FanPost

The Need for Centermen Prospects

I know the Dallas Stars’ need for centermen. The cupboard is pretty bare and has been for a while now. Because of this, I believe they’ll be trying to select one or more of them in the first two rounds of this upcoming draft. While this may not be the case, because you never can tell which way the scouts, Les, and Joe are leaning (re: Jack Campbell), I hope we select a few guys who can help us shore up the prospect deficiency down the middle.

I am attempting to list prospects who are in the range where we will likely be choosing, realistically. Since the Stars (at the moment) have one first rounder and two second round selections, I'd hope to see a center chosen with at least one of these three picks.

(All scouting reports taken from www.thescoutingreport.org)

C Radek Faksa – Kitchener (OHL)

DOB: 1/9/94 | Shoots: L | Height: 6’3 | Weight: 202 lbs.

Radek Faksa has seen his name shoot up the draft rankings ever since coming over to the Ontario Hockey League from HC Trinec of the Czech U20 league. Kitchener drafted the Czech native 22nd overall in the 2011 CHL Import Draft namely based on his offensively skill, but that is not all he brings to the table. Faksa has great size and does a pretty good job of utilizing it to his advantage. He’s shown to be an effective two-way player and has displayed improved consistency this year, unfortunately Faksa lacks a wow factor to his game. (Projected: mid 1st round.)

C Stefan Matteau – USNTDP (USHL)

DOB: 2/23/94 | Shoots: L | Height: 6’1 | Weight: 210 lbs.

Matteau’s game translates well to the professional ranks, which makes him valuable as a relatively safe bet in this range. He has pro size as well as an effective skill set that will suit the physical rigors of the NHL. Matteau shoots well, makes the simple play with the puck and brings a physical edge to his game. What Matteau lacks in pure foot speed, he makes up with an efficient skating stride that should allow him to gain quickness as he continues to get stronger. Matteau was originally slated to attend North Dakota but has since committed to play in the QMJHL next year with Blainville-Boisbriand. (Projected mid to late 1st or early 2nd round.)

C Colton Sissons – Kelowna (WHL)

DOB: 11/5/93 | Shoots: R | Height: 6’1 | Weight: 189 lbs.

With good size and a lethal shot, Sissons undoubtedly projects on the high end as a top-6 winger in the NHL. His game is not without question marks, though – as he currently has a team-worst -15 rating. Sissons could also benefit from using his teammates better as evidenced by his low assist totals, however has certainly shown a knack for being a hard worker on the ice. Sissons was recently named captain of his team for the upcoming CHL top prospects game, which proves his ability to lead by example on the ice. Look for Sissons to continue to put up impressive goal scoring numbers, while also continuing to improve his all-around game leading up to the draft. (Sissons recently sustained a concussion, which could affect where he goes in the draft. Prior to concussion, he was projected to go late 1st to early 2nd round.)

C Tomas Hertl – HC Slavia Praha (Czech)

DOB: 11/12/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6’2 | Weight: 200 lbs.

Hertl had a very productive first half to the season. Playing in the Czech Extraliga on a weak team, Hertl has worked his way up the depth chart and been an effective offensive contributor for the team. Hertl has a good blend of size and skating ability and displays some grit and a willingness to finish checks. At the World Juniors, Hertl was one of the top Czech forwards and had a strong showing in the tournament. If Hertl can close out his season with continued strong play he will make a compelling case to be a Top 20 pick this summer. (Late 1st round.)

C/LW Jarrod Maidens – Owen Sound (OHL)

DOB: 3/4/94 | Shoots: R | Height: 6’1 | Weight: 180 lbs.

Maidens is a big winger who plays the game with purpose and drive. He skates well and plays a very north/south game and brings it every shift. Maidens uses his size to overpower defenses and does a good job of playing in traffic and neutralizing tight checking defenses. Maidens has been a tremendous goal scorer in minor hockey and has started to show that offensive upside this year with Owen Sound. Maidens has missed time with a concussion but expect him to pick up where he left off when he returns to the lineup as his big body presence has been sorely missed in the Attack lineup. (Projects anywhere from mid 1st to early 2nd round.)

C/LW Andreas Athanasiou – London (OHL)

DOB: 8/6/94 | Shoots: L | Height: 6’1 | Weight: 175 lbs.

There were high expectations for Athanasiou after a surprising rookie season and strong showing at the Under 18’s, but thus far the results haven’t been up to par. Athanasiou is one of the top skaters in the draft and relies heavily on his speed to create scoring chances off the rush. He hasn’t got a ton of ice-time in a talent laden London lineup, but he has shown flashes of brilliance at times this year. Unfortunately, he’s also shown very little in other games and consistency is a big question mark for Athanasiou. At this point, he seems to be a player who is very similar to New York’s Michael Grabner and any team taking him should know that while his speed is a huge asset, there’s a lot of risk with regards to how he projects at the next level. (Projects anywhere from mid 1st to mid 2nd round.)

C Mike Winther – Prince Albert (WHL)

DOB: 7/9/94 | Shoots: R | Height: 5’11 | Weight: 175 lbs.

Mike Winther is the kind of competitor that every coach loves to have. With an excellent shot, second to-none work ethic, and excellent two-way play, Winther certainly has all of the tools to be a very strong player at the next level. The biggest issue in Winther’s game right now is simply strength – standing at 5’10” and listed at 175 pounds – Winther will certainly need to get stronger to compete at the next level. Even with his small stature, however, Winther plays a fearless kind of game as he goes into the hard areas and competes with players much larger than him. As the season has worn on, Winther has seemingly only gotten better and been a shining star on a generally poor team. He’ll need to continue to compete at a high level in order to continue to climb up the rankings. (Projects late 1st to mid 2nd round.)

These players are all ranked in the top fifty prospects at the moment, and I would like to see who you ultimately think the Stars might go for in this draft, whether it's one of these prospects or someone else entirely, let me know in the comments.

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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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