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Defending Big D's Top 20 Prospect Rankings Plus A Couple Of Honourable Mentions

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Who are the Dallas Stars top prospects? Defending Big D decides.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

With the Traverse City tournament over and the pre season underway we take a look at the Dallas Stars prospect pool. Who are the top twenty prospects?

You can have a look at our last prospect rankings, from back in March, here. Things have changed since then. The Texas Stars have won the Calder Cup and there has been an entire new draft class selected in June. How does this effect our previous rankings? You'll have to wait and see.

This list is a joint collaboration between Derek Neumeier and myself. We each wrote a list of our twenty top prospects and combined it to make a joint top twenty. There are two honourable mentions on this list. These are prospects featured that did not make the other's list and were ranked between 18th and 20th.

For consistency, we are using the same definition of "prospect" that we used before: "Any player who has played fewer than 25 NHL games last season, or fewer than 50 NHL games overall, is considered a prospect -- the upper limit on the age cutoff is 26 years old."

Now without further ado, Defending Big D's Top Twenty Prospects (September Edition):

Rank Player Predicted 2014/15 Team
1 Jack Campbell (G) Texas Stars (AHL) Jack Campbell has all the potential to be a very good starting goaltender in the NHL. Despite his injury shortened season last year (he only played 16 games in the regular season) he was impressive when he played. His one callup to the NHL wasn't pretty but the team in front of him didn't help.

2

Brett Ritchie (RW) Texas Stars (AHL) Brett Ritchie's first season in the AHL was very impressive, 48 points in 68 games. His impressive first pro season makes him a candidate to make the Dallas Stars out of camp. His size, skill and overall ability mean that this could just be the beginning of what we will see from him.
3 Devin Shore (C) University of Maine (NCAA) Devin Shore led his team last year with 43 points in 35 games, mostly as a 19 year old. He won a series of NCAA awards and was voted their team captain for next year. Shore is showing his top playmaking ability and has used the NCAA season to build up his strength. It's possible he joins the Texas Stars at the end of the NCAA season.
4 Jamie Oleksiak (D) Texas Stars (AHL) Oleksiak had a standstill year in terms of his development and was passed over in the NHL depth chart by Patrik Nemeth. Despite that his all around potential is still very high which keeps him high on these rankings. However Oleksiak needs to start putting it all together if he doesn't want to be passed over again.
5 John Klingberg (D) Texas Stars (AHL) John Klingberg played his first full season with one team since 2010/11 and impressed. However his time with the Texas Stars last year was cut off by hip surgery. Hopefully his first full season in North America will be healthy and show his potential. He's the smooth skating right shot offensive defenseman that the Dallas Stars have wanted for years.
6 Jason Dickinson (C/LW) Guelph Storm (OHL) Dickinson was very impressive in his post draft year. He was an all around force for the Guelph Storm, scoring 78 points in 68 games while being trusted with defensive duties. Dickinson has all around potential that keeps him high on this list.
7 Patrik Nemeth (D) Texas Stars (AHL) /Dallas Stars (NHL) Patrik Nemeth is the classic defensive defenseman and his skill in this role was part of the reason he's moved up the depth chart. He's had a good, long look at training camp to see if he deserves a spot with the Dallas Stars. After his goal in the Calder Cup Final he might have more offensive potential than was originally thought.
8 Julius Honka (D) Unknown Honka's a smooth skating offensive defenseman. He's got bucketloads of offensive talent but is still a bit of an unknown. Questions like where he will play next season are still unanswered.
9 Ludwig Bystrom (D) Farjestad (SHL) Ludwig Bystrom showed off his wheels at Traverse City and he showed flashes of the defenseman he could be. He's got all around potential but his development could be hurt with limited ice time in the SHL. He should join the Texas Stars at the end of the season.
10 Philippe Desrosiers (G) Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) Desrosiers was one of the best goaltenders in the QMJHL and he showed some impressive skills at Traverse City. He's easily the best goaltender prospect the Stars have after Jack Campbell. He'll have another year in the QMJHL but he'll join the Texas Stars next season.
11 Niklas Hansson (D) Rogle (Allsvenskan) Niklas Hansson has solidified himself as a top pairing defenseman in Sweden. Despite SHL interest in him he remained with Rogle in the Allsvenska. He's an offensive defenseman and he's hoping to dominate in Sweden for the next two years.
12 Curtis McKenzie (RW) Texas Stars (AHL) Curtis McKenzie came out of nowhere last season in the AHL and was named rookie of the year. Despite that he's actually dropped two places since our last rankings. He's the crash the net type of forward that could see time in the bottom six in Dallas next season.
13 Radek Faksa (C) Texas Stars (AHL) Despite struggling offensively in his last season of junior hockey he seems better suited to professional hockey. In training camp and the pre season he looks like he is NHL ready. He's got the size and skating to be a good third line centre. A top six centre is probably too much to hope for from Faksa but he looks on track to be a good NHL forward.
14 Cole Ully (LW) Kamloops Blazers (WHL) Cole Ully is a smallish but highly skilled forward. He led the Blazers in points last season with 72 in 69 games. Impressive considering the Blazers were one of the worst teams in the WHL last season. With more help from his teammates it's possible that he's going to score even more. Considering the limited ice time Ully got at Traverse I wonder if we are higher on Ully than the organisation is.
15 Jyrki Jokipakka (D) Texas Stars (AHL) Jokipakka impressed a lot in his first season in the AHL and his steady play in all zones has him leading the pack for an NHL position. He can hold his own but he isn't the type of defenseman that is going to take control of the game and make it his own. With Dillon unsigned could he start the season in Dallas?
16 Brett Pollock (LW) Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) Brett Pollock won a Memorial Cup with the Oil Kings last season and is a big powerful forward. He isn't the strongest skater but is expected to take up a big role with the expected departure of several of the Oil Kings forwards to the AHL. He'll probably exceed his 55 point season last year.
17 Remi Elie (LW) Belleville Bulls (OHL) An early trade to the Bulls at the beginning of last season really benefited Elie. He was able to improve his offensive totals significantly and show off the offensive talent that the Stars saw when they drafted him. He led them with 68 points in 67 games. He is a versatile forward and can play in all situations.
18 Scott Glennie (C/RW) Texas Stars (AHL) Scott Glennie signed a one year deal after his entry level deal finished this summer. He's really hoping to show the Stars that he can make an impact on the NHL level. He's carved himself a good role as a third line checking centre. There is talent there, it's just a matter of whether he'll be able to utilise it.
19 Esa Lindell (D) Assat (SM-Liiga) Esa Lindell is stepping up to a big role in Finland this year. After Jokerit's move to the KHL Lindell signed with Assat. He's now a top pairing defenseman there and playing big minutes. He might not have been memorable at Traverse but Lindell could really break out in Finland this year. He's more of an offensive defenseman but he plays well in his own zone too. He'll join the Texas Stars for next season.
20 Brendan Ranford (LW) Texas Stars (AHL) Ranford signed an entry level deal this summer and with another good year in the AHL could find himself moving up these rankings. He's a highly talented forward who joined the Texas Stars last season and had 33 points in 65 games. If he improves on this he could be another diamond in the free agent rough.
HM Matej Stransky (RW) Texas Stars (AHL) Stransky took a while to adjust to the AHL game and often found he was a step behind the play. He has had some glowing reviews for his training camp and pre season performance. His skating appears to have improved as well. While he hasn't yet showed the scoring flash he had in the juniors with better skating and more confidence he could improve upon the 23 points last season.
HM Branden Troock (RW) Texas Stars (AHL) Troock took a step forward, enough to earn an ELC, last season after putting in his first year without a major injury since 2011-12. He's a big forward who can skate and be an offensive danger, when healthy. He's joining the Texas Stars this season.