line. His game translates well enough to the NHL level that he could see some spot duty in Dallas sooner rather than later in case of injuries. Solid, if unspectacular, is the name of the game for Sceviour. If he continues to work hard he could become a serviceable NHLer in a couple of years.

16. (16) Tristan King, C, 19
Signed as an undrafted free agent (September 2009)

Tristan King earned himself a contract after moving to the Medicine Hat Tigers and taking on a larger role than he was handed on the Portland Winterhawks (WHL). He continued to up his production in his first full seasons in Medicine Hat; he compiled as many points (65) as 2010 first rounder Emerson Etem in
fact. King has the skills and the speed to be a player at the professional level, but can he play with the consistent determination necessary to pan out. According to some outlets, he was able to add some muscle to his frame this past season which will aid him in venturing into the mucky areas of the ice.

17. (9) Sergei Korostin, LW/RW, 21

Drafted 3rd round, 64th overall, 2007

Sergei Korostin is one of many Dallas prospects that debuted in the AHL at the same time as the Stars’ AHL affiliate. Korostin’s play gradually declined over the season but it was far from poor as he finished with 13 goals and 25 points in 63 games, playing all throughout the lineup. It is a little concerning though he didn’t play a major role (or any role really) in the Stars march to the Calder Cup Finals. Korostin plays a fast-paced game and is an effective forechecker but the niche that he fills at the professional level is unknown at this point. Is he skilled enough and consistent to be a top-six skill guy? Is he effective enough defensively and physically to be a bottom-six guy? This year should shed a lot of light on the Stars lone Russian prospect.

18. (NR) Alex Theriau, D, 18
Drafted 4th round, 109th overall, 2010

The Stars fourth-round pick in 2010 debuts on the list quickly at a modest number 18. His potential is interesting, if underrated. He skates well and plays a very smart, carefully calculated game for the Everett Silvertips (WHL). He made nice strides during the 2009-10 campaign after being dealt midway through the 2008-09 season. Theriau plays a vey passive game though and needs to ensure that he brings a competitive fire to each and every shift. For a prospect such as Theriau, his development is predicated on his ability to play a consistent and complete game.

19. (19) Aaron Gagnon, C, 24
Signed as a free agent (2009)

Aaron Gagnon had a break out year in 2010-11. He led the AHL’s Stars in goals (27) and points (58) while committing to the team’s staunch defensive system. Dallas rewarded their oldest prospect with a couple of games at the NHL level which may not be his last. He’ll be competing hard to nab a spot in the Dallas Stars’ bottom six during training camp, but at this point it’s more of a numbers game. He’s one of the more likely names to see called up in case of injury.

20 (NR) John Klingberg, D, 18
Drafted 5th round, 131st overall, 2010

Brother of Atlanta prospect Carl Klingberg, John is said to have a similar skill set. The 18-year-old will develop in the Vastra Frolunda system and should look into adding some pounds to his 158-pound frame. The Swedish blueliner will develop in the same program that Philip Larsen has been developing in and their similarities are pretty striking. Klingberg plays with a little more of an edge to his game as opposed to the calm, positional hockey that Larsen exhibits. But as lean, smooth-skating blueliners go with a knack for some offensive talent – Frolunda Indians (SEL) fans won’t miss a beat.