2014 Dallas Stars Development Camp: Julius Honka, Devin Shore Standout As Camp Opens

It was a good first day of development camp for Honka and Shore.

The Dallas Stars kicked off the first big on-ice session of the camp today, with every player on ice at once. This is a bit of a change from years' past, where the camp was split between two groups of players—usually older players in one group, younger in the other. Because of the lesser amount of players this year and because the "playing field" is a bit more even—they've gone with just one big group.

And that is one reason why it's tough to make any true conclusions from this camp, especially since it's a "development" camp rather than an "evaluation" camp—and the team will always tell you that they never really evaluate a prospect in this space.

They can say that, surely, but this is the first chance for a prospect to really make an impression and some players—like Brandon Ranford—have been invited to camp as an undrafted player and eventually land an NHL contract.

Today's on-ice activities were limited to drills and a few competitive portions—the best time to get a good look at a player will be during tomorrow's skills competition and scrimmage. With that being said, here are some quick and random observations from the first day:

  • The defensemen at this camp are all very large, along with a number of forwards. That was the theme of the dayhow tall and how big the prospects have become the past few years. Miro Karjalainen really stood out with his size, and showcased some really good skating and a great shot with his size as well.
  • Devin Shore was the best forward on the ice during today's sessionhe's a tenacious forward who is built like a freight train, at 6-1 and about 195 pounds of pure muscle with no neck. He skates around the ice like a pit bull waiting to just bowl through the opposition, and he possesses some absolutely slick hands in tight spaces.
  • Julius Honka's skating ability, especially his lateral movement and quickness in tight spaces, was remarkable. He also had the best shot of any player on the ice and while he doesn't use a big booming slap shot, he has a very accurate and very heavy wrist shot that was accurate from anywhere in the offensive zone.
  • Brett Pollock was another standout, with great hands to go along with good size. I heard he's being compared to Jamie Benn in some circles and while he did stand out at times, he was nowhere near as dominant as Benn was his first camp after being drafted. But I can see where the comparisons in playing style come from.
  • Jason Dickinson was good, and was clearly one of the better players on the ice, but I'd have liked to have seen more from him. He talked yesterday about being a leader and a veteran out there in camp already, and it's clear he's a seasoned pro compared to some other prospects on the ice. He has great speed andI hate to say thishas a stride and speed comparable to Modano when he gets going.
We'll have more thoughts and more details after a few more practices and scrimmages. In the meantime, here's some video courtesy of Mark Stepneski.

Forwards
Jason Dickinson - 67
Remi Elie - 63
Ludwig Karlsson - 46
Emil Molin - 59
Matej Paulovic - 72
Taylor Peters - 62
Brett Pollock - 48
John Searfoss - 65
Collin Shirley - 36
Devin Shore - 61
Gemel Smith - 47
Branden Troock - 49
Cole Ully - 57
DEFENSEMEN

Ludwig Bystrom - 2
Niklas Hansson - 50
Aaron Haydon - 45
Julius Honka - 40
Miro Karjalainen - 58
Esa Lindell - 52
Aleksi Makela - 51
Cole Martin - 5
John Nyberg - 39
Alex Peters - 54
Michael Prapavessis - 15
Patrick Sanvido - 34
Dmitry Sinitsyn - 60
Matt Staples - 53
Troy Vance - 42
GOALTENDERS
Philippe Desrosiers - 70
Christian Frey - 1
Henri Kiviaho - 31
Maxime Lagace - 35
Brent Moran - 30
Rasmus Rinne - 41


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