Stars junior prospects update

By Tanya Lyon

The Dallas Stars currently have four prospects in the Canadian Hockey League and two prospects in the United States Hockey League. Three of the Stars four prospects in the CHL are forwards, with Ivan Vishnevskiy, the Stars first round draft pick from 2006 being their lone defenseman in the CHL.

The Stars also have two players in the USHL: Pat McGann and Richard Bachman, both of whom are goaltenders.

Richard Clune, LW – Barrie Colts (OHL)
Drafted: 3rd round, 71st overall, 2005

This is Clune’s fourth season in the OHL and first with the Barrie Colts. The 5’11, 196-pound winger was acquired by the Colts from the Sarnia Sting in September when Clune held out from reporting to the Sting. The Colts received a talented forward in Clune. The Toronto native has consistently improved over each of his past three seasons in the OHL. Last season, he notched a career-high 52 points in 61 games, and a career-high 126 penalty minutes. This season, Clune has picked up right where he left off last season. He ranks third on the Colts in points scored with 28 points in 23 games and 47 penalty minutes. He has a +7 rating and leads the team with eight power-play goals.

Clune, whose favorite NHL player is reportedly Sean Avery, was also awarded the Colts’ October Sportsmanship Award. Clune seemed an interesting choice for this award due to some Avery-esque antics late in October. In a game against the London Knights, Clune scored an empty net goal and celebrated by doing push-ups on the ice. While the celebration didn’t result in any team infractions, these types of actions generally don’t go unchecked in the AHL or NHL.

This will be Clune’s final year of junior hockey as he will turn 20 in April 2007.

James Neal, LW – Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
Drafted: 2nd Round, 33rd overall, 2005

Neal is in his fourth year with the Plymouth Whalers and has consistently improved in each of his three seasons in the OHL. Last season, he scored 21 goals and 58 points in 66 games, a 14-point improvement over the previous year. This season Neal has continued his improvement. The 6’3, 205-pound forward has notched 14 goals and 28 points in 22 games played and is on pace to tally close to 90 points this season. Neal currently ranks second on the team in points scored and leads the team in goals scored. The Whitby, Ontario native has a +10 rating and has added a physical presence every time he is on the ice. The 6’3, 205-pound forward has notched 57 penalty minutes to go along with four power-play goals and two short-handed goals this season.

Aaron Snow, LW – Belleville Bulls (OHL)
Drafted: 3rd Round, 90th overall, 2006

Snow is entering his third year in the Canadian Hockey League. The Windsor, Ontario native is coming off his most productive season in the OHL where he scored 30 goals and 68 points in 68 games, a 53-point improvement over his first season in the OHL. The 6’, 205-pound forward got off to a solid start with the Brampton Battalion scoring five goals and eight points in 12 games before asking to be traded on Oct. 19. Snow sat out from competition for three weeks while waiting for a deal to take place. Finally, he was traded to the Belleville Bulls. Despite not competing for three weeks, Snow has picked up where he left off scoring three points in five games for the Bulls.

Ivan Vishnevskiy, D – Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)
Drafted: 1st Round, 27th overall, 2006

Vishnevskiy is one of the top-ranked offensive defensemen in the Stars system. The 5’11, 178-pound Russian is playing in his second season of North American hockey in the QMJHL. In his first North American hockey season, he tallied 13 goals and 48 points in 54 games played and was a member of the 2005-06 QMJHL Rookie All Star Team. This season, Vishnevskiy has continued to show offensive potential. He has scored 18 points in 20 games and is the Huskies top scoring defenseman. His 18 points also place him in the top 20 point-scoring defensemen in the league. Vishnevskiy also boasts the team’s second best plus/minus of +3. The 18-year-old was one of five QMJHL Russian players selected to participate in the 2006 ADT Canada-Russia Challenge. He has posted a combined -4 over the course of two games, illustrating his need to work more on his defensive game.

Pat McGann, G – Chicago Steel (USHL)
Drafted: 7th Round, 223rd overall, 2005

McGann began the season with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders before being dealt to the Chicago Steel for fellow Stars prospect Richard Bachman. Last season, McGann appeared in 17 games for the Roughriders going 5-8-3-1. He posted a goals against average of 2.95 and a .910 save percentage that season. This year, the 5’11, 160-pound goaltender has played in six games going 3-3-0. He has posted a 3.70 goals against average and a .874 save percentage. McGann’s inflated numbers include two losses where he allowed in a combined 12 goals in two games.

Richard Bachman, G – Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL)
Drafted: 4th round, 120th overall, 2006

Nineteen-year-old Richard Bachman was the first overall pick in the USHL Entry Draft this year. This is his first season in the USHL and first season with the Roughriders. He began the year with the Chicago Steel before he was traded for fellow Stars prospect McGann on Nov. 20. Prior to the trade, Bachman appeared in seven games for the Steel posting a 2-5-0 record with a 4.85 goals against average and a .888 save percentage. Bachman appeared in his first game for the Roughriders on Nov. 23. He posted a victory and stopped 29 shots. Bachman’s stellar play in net, helped the Roughriders tie for first place in the USHL East Division. Bachman has committed Colorado College next season.

Copyright 2006 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.