Within the Dallas Stars group of diehard fans, it has become a common thought that the Stars' fifth round is significantly more impressive than average. I used hockeydatabase.com to check every draft from 2000-2009 to see just how good the Stars' fifth rounds have really been. The criteria for a successful fifth round pick is that the player must have skated in 100 NHL games, or 50 games starting in 2008. The setup is (Team) (Pick #) (Player) (Games Played) (Goals) (Assists) (Position)
For goalies it is the same until the player, (Position) (W-L-T-OTL)
Nsh 131 Matt Hendricks 215 22 28 C
CBJ 133 Petteri Mummelin 139 9 36 D
Pit 146 David Koci 142 3 1 D
Cgy 155 Travis Moen 570 52 55 F
Ott 156 Greg Zanon 449 12 44 D
Col John Michael Liles 589 75 227 D
Dallas 139 Ruslan Bernikov 162 Artem Chernov (No NHL)
2000 had a decent fifth round with Moen, Zanon, and Liles all blossoming into valuable NHL players. The Stars grabbed a couple of Europeans who as far as I can tell, had no impact on the NHL roster in any way.
A very strong fifth round led off by Jussi Markkanen who came out of nowhere to nearly lead Edmonton to the 2006 Stanley Cup. Bieksa earned a spot in Stars lore this past season when Vernon Fiddler's Bieksa impression put Canucks coach Alan Vigenault into fits of laughter. Mike Smith, of course, was the heir apparent to Marty Turco before being traded to Tampa Bay in the Brad Richards trade, he then flamed out in Tampa before rekindling the fire with Dave Tippet in Phoenix last year, leading the Coyotes to the Western Conference Finals.
CBJ 133 Lasse Pirjeta 146 23 27 F
Chi 156 James Wisniewski 377 33 142 D
Dallas 147 David Bararuk F (No NHL)
Wisniewski has had a decent career but is now in the no man's land known as Columbus.
StL 148 Lee Stempniak 517 129 146 F
NYR 149 Nigel Dawes 212 39 45 F
Chi 151 Lasse Kukkonen 159 6 16 D
Tor 158 John Mitchell 222 25 46 C
Col 163 Brad Richardson 375 42 57 C
Dallas 144 Eero Kilpelainen G 165 Gino Guyer F (No NHL)
A good, but not great round with a few solid NHL players. Apparently being named Lasse gives you a good chance at making it as a fifth round pick.
134 Bos Kris Versteeg 321 88 113 F
136 StL Nikita Nikitin 102 8 33 D
140 Chi Jake Dowell 154 11 22 C
150 Mtl Mikhail Graboviski 319 85 116 C
159 Van Mike Brown 242 14 10 F
Dallas No Pick
Versteeg has been a good NHL player, Dowell of course spent last season with Dallas before heading to Minnesota in a highly anticipated signing, or was that a couple other guys?
132 Det Darren Helm 248 32 51 F
142 Buf Nathan Gerbe 146 24 38 F
146 Dal Tom Wandell 211 19 23 C
149 SJS Derek Joslin 114 4 12 D
150 Nsh Cal O'Reilly 113 13 28 C
155 NJD Mark Fayne 139 8 23 D
Dallas 160 Matt Watkins 1 0 0 F
Helm is obviously the class of this group and Wandell has been discussed to much on this page for me to add anything here. Matt Watkins played one game last season with Phoenix, registering a -1 rating.
Dallas 138 David McIntyre 7 1 1 C 150 Max Warn F (No NHL)
Pretty lame group of guys here, McIntyre played 7 games for Minnesota last season putting up a goal and assist, while registering one minor penalty.
Jamie Benn: The best fifth round draft pick ever. Or at least this century. Austin Smith obviously still is highly thought of by Dallas fans as he began his AHL career in Cedar Park after a magnificent season at Colgate last year. Seriously though, I don't think I've ever appreciated what an amazing pick Benn was. Just look at those numbers, awesome, AWESOME!!!
2008 (50 game min)
Here I lowered the bar to 50 games because, well, only Martin has played more than 100 and this is clearly about the Stars so I can arbitrarily lower it to include Larsen for 2008 and nobody but Benn in 2007 if I want to. Actually some intriguing players in this group, I really like Larsen.
Nobody special here, but we should appreciate Vincour more than we do.
New York Rangers 2
St. Louis 2
Los Angeles 1
New Jersey 1
New York Islanders 1
San Jose 1
So what does this stuff mean? Dallas stands ahead of the league with five players who have "made it" as NHL players drafted in the first round since the turn of the century. Jamie Benn is obviously the best of the bunch and Phillip Larsen appears to be on track to stand near the front of the group. Chicago comes in second with four, though only Kruger is still with the organization. The Stars will likely have 6 players in this group soon when Austin Smith hopefully makes it to the NHL. The fifth round appears to be a crapshoot, so succeeding on at least one player 50% of the time, and one of those players being a legitimate budding superstar in Jamie Benn, is truly a coup for Dallas. Are the Stars just lucky? Maybe. But those players include Wandell (Sweden), Larsen (Denmark), and Vincour (Czech Republic) so perhaps the Stars European scouting is just a cut above the rest of the league. Mike Smith was the key piece in the Brad Richards trade as well, making that pick even more valuable. Whatever the reason, the Stars have been unusually productive in the fifth round of the NHL draft, and that is very helpful to an organization that has been unable to bring in big names for a few years.