With the 2013 NHL Draft quickly approaching its the time of year to evaluate and rank the Stars top 20 prospects. This has become increasingly difficult to do with the Stars having quite a few above average prospects and many of those who might have been in the top 10 a few years ago are near the bottom of this particular ranking.
Brandon brought you his top 20 on Monday and this is my attempt to do the same. It's important to remember that this is subjective to each individual.
This is my take on the top 20 Dallas Stars prospects, I hope you enjoy.
|1||Jamie Oleksiak, D||Despite not blowing away the NHL in his first stint in the league he did the best thats expected of most rookie NHL defenseman: He mostly stayed unnoticed. Oleksiak oozes potential and his development so far has been good. He might do with spending most of next season in the AHL but theres no need to rush him into a permanent NHL spot yet.|
|2||Alex Chiasson, C/RW||Alex Chiasson burst onto the NHL scene at a point per game pace which is unlikely to translate into next season. When he wasn't scoring goals he showed his strength along the boards and a good defensive game. He probably has the most potential out of the Stars forward prospects... for now.|
|3||Jack Campbell, G||Despite Jack Campbell not having the season many Stars fans wanted, he wasn't No.1 in Austin for large parts of the season, he probably will take the leading role in Austin next season. He's got sky high potential which is why ever since he was drafted hes been near the top of all these rankings. Campbell needs time to refine his game before he's even ready to take a sniff at real NHL time.|
|4||Brett Ritchie, RW||Brett Ritchie blew away the OHL with 76 points in 53 games with the Niagara IceDogs. While this could have been padded by playing alongside Ryan Strome I still believe that Ritchie has some top potential, especially when combined with his size and strength along the boards. How Ritchie handles a full season in the pros will be interesting but he looks like he has a bright future ahead of him.|
|5||Patrik Nemeth||Patrick Nemeth suffers from the lack of attention that defensive defensemen get around the league (Just as an example, find the last defensive defenseman who won the Calder Cup as Rookie of the year...). Nemeth has adjusted to the AHL far better than I thought he would and he has proven himself to be an excellent shutdown defenseman. He gets into my top five because of this and his astonishing adjustment to North America.|
|6||Matej Stransky||Matej Stransky, despite a slow start to the season, really took off later with 85 points in 72 games helping lead the Saskatoon Blades to a playoff spot. His skating appears to have improved over the season, my biggest question mark on him at the start of this season, and his numbers are pretty good. His potential is high and it will be interesting to see how he handles the AHL next season|
|7||Reilly Smith||I agree with Brandon that its hard to place Reilly Smith on these rankings. I really like his skill set but if he wants to be higher up these rankings he needs to get tougher when on the puck. He is talented but apparently snakebitten. His potential keeps him in the top 10 for me.|
|8||Radek Faksa||Radek Faksa has had a forgettable season in the OHL and appears to have made little or not progression in his development. This stalling is why he drops to number 8 for me but he still has the potential and a few years left to get over any humps in the road.|
|9||Devin Shore||I really like what Devin Shore brings to the table and he's done excellent in his first season in the NCAA. He's stepped in as the University of Maines No.1 centre and hasn't really looked out of place. Sure hes years away from the pros, especially if he does his four years, but his potential and how he's performed in the NCAA is a reason to get excited about this prospect.|
|10||Ludwig Bystrom||Ludwig Bystrom has had a year of jumping around various teams and not being able to find a permanent spot. He's still talented though and if he can find a permanent spot with Farjestad in the Elitserie next season he could have the chance to shine. [Updated]|
|11||Kevin Connauton||Connauton is a bit older than most of the Stars prospects but I think his offensive skills, even if he lacks the defensive side of the game, merit this spot in the rankings. I think he'll get the chance to see if these skills translate to the NHL level next season.|
|12||Alex Guptill||Alex Guptill had a bit of a rough year in the NCAA with a couple of benchings and healthy scratches but he still performed well for the Wolverines. He's got the size and potential and at least another year in the NCAA to develop and mature his game but his future appears bright.|
|13||Joe Morrow||Joe Morrow has had a mixed year and doesn't appear to have transitioned into the AHL well. He has the time to develop though and refine his game. His potential is pretty good and if he had had a better season in the AHL I imagine he would be higher up this list. For now time will do Joe Morrow a lot of good.|
|14||Cameron Gaunce||Cameron Gaunce is another player who plays an extremely solid game but is slightly older than most of the prospects on this list. I expect him to take a spot in the NHL next season. He's got the talent and work ethic to become a good second pairing shutdown defenseman. I don't expect him to be considered a prospect this time next year.|
|15||Emil Molin||Emil Molin, like Ludwig Bystrom, was bounced around various teams and had numerous healthy scratches in the Elitserie. He's still got the talent, as show cased in the WJC, but he needs to get the ice time to really show it properly. He's still got a way to go but he could become a solid player in North America|
|16||Mike Winther||If it wasn't for the influx of players at the trade deadline Mike Winther would be much higher up this list. Though his production has decreased this season I think its far better for his development, and for the Stars, that he has made a good transition from the wing to the centre at Prince Albert. He's got a in your face style of play and his transition to centre has seen him become a better playmaker. The most versatile he can be the more valuable for the Stars he becomes.|
|17||Scott Glennie||Scott Glennie is beginning to mould himself into a solid third or fourth line player. While this isn't what was expected of him when he was drafted every team needs those players. He has the potential to be better but to get something from him would be better than nothing at this point.|
|18||Jyrki Jokipakka||Jyrki Jokipakka is one of those prospects who has been doing well in his native Finland on a bad team. He logged some big minutes in the SM-Liiga and will play in the AHL next season. He isn't flashy enough with top end potential to get higher on this list but he could be a solid defenseman in North America.|
|19||John Klingberg||John Klingberg has some good potential but the window of him being able to make a swift and easier transition to the North American game is beginning to close. He is staying in his native Sweden next season to play with Frolunda so its going to be some time before Stars fans see him in North America on a long term basis.|
|20||Matt Fraser||Matt Fraser is becoming one of those prospects who, despite having an excellent offensive skill set, just doesn't have the success in the NHL. He gets into the top 20 on the basis of his offensive potential but if he can't find a way of translating this to the NHL, or become physical enough to take up a bottom six role, then other prospects are going to dislodge him out of the top 20.|