Defending Big D begins our annual series of looking at top draft prospects that could possibly have their name called by the Dallas Stars at the 2011 Entry Draft. Today we take a glance at a name that could make Stars fans' knees weak: Jamieson Oleksiak.
Team: Northeastern (NCAA)
Born: December 21, 1992
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Weight: 244 pounds
NHL Central Scouting: 13th among North American skaters
International Scouting Services: 25th overall
The Hockey News: 13th overall
Why the Stars would want him:
For a defense that is on the small side, Oleksiak would be a welcome addition with his big size. Scouts have said he has good mobility for a big guy, skates well, and can handle the puck nicely. While not much of an offensive threat this season, Oleksiak is more of a shutdown defenseman. With some development, his offensive skills could make him a dual threat on the ice for the Stars -- something we haven't seen since Zubov (in my estimation, WAY too long.)
Why the Stars would pass:
You may look at his size and compare it to Chara or Myers and think he's an automatic choice for GM Joe Nieuwendyk. There is some concern, however, that he is being overvalued solely because of his size and may not develop into the top defenseman everyone seems to believe he will be one day soon. If the Stars do select him, he would not make the big club for several years. Defensemen require patience to develop, and if the Stars are looking to draft an immediate impact player, Oleksiak would not be the one I'd chose for our only first round pick. He would definitely be worth a look in the second round.
What they're saying:
"I think he has unbelievable upside," NHL Central Scouting's Gary Eggleston said. "Whoever gets him is probably going to hit a home run with this kid. You could be looking at a 15- to 16-year player in the League, and to get a kid that size and skates that well is not common. He handles the puck well, has an excellent shot and his pass percentage completion in two games I saw was 100 percent -- he never missed. He covers a lot of ice in a very short time and it's a long trip around the outside with that wing span of his. He always has that stick out there dangling, too, so he keeps the guys about eight feet away."