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Stargazing: Live from The 2009 NHL Draft

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[Editor's note by Brandon Worley] I arrived here in Montreal yesterday and spent the evening with Matt from Bird Watcher's Anonymous, Frank from Pensburgh and Travis from Broad Street Hockey. We first went to the press dinner, where I met Craig Custance of the The Sporting News and George Richards from the Miami Herald (On Frozen Pond). We heard some whispers of rumors and much of the hockey talk was about the rumor that Jay Bouwmeester will soon be traded.

The highlight of my night was to have Don Waddell, GM and VP of the Atlanta Thrashers come over to our table where we were having dinner to say hello. We also were able to speak with a few Thrashers front office guys, and overall I was surprised at just how open there were with talking to us. Off the record of course. Hopefully I'll have the same experience tomorrow with the Dallas Stars.

For a great account of our night out on the town, be sure to check out Frank's post over at Pensburgh.

Be sure to stick with us here at Defending Big D, with the draft now just a few hours away.

Draft day has arrived at last. The trade talks are heating up and The Islanders are on the clock. We'll get you caught up on the latest mock drafts, review the most likely Dallas Stars picks, and take a look at the latest trade rumors and news from around the league.

Our very own Brandon Worley will be posting live from the Bell Center today and tomorrow, so be sure to check back early and often for the latest updates from Montreal.

-Draft coverage of Round 1 begins on Versus tonight at 7pm ET
-Coverage of Rounds 2-7 starts on NHL Network tomorrow morning at 10am ET

Follow the jump for more:

Latest mock drafts:

Dallas Stars Mock Draft Roundup

Let's take a look at where Dallas ends up in twelve of our favorite mock drafts:

ESPN Dmitry Kulikov - Defenseman Jared Cowen - Defenseman
SBN Mock Draft Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Defenseman
TSN (Button) Jacob Josefson - Center
TSN (McGuire) M. Paajarvi-Svensson - Left Wing
My NHL Draft Dmitry Kulikov - Defenseman
NHL Draft Site Jordan Schroeder - Center Dmitry Kulikov - Defenseman
The USA Today Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Defenseman
Hockey's Future Dmitry Kulikov - Defenseman (Holland) Ryan Ellis - Defenseman (Rourke) Jordan Schroeder - Center


We picked Oliver Ekman-Larsson here at Defending Big D, but the consensus pick around the internet is shifting in Dmitry Kulikov's favor. Mike Heika says the Stars have trended towards drafting for skill since 2005, and will likely take the best player available rather than draft for need...


...So the Stars decided they had to develop their own skill. They started to push skill drills in summer prospect camps and target high-end skill at every level of the draft.

Matt Niskanen and James Neal were taken in 2005. Ivan Vishnevskiy was nabbed in 2006. And then the Stars let loose in what might become their best draft ever. In 2007, they took high-end skill in the form of Nico Sacchetti (50th), Sergei Korostin (64th), Colton Sceviour (112th), Austin Smith (128th), Jamie Benn (129th) and Ondrej Roman (136th).

All all six players seem to be on the path to the NHL. If that happens, it would be unheard-of in one draft.

Defending Big D's Draft profiles

Refresh your memory on the Stars most likely picks with our player profiles:

The Dallas Morning News once again reinforces the "draft the best player" theory in this morning's column:

"I think you have to take the best player available, that's the best strategy," said Tim Bernhardt, the director of amateur scouting and the man who will run the draft. "It's easy to get caught up in who fits, but I think these players are young enough that you can adjust to what you get."

The Stars feel confident they'll get a real player at the eight spot, and there's no reason to argue from our point of view.

Around the Pacific:

Around the NHL: