We are nearing the end of our countdown of the top 20 prospects in the Dallas Stars system, with our next full ranking coming just Christmas. It's important to remember that these rankings were compiled before this season began, so any current progress has not factored into placement on this list.
Also of note: Philip Larsen, Brenden Dillon, Tomas Vincour and Cody Eakin were intentionally not included on this prospect ranking.
Onto the list!
Top 20 Dallas Stars Prospects:
5. Reilly Smith
6. Scott Glennie
7. Patrik Nemeth
8. Ludwig Bystrom
No. 5. Reilly Smith, RW -- Texas Stars (AHL)
2011-12 Totals: 39 GP, 30 G, 48 PTS, 22 PIM, (+26) -- NCAA
Drafted: 3rd round, 69th overall, 2009
Brandon: Reilly Smith is perhaps the best pure-goal scoring forward of all the Dallas Stars prospects, exploding for 30 goals his junior year at Miami before making the big jump to the NHL at the end of the season. His struggles in the final few games may be held against him by some, but Smith is still one of the best forward prospects in the organization and likely has a very bright future ahead. It's clear, however, that he'll need a year or so at the AHL level to get his all-around game together. His offensive instincts and ability to find the open areas of the ice cannot be overlooked and it will be interesting to see how he's used in Austin this season. Look for him to possibly move to the right wing.
Huw: Reilly Smith surprised many by joining the Dallas Stars for the end of the season and burning one year off his ELC. He saw very limited time during his first two games until the Stars were knocked out of playoff contention with one game remaining. Though he is likely to have learnt a lot from his brief time in the NHL its clear that there his game needs refining significantly in the AHL before he earns a permanent place in Dallas. His defensive weaknesses were obvious but unsurprising for a player making the jump from the NCAA to the NHL. Having a full season with the Texas Stars will undoubtedly help his development and put him on the road to meeting his top six potential. He still needs time to refine his game to the professional game but could be ready for an extended stay with Dallas in a year or two.
No. 6. Scott Glennie, RW -- Texas Stars (AHL)
2011-12 Totals: 70 GP, 12 G, 25 A, 37 PTS, 26 PIM, (-8)
Drafted: 1st round, 8th overall, 2009
Brandon: Glennie, like most on the Texas Stars last season, was inconsistent in his first full year as a pro but finished as perhaps one of the better all-around forwards on the team. With improved depth and talent on the roster this season, Glennie will not only be playing on a better team but he now has much stiffer competition amongst those fighting for an NHL callup. Glennie's numbers weren't that impressive last season but was on perhaps the only truly effective line for the Stars last year, providing a checking line presence that showed he's more than just flash. Glennie will always be haunted by his draft position, but there's nothing wrong with becoming a solid third line option in the NHL.
Huw: Scott Glennie hasn't had a great time since being drafted by the Dallas Stars 8th overall in 2009. Many fans feel he is already a bust as he has yet to break into the NHL or live up to what they believe a 8th overall pick should be achieving. However Scott Glennie, when healthy, has been steadily improving. In his first full season as a pro he scored 37 points in 70 games and had a single game callup to Dallas. He has become an effective third line player in Austin forming part of what is called the Swagger Line (Wathier, Sceviour and Glennie). When the NHL season gets round to starting it wouldn't be a surprise if he was one of the first called up. For now Scott Glennie can continue to develop in the AHL and hopefully develop into an effective top six player. Scott Glennie can become an effective NHL player with time and by avoiding unfortunate and badly timed injuries.
No. 7. Patrik Nemeth, D -- Texas Stars (AHL)
2011-12 Totals: 46 GP, 0 G, 3 A, 3 PTS, 55 PIM, (+3) -- SEL
Drafted: 2nd round, 41st overall, 2010
Brandon: Nemeth is never going to put up big numbers and instead projects as perhaps the ultimate shut-down defenseman the Stars have been looking for. A mean and physical defenseman with an attitude on the ice, Nemeth uses superior mobility and great size (6-3, 215) to dominate when the puck in his end of the ice. He's not incapable with the puck, possessing good skills and a good shot from the point, yet he certainly is at his best when playing in front of his own goal.
Huw: Patrik Nemeth is often described as a meaner version that former Star's defenseman Niklas Grossmann. He's a big bodied defender who excels at the shutdown element of the game but produces very little offensively. Looking at his stats from his two full seasons in the Elitserien for AIK (84 games) he has produced a total of 10 points (1 Goal, 9 Assists). He is likely to see a lot of time on the ice with the Texas Stars this season and with the lockout he is likely going to be facing off against some of the best young talent in the world. Especially considering the Texas Stars are in the same division as the Edmonton Oilers Farm Team which boasts a significant array of talent. Despite being 6"3 he has good mobility on his skates and uses his size effectively. After a year or two in the AHL it's not hard to imagine him patrolling the blueline in Dallas.
No. 8. Ludwig Bystrom, D - MODO (SEL)
2011-12 Totals: 34 GP, 7 G, 22 A, 29 PTS, 101 PIM, (+2) -- J20
Drafted: 2nd round, 43rd overall, 2012
Brandon: There are many would instantly put Bystrom at the very top of this prospect ranking. Perhaps the highest touted draft pick to be selected in the 2nd round this year, Bystrom is an exceptionally smooth skater who is a master with the puck and isn't afraid to play physical as well. He is incredibly raw in most areas of his game and will need to be able to refine his play in the SEL as he moves up the ranks. He was a wild card in the juniors this past season, showing some insane offensive skills while also showing off a propensity to play too hard and take too many unnecessary penalties.
Huw: Ludwig Bystrom was a surprising faller during the 2012 NHL Draft, especially considering the run on defenseman in the first round. The Stars snapping him up in the middle of the second round was a great steal for a first round talent. He's a talented offensive defenseman who had hoped to be playing good minutes for MODO in the Elitserien. Instead he's playing less than 8 minutes of ice time per game and will likely get reduced further, to the point of being sent down to MODO J20, if MODO signs any locked out NHL defensemen. He needs a few more years to develop but if he can't get the ice time in Sweden then its possible he will consider playing for the Plymouth Whalers who own his CHL rights. If he can develop properly over the next few years Ludwig Bystrom could become an effective two way defenseman. There is a lot of excitement surrounding him but he needs to get the ice time to develop towards his potential ceiling.