FanPost

NHL Draft Watch 2012: The Second Round

In the upcoming draft the Dallas Stars have two second round picks (Ours and the LA Kings (Obtained from Philadelphia)). This gives us some interesting options. This draft is considered to be deep with elite or very good defensemen some of whom might be available within the second round. Not only does this increase the likelihood of a good defenseman dropping into the second it also raises the possibility of good forwards dropping to the second as teams are going for defensemen. Also with the injury bug that has hit this draft year particularly hard several players originally thought to be sure first rounders have dropped in the standings meaning that it is possible that a steal could be possible. (An example of this is Brendan Saad, originally thought to be a high pick but after suffering injury dropped into the second round).

Below are a list of 10 players, 4 Defensemen, 3 Centres (One who also plays Left Wing) and 3 Left Wingers. I have chosen these players to look at simply on the basis of Dallas's draft needs and where they will be drafting (at the moment). The two second round picks are currently numbers 44 and 45.

All this information has come from various scouting and prospect websites. Player's names will link to their Elite Prospects Page.

Ludvig Byström (Sometimes spelt Ludvik)

Age: 17

Height: 6"0

Weight: 187lbs

Nationality: Swedish

Shoots: Left

Position: Defence

Current Team: MODO J20/ MODO

Current League: SuperElit/Elitserien

Current Stats:

MODO J20: 26 Games, 5 Goals, 15 Assists, 20 Points, 97PIMs

MODO: 19 Games, 1 Assist, 1 Point, 8 PIMs

Draft Rankings:

CSS: 8th

Future Considerations: 20th

Scouting Report: 35th

Hockey Prospectus: 15th

TSN Midterm Report: Honourable Mention

Craig's List: 17th

Ludvig Bystrom, like most Swedish defenseman, has a good hockey IQ and was one of the top scoring defensemen in the SuperElit when he was playing with MODO J20. He moves the puck well, with good passing skills and unafraid to play with physicality. He was called up to the senior team and has proven himself to be a steady defenseman. However he has had limited time while playing in the Elitserien, unsurprising considering he is a 17 year old playing in the adult leagues. Draft rankings so far have him going anywhere between the middle of the first round to early in the second.

Should we draft him?

There is always value in puck moving defensemen; especially those that do it well. Though he hasn't exactly shone point productive wise in the Elitserien the level of his competition has to be taken into consideration. He has proven himself valuable at that level, otherwise he wouldn't still be called up. Playing in the Swedish Elitserien at the age of 17 is no mean feat and if he is still available when the Stars come to draft we need to make sure we have had a good hard look at a potentially very good puck moving defenseman. Though the Stars blue line prospect cupboard is looking well stocked we might feel that another good defenseman is not a bad thing to have.

Phil De Giuseppe

Age: 18

Height: 6"1

Weight: 201lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Left

Position: Centre

Current Team: University of Michigan

Current League: NCAA

Current Stats: 35 Games, 10 Goals, 12 Assists, 22 Points, 14 PIMs, +/-0

Draft Rankings:

CSS: 28th

Future Considerations: 19th

Scouting Report: 31st

Hockey Prospectus: 43rd

TSN Midterm Report: 27th

Craig's List: 31st

Phil De Giuseppe is a fast skating offensive player with soft hands. He is also skilled at fighting through checks from defensemen. However his main weaknesses are his size (though he appears to have built up strength over the season) and his developing defensive skills. In order to be truly effective he will need to get bigger, plus work on defence in his own end. He is likely to stay at the University of Michigan for the next 3 years.

Should we draft him?

Phil De Giuseppe is clearly a good offensive player but scouts concerns over his defensive ability concern me. He would however have time to develop a more rounded game at the University of Michigan, especially if he is going to do the full 4 years. This as well would mean that it would take time before we saw him playing at either Cedar Park or in Dallas. He is definitely an interesting prospect, however his apparent defensive deficiencies worry me, also it is likely that he will have been drafted before we pick.

Jarrod Maidens

Age: 17

Height: 6"2

Weight: 174lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Left

Position: Centre (Also plays Left Wing)

Current Team: Owen Sound Attack

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 28 Games, 12 Goals, 11 Assists, 23 Points, 4PIMs, -2

Draft Rankings:

CSS: 21st

Future Considerations: 44th

Scouting Report: 40th

Hockey Prospectus: 45th

TSN Midterm Report: 35th

Craig's List: 23rd

Jarrod Maidens is another 2012 draftee who has suffered from this years injury bug. He suffered a concussion after 28 games and (as far as I'm aware at the point of writing this) is still out. He was considered a potential top six forward who was likely to go in the mid first round. However injury has reduced his stock and in all likelihood he will drop to the second round. He is a talented power forward and some scouts early in the season valued his leadership skills highly, with one saying that he could become a face of a franchise. He skates well and uses his strength and size to overpower the defence.

Should we draft him?

Ever since I first heard about Jarrod Maidens I felt that he was a player that would fit well in a Stars uniform, especially the one that it appears Joe Nieuwendyk is building. A good power forward who can play in either of the two positions that Dallas are weak in prospects (Left Wing and Centres). Leadership skills would be an added bonus and could help our marketing in the future. He is probably easily a top six forward and be a very good player for the Stars in the future. If he drops into the second round it would potentially be one of the biggest steals of the draft.

Cristoval Nieves

Age: 18

Height: 6"2

Weight: 176lbs

Nationality: American

Shoots: Left

Position: Left Wing

Current Team: Kent School

Current League: USHS

Stats (No stats are available for this season, These figures are from the previous year):

23 Games, 43 Goals, 18 Assists, 61 Points

Draft Rankings:

CSS: 31st

Future Considerations: 39th

Scouting Report: 48th

Hockey Prospectus: 30th

TSN Midterm Report: None

Craig's List: None

Cristoval Nieves has good size along with a good frame. He clearly has significant offensive upside alongside good skating skills. Although he is big he appears to shy away from a physical style of play. He is almost certainly going to be heading to the NCAA to play for Michigan for the start of the 2012 season. One issue that has scouts concerned is that the USHS league that he is playing in is a far lower skill class than other major junior leagues. Anyone who drafts him will have to wait a number of years before seeing him enter their system.

Should we draft him?

Cristoval Nieves is in a way a wild card. He could pay off or he might not reach expectations at all. He clearly has the size and the frame to be an NHL player, however its hard to tell whether his hockey skills have been tested enough playing in the USHS. If he played in one of the major junior leagues it would give a better perspective of his offensive ceiling and his defensive skills. He has the potential but it would take a long time to see whether he could succeed in the NHL. His skating is something that would be desired however he would probably have to develop his physical side of the game, something that will hopefully be helped by several years playing in the NCAA. Cristoval Nieves could be a very good player, however whether the risk is worth it might make us look to those still left on the table.

Tanner Pearson

Age: 19

Height: 6"0

Weight: 196lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Left

Position: Left Wing/Right Wing

Current Team: Barrie Colts

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 51 Games, 33 Goals, 49 Assists, 82 Points, 33 PIM, + 22

Draft Rankings:

CSS: 22nd

Future Considerations: 53rd

Scouting Report: 39th

Hockey Prospectus: 34th

TSN Midterm Report: 26th

Craig's List: 39th

Tanner Pearson has blossomed in his second year in the OHL and has eclipsed his previous years totals (66 Games, 15 Goals, 27 Assists, 42 Points) while also improving his defensive game. After being passed over in the past two drafts Pearson has worked hard on his skating and hustle and it has started to show. However one issue that appears to be cropping up on scouts reports is what kind of offensive ceiling he has.

Should we draft him?

Tanner Pearson has no glaring weaknesses in his game, something that comes from several years playing in the junior leagues and being able to round off your game. I believe as well that he is eligible to turn pro next season as he has spent his three years in the juniors already. Though his offensive rate has slowed from the beginning of the season he was considered good enough to be called to the U20 Canadian National team training camp. If he can continue his offensive ways and maintain and improve his defensive skills he could turn into a good two way forward in the pros. If we draft him don't be surprised to see him playing in Cedar Park next season.

Jordan Schmaltz

Age: 18

Height: 6"2

Weight: 174lbs

Nationality: American

Shoots: Right

Position: Defence

Current Team: Green Bay Gamblers

Current League: USHL

Current Stats:

Sioux City Muskeeters: 9 Games, 3 Goals, 3 Assists, 6 Points, 9 PIMs, -4

Green Bay Gamblers: 29 Games, 6 Goals, 16 Assists, 22 Points, 16 PIMs, +8

Draft Rankings:

CSS: 35th

Future Considerations: 37th

Scouting Report: 43rd

Hockey Prospectus: 40th

TSN Midterm Report: 34th

Craig's List: 58th

Jordan Schmaltz has slid down the draft rankings as his offensive upside has appeared to level out. He missed the 2011 draft by a month and therefore has had another year in the USHL to develop, instead of focusing his offensive skill he has spent the season developing his defensive skills. He is a good skater with patience when moving the puck. Jordan Schmaltz is another player who will almost certainly be heading to the NCAA when the 2012 season starts and will play for the University of North Dakota. He has already been compared to a young Scott Niedermayer.

Should we draft him?

Jordan Schmaltz is another player who I thought looked like an interesting prospect. Though coming into the season his offensive talents were the main focus of most scouts he has spent this season improving his defensive play. Though his numbers are lower than expected he has become far more reliable in his own end. It does worry some scouts that his offensive skills are reliant on less reliable work in his own end. Again Jordan Schmaltz is a good defenseman who can also move the puck and provide offense. Another factor, which I noted in one of my earlier posts, was the desire for American players from some fans. This could be their perfect candidate. However it would likely take a significant amount of time for Jordan Schmaltz to turn pro because of his insistence on playing in the NCAA. If we drafted him it would be some time before we could potentially see him on the ice in Dallas.

Brady Skjei

Age: 17

Height: 6"3

Weight: 203lbs

Nationality: American

Shoots: Left

Position: Defence

Current Team: USNTDP

Current League: USHL

Current Stats: 15 Games, 1 Goal, 6 Assists, 7 Points, 12 PIMs, +2

Draft Rankings:

CSS: 18th

Future Considerations: 43rd

Scouting Report: 29th

Hockey Prospectus: 44th

TSN Midterm Report: 21st

Craig's List: 44th

Despite Brady Skjei huge size he is one of the most mobile and best skating defensemen in the entire draft. He is still relatively raw but if he continues to work hard he will become a good defenseman in the NHL in time. Time is what it would take as he is committed to play for the University of Minnesota in 2012. Though it would be at least 3 years before he would turn pro Skjei has shot up the rankings since the beginning of the season. Some predict he could be drafted within the first others say second. In my opinion if it was not for the fact that this years draft is deep defensively then he would easily be a first round pick. He would certainly be a steal if acquired in the second.

Should we draft him?

Brady Skjei does not appear to the type of defensemen who will put up significant points on the table, some but not a lot. He is big and a very good skater for his size. It does give you a pause for thought to imagine a possible partnership with someone like Oleksiak/Nemeth/Vance in the future. He is another player that is dedicated to taking the NCAA route and therefore will be several years in coming to the pros. However it would allow him time to work on some impressive set of skills that are still, for the moment, pretty raw. Though he would take a long time I think Brady Skjei could be an impressive defenseman in the NHL. Again, he is an American which might have some appeal to an American franchise.

Lukas Sutter

Age: 18

Height: 5"11

Weight: 185lbs

Nationality: Joint American Canadian

Shoots: Left

Position: Centre

Current Team: Saskatoon Blades

Current League: WHL

Current Stats: 61 Games, 26 Goals, 27 Assists, 53 Points, 144PIMs, + 19

Draft Rankings:

CSS: 86th

Future Considerations: 52nd

Scouting Report: None

Hockey Prospectus: None

TSN Midterm Report: None

Craig's List: None

Lukas Sutter, son of Rich Sutter, is a gritty but skilled member of the Sutter Clan. He earned a position in the CHL Top Prospects game and proved himself deserving of being there. I believe, though I'm not 100% certain, that he plays alongside Dallas Stars prospect Matej Stransky. With both players doing well they clearly have chemistry, which might make a chance to bring him into the organisation tempting. Of the second generation of the Sutter Clan he is seen as only being behind Brendan Sutter talent wise. In a way his stats, point production and PIMs, bear a resemblance in my opinion to Steve Ott when he was drafted in 2000. Some argue Lukas Sutter is more of a third round talent rather than a second, however some scouts and GMs may hope that his bloodline will help him become a good NHL player.

Should we draft him?

Though he might be a good player and has put up some good numbers in the WHL its possible he has been ranked higher by some on the hope that he has some of the family talent within him. I also like the fact that he has played alongside Matej Stransky in the WHL and have played well together. My gut feeling suggests that we won't draft Lukas Sutter. Though the appeal for another Ott like player could be tempting for a franchise that has always enjoyed the antics of Steve Ott.

Dalton Thrower

Age: 18

Height: 5"11

Weight: 179lbs

Nationality: Canadian

Shoots: Right

Position: Defense

Current Team: Saskatoon Blades

Current League: WHL

Current Stats: 62 Games, 17 Goals, 35 Assists, 52 Points, 101PIMs, +2

Draft Rankings:

CSS: 30th

Future Considerations: 22nd

Scouting Report: 45th

Hockey Prospectus: 41st

TSN Midterm Report: Honourable Mention

Craig's List: 50th

Dalton Thrower is a gritty defenseman who has over this season been advancing his offensive game for the Blades. He is good defensively and is unafraid to use the body. His physicality is seen as one of his good points and he can have a huge impact on a game just through his hits and physical play. He models his game after Kevin Bieksa and could potentially turn out to be a good two way defenseman who can provide solid contributes on both ends of the ice. However he does need to improve on his hockey sense.

Should we draft him?

Dalton Thrower would clearly be an asset on the Stars blueline providing both solid defensive work while also being able to contribute points. Through the last couple of drafts we have seen as being size orientated however, so his relatively (compared to other defensemen we have) small size might count against him. What is obvious though is that despite not having the size of someone like Oleksiak/Vance he plays with a high degree of physicality. In a way he reminds me of a physical version of Philip Larsen. However Larsen does appears to be developing into a defenseman who is capable of providing offensive contributes while being physical. Dalton Thrower is definitely a tempting prospect to pick.

Brady Vail

Age: 18

Height: 6"1

Weight: 190lbs

Nationality: American

Shoots: Left

Position: Left Wing

Current Team: Windsor Spitfires

Current League: OHL

Current Stats: 59 Games, 18 Goals, 24 Assists, 42 Points, 47PIMs, +/- 0

Draft Rankings:

CSS: 32nd

Future Considerations: 47th

Scouting Report: 51st

Hockey Prospectus: None

TSN Midterm Report: None

Craig's List: 43rd

Brady Vail had a disappointing first season in the OHL on the fourth line getting only 10 points in 61 games (3-7-10). However during his second season in the OHL he has proven himself to be a legitimate top six forward and an effective two-way forward. He might not have the offensive upside of other players in the draft but he has developed solid defensive skills. He is often lined up against the opposing teams top lines which has helped him rise up the draft rankings.

Should we draft him?

Though he might not put up as many points as several of the pure goal scorer types in the draft he has a far better rounded game. He is trusted to play against top line opponents night after night and has put up good numbers. He would definitely be a nice two way forward, though at the NHL level he would more likely be a defensive forward. Though it is always nice to have forwards who score tonnes of goals it's also important to have those forwards who can come back and help their defensemen out if in difficulty (Just look at Loui Eriksson for example, though Brady Vail is unlikely to have his offensive upside). Brady Vail could be a valuable player who could provide defensive coverage while also proving some point production.

My Opinion

With the two second round picks we have I think we might decide to split them between one defenseman and one forward.

The defensive depth at this depth, in my opinion, makes the chance to grab another good defenseman in the second very tempting for the Dallas Stars. Someone like Brady Skjei, if his stock doesn't rise higher up to the draft, would be a perfect option to join a group of increasingly large defensemen prospects. A defenseman his size with that good a skating ability does not come around very often, especially in the second round. If not him Jordan Schmaltz is another interesting defenseman with offensive upside. Both however are committed to NCAA and will take their time getting to the professional leagues. However even someone like Ludvig Bystrom would most likely take a few years to come to North America to play.

For the other pick I could see us drafting someone like Jarrod Maidens or possibly Brady Vail. Jarrod Maidens in the second round would be a significant steal and would be my personal favourite of the forwards mentioned above to be picked. Brady Vail is also an interesting looking prospect with good defensive skills and the potential to be a decent two way forward. If we wanted to try and get immediate help in the AHL Tanner Pearson would be a good option, however as I've mentioned the height of his offensive ceiling is questionable.

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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