Unlike last year where there was some gnashing of teeth by Dallas Stars fans over who the club did and didn't take, there seems to be an overall general happiness by those same fans about the work done by the scouting staff and Stars management this time around.
If a draft can have a theme to it every year then this one's edition would be titled: "You can't coach size" as the Stars took two of the biggest prospects available to them and didn't go for a prospect under six foot tall with any of the six picks although Molin has been said to have been generously listed at 6'0" and is more like 5'10" or 5'11" in height, but as was also pointed out to me, once he gets skates on then he ends up being six foot tall.
Anyway, Brad will share some extended thoughts about the draft tomorrow, but for right now lets take a quick look back on the Stars 2011 picks and then feel free to grade the Stars effort and share your thoughts on today's events:
D - Jamieson Oleksiak - 1st round, 14th overall
- Monster size at 6' 7" making him the tallest player available at the draft.
- Loves playing a physical game (obviously) and of course with his size has drawn inevitable comparisons to Zdeno Chara.
- Possibly may play in the OHL next season with the Saginaw Spirit or could remain in NCAA with Northeastern.
- Duel citizen born in Canada but with an American father - he opted to go with the American hockey program and is a strong possibility to help anchor the defense of next year's US Junior team.
RW - Brett Richie - 2nd round, 44th overall
- Power-forward with good size (6'3") and has shown hints of a mean streak to him.
- faced some criticism of lack of effort at times this season, but was hampered with a bout of mononucleosis that could have been a factor.
- 17 year old and still will play a few more seasons in Sarnia of the OHL before moving up to the next level.
C - Emil Molin - 4th round, 105th overall
- Play making center out of Sweden that sees the ice very well and is very proficient at setting up teammates.
- Put up fantastic numbers in the SEL Junior league and could possible be elevated into the major league this fall.
- A little on the small side raises questions about his ability to handle physical play.
D - Troy Vance - 5th round, 135th overall
- American born defenseman is possibly the second biggest prospect in the draft and depending who you talk to may end up being an even more complete and physical than Oleksiak.
- Stars scout Alex LePore recommended to Vance last year that he go to Victoriaville of the QMJHL to help develop his ability and it's pretty clear the Stars have had their eye on this kid for quite some time
RW - Matej Stransky - 6th round, 165th overall
- Fairly good sized forward from the Czech Republic that came over to play in the WHL this past season with the Saskatoon Blades.
- Listed as a bit of a project and will likely need three or four years of junior to fully adjust to the North American style of play, though he did start to improve his game in the WHL playoffs this past Spring.
D - Jyrki Jokipakka - 7th round, 195 overall
- Physical Finnish defenseman that has actually gone through the draft a couple of times and didn't really turn heads until his play this past season in Finland's top hockey league SM-Liiga.
- Played for Team Finland this past winter at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo that helped establish him as a very solid prospect.