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Dallas Stars February Prospect Rankings: Reilly Smith Takes Top Spot

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There has been a lot of interesting discussions this season about the future of this organization and the slow rebuild of the Dallas Stars farm system. While the Stars are still lacking depth at the center position and still need elite talent at certain positions, there's no doubt that there is some growing excitement about the possibility and potential these young players can bring in the future.

What's holding back the Stars right now is the lack of talent at the AHL level, players that can make the jump to the NHL and have a direct impact on the Dallas Stars. This season we've seen Philip Larsen and Tomas Vincour becoming semi-regular players and while both are playing well, neither has had the offensive impact you'd like to see.

Next season will be different, however, as Reilly Smith, Alex Chiasson, Austin Smith, Jack Campbell, Jamieson Oleksiak and Patrik Nemeth are all slated to make the jump to the AHL after this summer. While the NCAA players will need some adjustment time in the AHL to get used to a much different schedule, it's likely that Oleksiak and Nemeth could have an impact for the Dallas Stars at some point, with the hope that Reilly Smith could do the same at some time in season.

Reilly Smith, who has been coming on strong the past few years, has taken a big leap this season to become perhaps the best prospect for the Stars right now. While players like Jack Campbell and Jamieson Oleksiak certainly will have an incredible impact on this franchise, in some way, Smith has become the most exciting forward prospect for the Stars since Jamie Benn.

More, including this month's rankings, after the jump.

Named the CCHA Player Of The Month for January, Smith continues to improve as the season progresses. Third in the nation with 20 goals in 28 games, Smith has shown to be a proven playmaker this season while playing for a relatively young Miami team. The Redhawks suffered a setback in their season this past weekend, getting dominated by Michigan in two straight games.

Yet Smith has become much more than just a goal scorer, showing he's just as solid defensively as he is on offense. Despite his size he's become a physical forward along the boards and two weeks ago had five blocked shots in one game. He's being praised by opposing coaches for his work ethic on the ice and his finishing ability as a goal scorer is now unquestioned.

It's going to be interesting to see how the jump to the AHL and beyond goes and how quickly he can make an impact at each level. He's a fast, energetic forward who has a nose for scoring goals and has done so in each of his last three seasons. While questions of maturity were once an issue, it seems he's embraced his role as a leader this season and the excitement level on his potential for the Dallas Stars continues to rise.

The rankings for this month:

1. Reilly Smith
2. Jamieson Oleksiak
3. Matej Stransky
4. Alexander Guptill
5. Jack Campbell
6. Austin Smith
7. Alex Chiasson
8. Patrik Nemeth
9. Brenden Dillon
10. Scott Glennie
11. Matt Fraser
12. Jordie Benn
13. Troy Vance
14. Brett Ritchie
15. John Klingberg
16. Emil Molin
17. Tyler Beskorowany
18. Colton Sceviour
19. Francis Wathier
20. Curtis McKenzie