The Dallas Stars currently have two fourth round picks, the second was picked up in the trade that sent Stephane Robidas to Anaheim. Those picks are 105th and 115th overall.
Who could the Dallas Stars use those two picks on? Obviously getting later and later in the draft it becomes increasingly difficult to know where players are likely to be selected. However, as a bit of musing and to provoke debate, I'm going to try.
So what do I think the Stars will do with those picks?
This is based off a pure gut feeling but I have a feeling that one of those picks will be used on a goaltender. The last two times the Dallas Stars drafted a goaltender it was in a round where they had multiple picks.
In 2013 they took Philippe Desrosiers with the second of their second round picks. In 2012 they took Henri Kiviaho with the second of their fifth round picks. This is most likely just coincidence rather than a deliberate draft strategy from the Stars but just in case I'm going to look at a couple of draft eligible goaltenders who could still be available in the fourth round.
The other pick? My gut instinct says they are going to take a player heading towards the college route. There are always plenty of players who are college bound available in these rounds and with a few years of development could be good players in the pros.
The Dallas Stars have historically liked their NCAA players and with Alex Guptill turning pro they only have a single NCAA player in the prospect pool: Devin Shore.
So without much further ado, some brief profiles. Not all will match the gut feeling category that I just set out but they are just some players who caught my eye when researching who could be available then.
Firstly, and more easily, the goaltenders.
Ville Husso, G, 6'2", 185lbs, Catches Left, HIFK SM-Liiga
Husso played in 41 games for HIFK in the SM-Liiga and finished with a highly impressive 0.923SVS%. He's a big goaltender and moves around his net very quickly. He's calm and can make saves with limited amount of movement. If he's still available for one of the Dallas Stars' fourth round picks I'd be very happy adding another excellent goaltender to the Dallas Stars prospect pool.
Kaapo Kahkonen, G, 6'2", 200lbs, Catches: Left, Blues U20, Jr. A SM-Liiga
Kahkonen is another big Finnish goaltender who spent this season starting in the Jr. A SM-Liiga. He's a big, fast goaltender who has excellent technical ability. He's got quick reflexes and good rebound control. However he suffers from bouts of inconsistency or lack of focus which has hurt his draft stock. If solved and given more time to refine his game Kahkonen could become a good goaltender.
Hayden Lavigne, G, 6'3", 181lbs, Catches: Left, Tri City Storm, USHL
Lavigne's numbers don't jump out as being very impressive after just one season in the USHL. However the team in front of him has to be taken into account, it just wasn't very good. He's another big, fast goaltender who is good at covering as much of the net as possible and aggressively closing down the angle for onrushing players. His rebound plays need some work and he still lets in a few soft goals that needs to stop. He's heading to the University of Michigan next season and a few years in the NCAA should help him develop.
Who else could the Dallas Stars be looking at in the fourth round?
Beau Starrett, C, 6'5", 195lbs, Shoots Left, South Shore Kings, USPHL
Starrett is a huge hulking forward. The reason why he will be a very tempting project pick in the mid rounds is because he has a combination of size and talent. His hands are impressive for someone of his size. He can deliver crippling hits but also is a good set up man on the powerplay and has good play making ability. His skating is okay for his size but could be a lot better. He's a very raw player who has had a few discipline issues. He's off to Cornell University in 2015 and with a few more years of refinement could be a steal of the draft in the later rounds.
Louis Belpedio, D, 5'10", 195lbs, Shoots Right, USNTDP U18, USHL/USDP
Belpedio is a highly intelligent two-way defenseman who has been rising up the draft rankings over the past year. He's an excellent skater with has top end offensive skills and awareness but also is a good shutdown defender in his own right. He isn't the biggest player and his physical play is not as strong as other players. However he's going to be drafted on the basis of his offensive game and his ability to shutdown players using the stick rather than the body. He's committed to Miami University in 2015.
Matt Mistele, LW, 6'2", 190lbs, Shoots Left, Plymouth Whalers, OHL
Mistele has had a rough year with his production dropping by half this season compared to the year before though he has been playing through nagging injuries. He's a pure offensive play making forward and his defensive play is lacking or nearly non existent. His skating is good but it feels like he doesn't always use it. When he uses that and his offensive skills he can be a very dangerous forward. Greater consistency and better use of his skating ability could make him a good offensive prospect.
Alexis Pepin, LW, 6'2", 230lbs, Shoots Left, Gatineau Olympiques, QMJHL
Alexis Pepin is a prospect with huge amounts of potential but who hasn't always been able to put it together. He's had difficulty with conditioning as well. He's actually quite a good playmaker for his size and he sees the ice well. Pepin's intensity can vary and his skating needs some work. If he can dedicate himself to getting into shape and getting his skating better he could be a prospect to watch. Then again its just as likely he'll never see the NHL. He's the classic high risk high reward prospect.