This past summer was an interesting time for the Dallas Stars organization as we got our first real good look at what we hope to be the 'future' of the Stars, playing together for most of the preseason. Three years worth of drafting for Joe Nieuwendyk have paid off and for the first time in a long time, we have a bright future ahead with a number of tantalizing and potentially great prospects.
While fans got their first glimpse of Jamieson Oleksiak, Troy Vance, Brenden Dillon and an extended look at Jack Campbell, unfortunately some of the best prospects in the system remained largely a mystery. The Stars have a good number of players in the NCAA and playing in Europe and because of obligations to their leagues, or the restrictions placed on college players, some of the best in the system weren't able to attend development camp or the prospects tournament in Traverse City.
While we still need some time to really evaluate players we haven't had much exposure to, it was advantageous to see some prospects placed in unfamiliar roles and settings and see how they respond. Brenden Dillon looked like a man among boys in Traverse City, yet understandably struggled a bit while playing in preseason games at the NHL level. Oleksiak showed the potential that led to him being a first-round draft pick yet he also showed just how much he has to learn before he's going to make a serious push for playing time in the NHL.
After the jump, a look at our initial prospect rankings heading into this season...
Throughout the season, we're going to be providing an update on all of the top prospects in the Dallas Stars system as we track their progress in college, the Canadian juniors and in Europe. Once a month, I'll update my prospect rankings based on the past month's performance along with the continued potential each player possesses at an NHL level.
For instance: Matt Fraser tore the ice up in the Traverse City tournament and was very impressive at times in the preseason. Yet we still haven't seen much that says he projects to be much more than a depth player at the NHL level, so for now he may be a bit further down the rankings than some would like.
Next week we'll have our first full prospects update, since there are still some players in training camp and in exhibition play. Next week, most leagues will be in full swing and we'll start to get our first good look at the future of the Dallas Stars.
You'll notice that I have also taken Tomas Vincour out of the rankings -- for now. With it looking like Vincour has made the NHL roster out training camp, there's a good chance he stays with the NHL team for most of this season and has a full rookie year. If he gets sent to the AHL fairly quickly after the start of the season, then I'll add him back to the rankings.
Here's the new rankings. Not much movement overall from last time, although that could change drastically based on what happens the first month of the season. The biggest move was John Klingberg jumping into the top five, while Colton Sceviour also made a big jump into the top ten after a very impressive preseason performance. Matej Stransky makes his top 20 debut as well.
1. Jack Campbell
2. Philip Larsen
3. Jamieson Oleksiak
4. Brenden Dillon
5. John Klingberg
6. Reilly Smith
7. Alex Chiasson
8. Scott Glennie
9. Richard Bachman
10. Colton Sceviour
11. Tyler Beskorowany
12. Patrik Nemeth
13. Matt Fraser
14. Hubert Labrie
15. Curtis McKenzie
16. Austin Smith
17. Alexander Guptill
18. Brett Ritchie
19. Troy Vance
20. Matej Stransky
Remember: these rankings are completely subjective and my opinion -- feel free to debate them in the comments.