FanPost

NHL Draft Watch 2012: The Defence

The first round of the draft is likely to be dominated by defensemen. In the CSS midterms 13 of the top 30 North American skaters were defensemen. There appears to be a consensus that many of these defensemen have the potential to be franchise defensemen. If the Stars stick to their position of drafting the best player available it is quite possible that we will draft a defenseman.

Each player's name should link to their Elite Prospects page. The reports are based on the evaluations of several different scouting websites.

Slater Koekkoek

Age: 18

Height: 6”2

Weight 183lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Left

Current Team: Peterborough Petes

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 26 Games, 5 Goals, 13 Assists, 18 Points, 17 PIMs, -7

Rankings:

CSS Midterms: 10th in North America

Future Considerations: 10th

THG: 13th

ISS: 15th

HockeyProspect: 14th

Slater Koekkoek is one of the most talented blueliners on the Peterborough Petes. He has a big size and is still filling out his frame. He also has excellent skating ability. He moves the puck extremely well and has worked on his defensive prowess. He is still a little bit raw however.

Matt Finn

Age:17

Height: 6”0

Weight: 185lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Left

Current Team: Guelph Storm

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 36 Games, 6 Goals, 24 Assists, 30 Points, 38PIMs, -5

Rankings:

CSS Midterms: 15th in North America

Future Considerations: 16th

THG: 25th

ISS: 17th

Hockey Prospect: 18th

Matt Finn has shot up the draft rankings over the last few months and is like to be drafted within the 15-20 picks. He appears to be a versatile defenseman and has been shifted between roles as shut down defenseman and an offensive defenseman. Matt Finn is definitely an interesting prospect to keep an eye on.

Cody Ceci

Age: 18

Height: 6”2

Weight: 209lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Right

Current Team: Ottawa 69s

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 42 Games, 9 Goals, 31 Assists, 40 Points, 12PIMs, +22

CSS Midterms: 16th in North America

Future Considerations: 8th

THG: 10th

ISS: 11th

Hockey Prospect: 9th

Cody Ceci has a good hard shot and is particularly good on the powerplay. He has a big body and has the physical maturity for the pros already. He has improved from his first season in the OHL, not just in his offensive numbers but with his defensive zone coverage. Cody Ceci has a good international reputation playing for Canada.

Derrick Pouliot

Age: 17

Height: 5”11

Weight: 170lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Left

Current Team: Portland Winterhawks

Current League: WHL

Current Stats: 45 Games, 6 Games, 26 Assists, 32 Points, 48PIMs, +2

Rankings:

CSS Midterms: 10th in North America

Future Considerations: 14th

THG: 15th

ISS: 21th

Hockey Prospect: 26th

Derrick Pouliot has had a bit of an off on season. He is an offensive defenseman, with good skating skills, but his offensive talents are best used on the point of the power play. However some believe that he could put more effort into the game, in particular when he isn’t number one defenseman. He has fallen to the point man on the second power play unit due to the return of an injured team mate.

My Opinion

There are a lot of good defensemen predicted to go in the first round this year. At the moment there are several good defensemen that could go around where we are current projected to draft. All of the above would be excellent defensemen, however I like the look of both Slater Keokkoek and Cody Ceci. I’m unsure whether Cody Ceci will still be available when we pick but Slater Keokkoek is still a good defence prospect. I don’t think we will draft a defenseman because we have a few defensive prospects we have acquired through drafting and free agency. Though its possible that our defensive prospect cupboard could be a little short if we make a big trade before the deadline. I personally think that we should stick to the best player available strategy and if that player is a defenseman so be it. Good defensemen have the potential to be good trade bait so we shouldn’t just ignore the possibility of drafting a defenseman.

This is a user-created FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Defending Big D. FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable hockey and Dallas Stars fans.

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