With the regular season over and the top 14 picks having been decided on the 29th April the Dallas Stars now know where they will be picking in the first round. With a new General Manager the Stars can start looking to the future after another disappointing season.
One obvious place to look first is at the 2013 NHL Draft which will be held on the 30th June. What does this draft have in store for the NHL? Its an interesting one.
The 2013 NHL Draft is probably one of the more talented draft classes in recent history. It would be fair to say that many of those who will go in the top 10 in 2013 would have been top three or five picks in most of the preceding drafts.
Some scouts go as far as to say that this draft will be the best since the 2003 NHL Draft which saw the likes Eric Staal, Ryan Suter, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards and Corey Perry taken in the first round alone. It wouldn't be a surprise to see many of the names from this draft becoming commonly known around the league within the next decade.
So what is the story for 2013? Well the biggest story is Plano, Texas Native Seth Jones likely going with the first overall pick in the draft. He would be the first Texan to go number one but also the first American since Patrick Kane in 2007 to take the top spot. In another first for the NHL he would become the first non white player to be taken first overall in the draft. Unless the Colorado Avalanche decide otherwise he will most likely be playing in the Mile High City next season.
There will also be a clash of the Halifax Mooseheads as both Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin are expected to go high in this draft, almost certainly within the top five. Which one will get drafted first is still up in the air, though I expect MacKinnon to go ahead of his Moosehead teammate.
The talent in this draft, without that much exaggeration, is deep and plentiful. Unlike in previous years were the top talent appears to run out within the top 8 picks its arguable that even a mid round first round pick would net a team a top prospect.
In the 2012 NHL Draft the story surrounded the prolonged run on defensemen that occurred, 8 of the top 10 picks being defensemen. This time round its likely that players who can play centre, though some generally play on the wing, that are going to go and go early in the draft. These include players such as Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Aleksander Barkov, Valeri Nichushkin, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan and Max Domi.
The majority of those players, some of whom will be in the Stars drafting range, would probably instantly become the Dallas Stars best prospect. This draft, even drafting at number 10, gives the Stars a chance to pick up a top prospect, potentially even a bluechip prospect. Most drafts nearly always, but in no way guaranteed, see a faller and the Dallas Stars are in a perfect place to catch any players that have fallen through the top 10.
The good depth in this draft means that even a second round pick would probably provide a talent that in other years would have gone in the late first round. With the Stars currently having 4 picks within the top 60, at least one first and three seconds, they will probably end up drafting some impressive talent. It will go a long way to helping make the Dallas Stars prospect system one of the better farm systems in the league.
Though it is still too early to tell how this draft class will develop going into the future it appears that it will be one of the more talented classes for the past decade. The Stars have an opportunity to continue to build the team from the foundations with the pleather of picks they have in the top 60.
This combined with the changes in the front office and potentially a new head coach means that Dallas Stars fans have an exciting and interesting few months ahead of them, even if the season ended sooner than we'd prefer.