The Dallas Stars & The WHL: Tomas Vincour's Quick Adjustment

Ronald Martinez

Tomas Vincour has established himself as a solid depth forward at the NHL level. He showed an offensive ability during his WHL career that Stars fans hope to see at the NHL level very soon.

Although he was the 1st overall pick in the 2007 WHL Import Draft, I didn’t know a lot about Tomas Vincour when the Vancouver Giants traded for him in 2010. He was drafted by Dallas in the 5th round of the 2009 NHL Draft (he was the first ever Oil Kings draft pick), and he had good size at 6-2 and over 200 pounds. His offensive production in Edmonton was OK, but nothing that jumped off the page.

The WHL

Vincour had spent his first three seasons in the WHL playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings. His production with Edmonton was solid in his first two years there (33 goals in 114 games), but he broke out in a big way in 2009-10. In 33 games before the trade to Vancouver, Vincour scored 17 goals in only 33 games.

Vincour embraced the style of play in the WHL, showing a physical edge not often seen in import forwards. While the merits of fighting in hockey are debatable, it is rare for a WHL import player to get involved in this sort of stuff (the typical import player is a skill guy who plays in a scoring role).

And something can be said for backing up a teammate, too.

Although his time in Vancouver was brief, he was very effective as a member of the Giants. He recorded 22 points in 24 regular season games, and added seven goals and 13 points in 15 postseason games. Vincour scored 29 goals in his final WHL season, adding 19 assists for a full season total of 48 points. Again, solid point totals, but nothing to write home about.

Pro Hockey

He turned pro the next season (2010-11), joining the Texas Stars. Vincour made his NHL debut on February 9th, 2011, becoming the first (modern day) Oil King to suit up in the NHL.

Vincour would have been a lock to make the Dallas roster for the 2012-13 season if not for the lockout. His likely spot would have been the right wing on line three with Cody Eakin at center and Brenden Morrow on the left side. Vincour and Eakin have been playing together on the top line in Austin, and two have quickly found some chemistry together.

Vincour’s offensive responsibilities at the NHL have been limited in his short career, and time on the top line for Texas will give him an opportunity to show he can contribute on a regular basis. In 2011-12, Vincour recorded five goals and 12 points for Dallas in 47 games. He scored on only 6% of his shots, and having seen him play a bunch, that number is assuredly going to increase in the future. He isn’t a sniper, but he has a hard and accurate shot.

At 21, Vincour is still a work-in-progress. Last year, the Stars placed him in a depth role. He didn’t look out of place, but he didn’t stand out, either. He seems to be picking up more and more as his professional career progresses, which is a good thing, as he still has a ways to go if he wants to be a top six forward in the future. The fact that he is already entering his third pro season at the age of 21 speaks volumes to his overall game and the structure he plays with.

At the very least, Vincour appears on his way to carving out a career as a responsible winger who doesn’t hurt his team. He’s big and strong, he can skate, and he knows where to be on the ice for the most part. He has the ability and talent to be a 20-goal scorer (and potentially more depending on who his linemates are), but he needs to play with more confidence to get there. And that comes with experience and opportunity – two things he is in the progress of earning.

Something can be said for Vincour’s physicality – he isn’t going to intimidate, but he doesn’t back away from that style of play, either. And he developed that part to his game during his three years in the WHL. Some examples:

I have made a Vincour wallpaper which you can download here.

I am going to be speaking with Brock Otten (OHL scout) regarding Radek Faksa this week. Are there any questions in particular you want me to ask him?

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