2012 NHL Draft: What Have We Learned Of The Stars Drafting Tendencies

Now that the excitement of the draft is over and the Dallas Stars have selected nine new prospects many have, or will be very shortly, writing about the strengthened systems and positions of each of their teams prospect cupboard. Here at Defending Big D we will also be getting around to this, however there is one thing I would like to look at first.

Heading into this draft there was a major difference within the organisation. I'm not talking about Gaglardi, though obviously he might have had some influence, but the parting of ways for the Dallas Stars and their former head of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt -- who had been in that position since the 1998-1999 season. He played a significant role in every Stars pick since then. With him gone it was time for Les Jackson to step up to the plate and make the calls at the draft.

The draft provides important insight into the direction of the organisation and also helps outsiders analyse drafting tendencies. With the change in who calls the shots at the draft was there a major shift in how the Stars picked?

After the jump we will look at the last four drafts and see if any correlations on the future of the Stars can be drawn from them.

Note: If people are interested in investigating the drafting tendencies of the Stars this piece looks at the picks from 2007-2011.

2012

Rnd Overall Team Player Pos Country Height Weight Amateur League
1 13 DAL RADEK FAKSA C CZE 6' 2" 200 OHL
2 43 DAL LUDWIG BYSTROM D SWE 6' 0" 169 SWE-JR.
2 54 DAL MIKE WINTHER C CAN 6' 0" 172 WHL
2 61 DAL DEVIN SHORE C CAN 6' 0" 185 OJHL
3 74 DAL ESA LINDELL D FIN 6' 3" 187 FINLAND-JR.
4 104 DAL GEMEL SMITH C CAN 5' 10" 164 OHL
5 134 DAL BRANDEN TROOCK RW CAN 6' 2" 194 WHL
5 144 DAL HENRI KIVIAHO G FIN 6' 1" 167 FINLAND-JR.
7 183 DAL DMITRY SINITSYN D RUS 6'2" 200
UMASS

2011

Rnd Overall Team Player Pos Country Height Weight Amateur League
1 14 DAL JAMIESON OLEKSIAK D CAN 6' 7" 241 H-EAST
2 14 DAL BRETT RICHIE RW CAN 6' 3" 209 OHL
4 105 DAL EMIL MOLIN C SWE 6' 0" 170 SWE-JR
5 135 DAL TROY VANCE D USA 6' 6" 200 QMJHL
6 165 DAL MATEJ STRANSKY RW CZE 6' 3" 193 WHL
7 195 DAL JYRKI JOKIPAKKA D FIN 6' 3" 191 FINLAND

2010

Rnd Overall Team Player Pos Country Height Weight Amateur League
1 11 DAL JACK CAMPBELL G USA 6' 3" 175 USHL
2 41 DAL PATRICK NEMETH D SWE 6' 3" 201 SWE-JR
3 77 DAL ALEX GUPTILL LW CAN 6' 3" 175 CCHL
4 109 DAL ALEX THERIAU D CAN 6'2" 189 WHL
5 131 DAL JOHN KLINGBERG D SWE 6' 0" 158 SWE-JR

2009

Rnd Overall Team Player Pos Country Height Weight Amateur League
1 08 DAL SCOTT GLENNIE RW CAN 6' 1" 185 WHL
2 38 DAL ALEX CHIASSON RW CAN 6' 4" 187 USHL
3 68 DAL RIELLY SMITH RW CAN 6' 0" 157 OJHL
5 128 DAL TOMAS VINCOUR C CZE 6' 2" 199 WHL
6 158 DAL CURTIS MCKENZIE LW CAN 6' 2" 192 BCHL

So What Does This Show?

Firstly this draft has followed the trend of picking most of their players who are at least 6"0, only one player breaks this rule in Gemel Smith who is only 5"10. But this is only 1 pick out 9 this year which suggests that they decided to take the skill and work ethic of Gemel Smith over the size of another player. None of the 2012 class are anywhere near the colossus size of Jamieson Oleksiak or Troy Vance though. The Stars continue to pick players with good size but not necessarily giants. This will likely continue in the near future.

Another interesting development over the last four drafts at least is the style of drafting that the Stars use, a style referred to as 'shotgun drafting'. This essentially means going into a draft with a specific weakness, then pick as many of that position as needed in order to address the issue. By picking lots of one type of prospect you have more prospects that could work out and therefore increase the likelihood of getting an NHL player at the position.

For example entering this years draft the Stars centre prospect pool was weak, especially beyond Emil Molin. The Stars have addressed this by firstly trading for a young centre in Cody Eakin and also selecting four centres in the draft. This immediately addressed the prospect weakness.

Another example would be the 2009 NHL draft when the prospect system was shallow on the right wing. In that draft the Stars used three of their picks to select players who at the time were listed as RW. (Glennie predominately plays centre now, while Vincour was listed as a centre but now generally plays on the wing). Its interesting now that in the 2009 draft several of those players picked, in particular Chiasson and Smith, look like they have strong futures within the Stars and could be playing in the big club by 2013 if not earlier.

The Stars continue looking to the WHL when drafting out of the North American Major Junior though the OHL is staging a comeback. This years draft they selected the same number but looking over the years its clear that the WHL is where some of the Stars best scouting comes from.

The Stars continue their tendency to draft players out of Europe (though only Sweden and Finland) with three of their 9 picks being selected from the Swedish and Finnish leagues. Five of the nine picks were european players, 2 Finns, 1 Swede, 1 Czech, 1 Russian. This is an interesting development because previous drafts selected a majority of North American players. However as a note of warning I imagine this would be a one off and that the majority of prospects will be from North America.

Another lesser known group of leagues that the Stars often looks to for prospects is the CJHL. This draft they picked up Devin Shore who played within the OJHL of the CJHL. Other players who have been drafted from or have played in the CJHL include Jamie Benn, Jordie Benn, Rielly Smith, Alex Guptill and Curtis McKenzie. The Stars in the future will likely continue to search for that talent within the CJHL.

This kind of analysis is fascinating for those, like me, who are draft geeks and have already begun to research prospects for 2013. But for now as Stars fans we should be happy with another strong draft. We shall analyse this draft in detail soon as we begin to learn more and more about the new Dallas Stars. Hopefully we shall see them in a Stars jersey in a couple of years.

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