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2012 NHL Draft Beyond The First Round: Part Two Rounds Four, Five and Seven

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This is part two of my list of prospects that could interest the Dallas Stars beyond the First Round. The previous post was published yesterday and this finishes the list of prospects up until the seventh round. As we get deeper and deeper into the draft the harder it comes to predict where each prospect will be drafted or if they will even be drafted at all. Therefore it is entirely possible for example that a player I predict being selected in the seventh round gets picked in the fifth.

Most of the information on these prospects comes from the excellent draft guides produced by Future Considerations and Hockey Prospect. It is very hard to find detailed sources for those prospects available in the later rounds and these two guides have been very useful in my attempts to find prospects that could fit the Dallas Stars plans for the future.

Many of the players pick in these rounds are likely to not reach the NHL. Some will become effective grinders on the lower lines and some may become superstars. The list of players below are those who I think could potentially have high rewards for, mostly, low risk. These 20 prospects stuck out for me when looking through the lists of players. Whether the Dallas Stars will pick them however is a completely different matter.

The Stars have the following picks between the Fourth and Seventh rounds: 104, 134, 144 and 194.

Note: There should be several Swedish prospects on these posts, however I will be writing a separate article looking at Swedish prospects that the Dallas Stars might be interested in.

Fourth Round:

Daniel Altshuller G 6"3 175 OHL Oshawa Generals
Altshuller has good vision and is able to track the play through the ice and is rarely out of position. He does however have a problem with inconsistent play. However his skills will ensure he is drafted but he will need to work on his consistency.

Chris Calnan LW 6"2 195 USHS Nobles & Greenough School
Calnan is a big bodied power winger who is active on the forecheck but also shows flashes of offensive talent. Plays with a good hockey vision but its not certain that his offensive skills will translate to a higher level. At the USHS level he is stronger and can force his way through defenders but will need to get stronger to compete at the next level. He is committed to Boston College.

Mitchell Moroz LW 6"2 208 WHL Edmonton Oil Kings
Moroz has improved significantly over the season and he provides a lot of grit and energy each game. He is a good skater and also very effective on the forecheck and backcheck. He might not have offensive vision but could potentially become an effective physical grinder on an NHL third line. On the other hand his offensive game has been improving so he could reach a higher level at the profesional level.

Jaccob Slavin LD 6"2 200 USHL Chicago Steel
Slavin could be a real sleeper pick. Excellent work ethic and has got good hockey sense. Can see the ice very well and won't go out of position to make a hit. His weakness is his skating but his work ethic suggests that will be ironed out. He is committed to Colorado College.

Jimmy Vesey LW/LC 6"0 175 EJHL South Shore
Jimmy Vesey was passed over in the previous draft but has devoted a lot of time to improving his game so he can be drafted this year. A good skater with decent vision and has the potential to be a good pro level player. If things work out he could become a top six forward. He is committed to Harvard.

Fifth Round:

Riley Barber RW 5"11 194 USHL USNTDP Juniors
Riley Barber is a hard working two way forward who plays a physical game while also providing a goal scoring touch. Can occasionally snap and take bad penalties when out done physically. Will be a project and might need to grow a bit to stay effective at his hard hitting game. Committed to Miami University.

Connor Carrick RD 5"11 185 USHL USNTDP Juniors
Carrick is another potential sleeper in this years draft. He is a quietly effective defenseman with offensive potential and good skating. He has high end offensive vision but has fallen foul of overcommitting offensively and leading to odd man rushes. He has committed to the University of Michigan.

Matt DeBlouw LC 6"0 185 USHL Muskeegon Lumberjacks
Matt Deblouw is a safe pick who will likely develop into an effective defensive centreman at the next level. If he reached the pros he's unlikely to put up a lot of points as his offensive talents are lacking. He would likely develop into a good third line centre. He is committed to Michigan State.

John Draeger RD 6"2 186 USHS Shattuck St. Mary's Midget Prep
John Draeger is potentially one of the best defensive defenseman from the states in this draft. He has improved his skating significantly and he can keep up with forwards coming into the one. His work in the defensive zone is excellent, just don't expect many points from him at the next level. He is committed to Michigan State.

Justin Hache D 6"1 185 QMJHL Shawinigan Cataractes
A strong two way defenseman who has been buried on the Cataractes blue line this season. He plays a mistake free game and has a good vision of the ice. He was traded to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles where he will likely be a top defenseman and have a breakout year. A potential sleeper. Could fall to sixth or seventh round.

Ben Johnson LW/LC 6"1 195 OHL Windsor Spitfires
His skating style is the obvious standout, he has a decent shot but makes the wrong decisions on plays, instead of passing deciding to shoot at a bad angle. He is however a good two way forward but needs to get better in the offensive zone in order to reach his ceiling.

Mackenzie MacEachern LW 6"3 180 USHS Brother Rice
MacEachern is a good skater and has excellent vision and hockey IQ. He has been dominant physically against less talented and smaller players. He clearly has the NHL size. Described by some as a rawer version of Mark Jankowonski .Committed to play for Michigan State.

Ryan Olsen RC 6"2 190 WHL Saskatoon Blades
Olsen has dropped dramatically after beginning the season as one of the most highly touted forwards from the WHL. His offensive game has failed to appear. His issue isn't lack of skills but more a psychological issue. He panics and makes bad decisions in the offensive zone. If he could improve his confidence he has the skill to become a good player.

Matt Tomkins G 6"2 175 AJHL Sherwood Park Crusaders
Tomkins has only played one full season at the Junior A level in the AJHL however he has risen dramatically in the eyes of scouts. He has the size and raw ability to become a good NHL goalie. He has been selected to go to the Canadian U20 Goaltender camp alongside many highly touted CHL prospects. For a goaltender that has only played one full season in the Junior A this is very impressive. He is committed to Ohio State.

Seventh Round:

Brandon Devlin RD 6"1 190 OHL Windsor Spitfires
Brendon Devlin is an underrated defenseman who has the potential to play a good two way game. He is good at rushing the puck down the ice and has a big shot but this hasn't translated into picks. He has the potential to do well and might get picked earlier than the seventh round.

Colby Drost G 6"1 195 NCAA Niagara University
Colby Drost has been passed over twice before but has developed well in the past two years. His quickness in the crease has been called outstanding by scouts at Hockey Prospect. He handles rebounds well and is very good technically. He is a relative unknown with very few scouting agencies acknowledging his skills. The Stars in the past have noticed several goaltenders either bound for the NCAA or in the NCAA so Drost might get his name called by Dallas.

Jon Gillies G 6"5 215 USHL Indiana Ice
A big goaltender with athletic ability. Some scouts argue that Gillies has been overrated by many and lacks the balance to be a top 5 round pick. His size and raw ability however will make sure he will be selected but he will need a lot of refining before he can play in the pros. Though he has committed to Providence College its possible he will play in the QMJHL.

Alex Gudbranson RD 6"2 206 WHL Kingston Frontenacs
Gudbranson will be picked mostly because of his bloodline. He has the same kind of size and style of game as his brother but appears to be less talented and more raw. He has improved a lot of this year and could potentially reach the NHL. It might be worth taking a flyer on him simply to see if his bloodline pays off. He appears to be developing into a sound shutdown defenseman.

Cody Payne RW 6"2 200 OHL Plymouth Whalers
A big player buried deep on the Plymouth Whalers who shows some signs of having some good power forward talents. He will take time but it might be worth a shot to see how his power forward potential develops. He is willing to do everything and has underrated puck handling skills. Could be a real darkhorse prospect from the later rounds if a team decides to take a chance on him.

Patrick Watling LC 5"11 180 OHL Guelph Storm
This is his first full season in the OHL but he has proven himself to be a good penalty killer and physical along the boards despite his size. He has an excellent work ethic and an abilty to play on the edge without crossing the line. He skates well and is patient with the puck. He might not get drafted but he could be refined into a bottom six energy player if things go well.