The NHL regular season if officially over, and the "also-rans" like we Stars faithful are left pondering and pondering until our ponderers are sore. We're going to start tearing this thing down and examining just what the heck happened this year to a very healthy team, but we have to look forward a little bit too, which brings us to the draft.
The NHL will hold the draft lottery this Tuesday, April 13th at 7:00pm CDT on Versus (or TSN if you're lucky enough to get it.)
Now that the action has wrapped up, we can see that Dallas finishes 11th in draft order, and it's pretty unlikely to change as they have only a 1.5% chance of winning the lottery. Should that unlikely feat be realized, they could move up a maximum of 4 spots.
Here are the standings:
|2||Toronto (traded to Boston)||74|
|10||Rangers (poor Rangers)||87|
|11||Dallas (hey, that's us!)||88|
11th isn't as good as 8th last year, but once you get past the first few picks (and sometimes not even then) players can be kind of a crap shoot. This, however, is expected to be a pretty strong class. Not as strong as 2003, but close.
We haven't exactly heard what the draft strategy will be this year and if GM Joe will be looking for some defensive help (my personal preference) or just taking the best player available at the time.
Here are some early draft projections for the 11th spot...
Names you will see at or around the 11th spot include: D Derek Forbort, D Mark Pysyk, C Riley Sheahan, C Jeff Skinner, and others. I'm sure it will change a few times between down and then anyway.
D Derek Forbort comes up #10 on a lot of lists and the next best guy, Pysyk shows up anywhere from 11 to 20, so if the Stars want defense, those look like two names we could be talking about come late June. Forbort is reported to be a big guy at 6'5", a little bit of a late bloomer, and according to some, a pretty mobile big man.
MyNHLDraft.com has the Stars taking Jeff Skinner, a center from the OHL.
Jon Merrill is often listed as the next defenseman behind the aforementioned two. He's a good American boy.
Can you tell I'd like to see new defensive prospects in this system? Still, there's something to be said for drafting the most talented player available to you. Raw talent can't be taught. If you have enough talent, you can flip it for the other pieces you need. It will be interesting to see how Nieuwendyk thinks this draft after a year on the job. Last years theme was speed.