High draft picks come with high expectations. Perhaps no one in the Dallas Stars system knows that more than Scott Glennie, the 8th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Glennie has tallied three consecutive seasons of 50-plus points with the Brandon Wheat Kings, yet came into his fourth campaign surrounded with questions.
To be honest, his start to the season did little to silence his detractors, with only seven goals through November while the Wheat Kings struggled to keep up in the standings. Glennie was not invited to the Team Canada tryouts for the World Junior Classic, adding more salt to the season's wounds.
But once December rolled around, Glennie finally hit his stride. The right winger has 53 points (20 goals, 33 assists) and is a +8 in his last 39 games. Glennie has had 13 multi-point games in that stretch, including six games with 3 or more points. In the last month alone, Glennie scored 8 goals and made 10 assists. Once far out of the WHL scoring leaderboard picture, Glennie has skyrocketed to 13th overall with 62 points (22 goals, 40 assists).
The turnaround for Glennie is impressive, no doubt, but perhaps should be taken with a grain of salt. Remember one of the biggest questions about Glennie was whether he could perform without Brayden Schenn centering his line. Well, Schenn hasn't played with the Wheat Kings all season. (Note: in the original edit of this post, I somehow thought that Schenn had played in Brandon since December. He hasn't, I'm an idiot, and Glennie has done this all on his own.)
So finally we're starting to see Glennie's potential to make a team his own. In the last two months, Glennie has put the Wheat Kings on his back and put up the same offensive numbers he's been putting up the last three seasons. And he's done this without Brayden Schenn and a much weaker Brandon roster. If he shows this same fire and ability in training camp next year, maybe he can crack the Dallas roster.
After the jump, updates on two impressive NCAA wingers and a rough start to the year for Jack Campbell...
Reilly Smith, RW
Not many Stars fans may have heard of this 2009 3rd round pick, but Reilly Smith is making waves in the CCHA. The sophomore winger for the Miami Redhawks is 19 goals and 35 points in 27 games, tying him for fourth overall in CCHA scoring this season.
His season is even more remarkable when you consider where he was a year ago. Smith became the first freshman in Redhawks history to play in all 44 games, tallying eight goals and 12 assists. That's just 20 points through a whole season, whereas this year Smith is on pace to finish with over 40 points. And he's only a sophomore, with plenty of time to keep developing.
Alex Chiasson, RW
The sophomore right winger for Boston University continues to rack up the points. Chiasson has three goals and three assists in his last nine games and leads the Terriers with 24 points in 23 games this season. He's ninth overall amongst Hockey East scoring leaders, and second in the league among underclassmen.
BU only fields two seniors on its roster, so young players like Chiasson have received more opportunity to come through in big moments. Chiasson has shined this season in the clutch: his four game-winning goals lead the entire league. He had two momentum-shifting scores in this 4-2 win over Vermont on January 9th:
(Skip ahead to 1:17 and 2:44 for Chiasson's goals. The first one is pretty slick, if you ask me.)
Some more assorted notes from around the Stars' system:
- Jack Campbell has settled back in with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL after backing the U.S. team to a bronze medal in the World Juniors. It's been a rough return if you look at the numbers: In the seven games for Windsor in January, Campbell had a 4.26 GAA and a .874 save percentage. Not pretty, but he did manage four wins and two overtime losses in that stretch. Disregarding a game against the Bulls where he was pulled after two goals on six shots, the Spitfires averaged 35 shots against per game last month while Campbell averaged 31 saves. Sure, the numbers don't look great at all. But at the risk of sounding like an apologist, only one regulation loss in that stretch is something positive for Campbell to cling to.
- Goaltender Tyler Beskorowany returned to the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL after a brief stint with the Texas Stars in Cedar Park. Besko was 4-2 in his last six appearances with Texas, posting a 1.85 GAA and a .948 save percentage. Beskorowany is 8-3 this season with Idaho with a 2.08 GAA and a .937 save percentage. I personally wish Besko could get more of a chance with the big club, but with Jack Campbell now in the system he's become sort of the "forgotten prospect." It's a shame, because I think Beskorowany has loads of talent, and he's shown it this year in both his first year in the ECHL and his appearances with Texas.
- RPI defenseman Mike Bergin is 25th nationally in defensive scoring with 16 points in 25 games.
- Defenseman Hubert Labrie is expected to return near the end of the season for the Gatineau Olympiques. Labrie has not played this season due to a knee injury. Hockey's Future lists Labrie as the Stars' third-best defensive prospect behind Philip Larsen and Patrik Nemeth.