One of the things I will be doing in the lead up to the 2013 NHL Draft is creating a draft board for who I believe the Stars should take. This is not the order that the draft will actually go in, something else that at Defending Big D we will also try and predict when the draft is nearly imminent.
This order is based upon several factors. Firstly using my knowledge of what the Stars like to have in a prospect. This tends to be size, skill and physicality. They also tend to draft a lot out of the WHL and they tend to avoid the QMJHL. However with the number of good players coming out of the QMJHL they will feature prominently on the Stars first round draft board. Another group which the Stars have tended to avoid in the past are Russians. Again there is one Russian very high on this draft board and several others scattered through the first round.
This is only my opinion and its highly unlikely that the Stars have a draft board which looks anything like this. Their scouts have been able to see many of these prospects in person and therefore will be able to pick up factors which I cannot see through my investigations online.
This is also only a preliminary list and will likely look quite different when it comes to the draft, in particular in the last 15 or so players.
Again, I'd like to remind people that this is not a mock draft. This is a draft board which is the order that I think the Stars should order these prospects.
NOTE: This was written before the deadline and hasn't taken into account recent acquisitions on the blueline.
1. Seth Jones, RD, 6"4, 206, Portland Winterhawks, WHL
Great all around defenseman, nearly NHL ready and potential top pairing defenseman at the NHL level
2. Nathan MacKinnon RW/C, 5"11, 179, Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL
Skilled forward following in the steps of Sidney Crosby, impressed by earning a place on Canada's WJC team
3. Aleksander Barkov C, 6"1, 209, Tappara, FIN
Big, talented Finn who has an excellent two way game and elite sniper skills. Been excellent in the SM-Liiga despite his age.
4. Valeri Nichushkin LW/C, 6"3, 196, Traktor Chelyabinsk, RUS
Big strong offensive minded forward. Dominant with the puck when going at speed. Excellent shot but isn't hugely physical. Defensive work and becoming consistent will need to be worked on. However he is incredibly dangerous every time he steps on the ice.
5. Darnell Nurse LD, 6"5, 192, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, OHL
Big, smooth skating defenseman. Can do everything well and has got good offensive instincts. Think Jamie Oleksiak but potentially better.
6. Ryan Pulock RD, 6"1, 211, Branden Wheat Kings WHL
Smooth skating defenseman with some excellent mobility and offensive upside. Potential powerplay QB
7. Jonathan Drouin C/LW, 5"11, 176, Halifax Moosheads QMJHL
Very talented forward who in many respects has outshone teammate Nathan MacKinnon in their draft year. He's got some incredible hands on him.
8. Sean Monahan C, 6"2, 193, Ottawa 67's, OHL
Two way forward with a rounded game. Consistent with high end hockey awareness. Has got leadership potential and does everything well.
9. Elias LIndholm C, 6"0, 191, Byrnas, SWE
Good two way forward with good balance which make up for physical shortcomings. Not a shoot first player but thinks intelligently about the plays. Not overly physical but can perform well defensively.
10. Hunter Shinkaruk LW, 5"11, 175, Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL
Fast offensive forward out of the WHL. Despite being small can protect the puck well and jumps on any opportunity presented to him. Can play on both special team units
11. Josh Morrissey LD, 6"0, 185, Prince Albert Raiders, WHL
Very intelligent smooth skating defenseman. Plays an aggressive style of game but rarely commits defensive errors. Offensive potential but needs work in the opposition zone.
12. Curtis Lazar C, 6"0, 198, Edmonton Oil Kings WHL
Fast forward with impressive puck skills and the willingness to challenge opponents bigger than himself. Natural goal scorer with the smarts to be a good playmaker.
13. Nikita Zadarov LD, 6"5, 228, London Knights OHL
Big two way physical defenseman. Skates well for his size and has some offensive vision though he keeps his offensive game simple. Raw but if refined could be an excellent player.
14. Rasmus Ristolainen RD, 6"3, 207, TPS, FIN
Big strong blueliner who plays a safe game. He is a physically minded defender but knows when to use his size to deliver crushing hits. Offensive game needs to be developed but he appears to have some offensive tools
15. Nicolas Petan C, 5"9, 166, Portland Winterhawks, WHL
Highly talented but small forward. He is able to do everything and playing in the WHL has gotten him used to challenging physical defensemen. He had 120 points in 71 games this season.
16. Antony Mantha LW, 6"3, 200, Foreurs Val-D'Or, QMJHL
Big physical player but also possesses top end offensive skills. His main issue is his lack of consistency and an unfortunate habit to sometimes turn off during a game.
17. Alexander Wennberg LW, 6"1, 183, Djurgarden, SWE
Typical of Swedish forwards, rounded two way player built around high end hockey intellect. Impressed at WJC. Can play both centre and wing effectively.
18. Artturi Lekhonen RW, 5"10, 152, KalPa, FIN
Very talented winger in the SM-Liiga. Hard working player with top end hockey vision and intellect. Skating and puck skills could be improved and some refinement defensively.
19. Frederik Gauthier C, 6"4, 215, Rimouski Oceanic, QMJHL
Big two way forward with good skating style. Scorer rather than a playmaker. Physicality is big part of his game but following a broken jaw he shied away from physical contact for a while. If he doesn't regain this he will fall down the board.
20. Jason Dickinson LW, 6"2, 176, Guelph Storm OHL
Big forward with lots of untapped potential. Crashes the net a lot and is physical. Good shot and other areas of offensive skill can be refined. A project with potential.
21. Robert Hagg LD, 6"1, 198, Modo SWE
Another good two way defender who earned a place on the WJC team over Stars prospect Ludwig Bystrom. Highly composed and intelligent player but not over physical. He will clear the crease effectively though when needed.
22. Madison Bowey RD, 6"1, 194, Kelowna Rockets WHL
Excellent skater and high end hockey sense. Uses the body well and has creative vision. Puts himself in all the right places and can use both stick and body effectively.
23. Shea Theodore LD, 6"2, 175, Seattle Thunderbirds WHL
Under the radar to the extent but has good offensive skills and a good skater. Wouldn't be a shock to see him slip out of the first round.
24. Kerby Rychel LW, 6"1, 200, Windsor Spitfires, OHL
Power forward prospect with good but not amazing skating. Willing to go through the dirty areas of the ice and can also put the puck in the net effectively. Defensively responsible and a generally safe pick to reach the NHL, but maybe not as a top six forward.
25. Valentin Zykov RW, 6"1, 215, Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL
Good two way player with an all around skill set, something considered unusual for Russian import players. Good at driving the net and using his size and strength to win puck battles.
26. Bo Horvat LW, 6"0, 203, London Knights OHL
Not a natural goal scorer but uses his intelligence to set up his team mates. Physical but doesn't seek out the big hits. He is relentless in physical contests and is rarely inconsistent.
27. Max Domi C, 5"10, 194, London Knights OHL
Excellent playmaker even if he is quite small. Despite his size he is strong enough to keep hold of the puck. Needs to work on his defensive game a lot.
28. Andre Burakovsky LW, 6"1, 176, Malmo SWE
Excellent skater with top end offensive skills. Can be physical but it isn't his style. Defensive game as a whole needs refinement.
29. Ryan Kujawinski C, 6"2, 205, Kingston Frontenacs OHL
Power forward centre and good skater for his size. Protects the puck well and can create opportunities with his size. He could do to slow down slightly to better evaluate situations. Extremely physical player and has a lot of untapped potential.
30. Connor Hurley, C, 6"2, 175, Muskegon Lumberjacks, USHL
Looks like he could play in any role in the NHL. Offensively gifted with a lot of raw potential. Would take a long time to refine but has the looks of a decent if not pretty good NHL player in the future.