Annually the hockey blogs of our network get together for a mock draft to approximate how the real deal will go down. The NHL Draft comes our way on June 26th, but on June 15th you get a sneak peak of the process as the Dallas Stars in our mock draft have selected center Kyle Connor. The full round up can be found here.
We tried our very best not to pick anyone though. This year trading of picks was allowed. We did everything we could to trade this pick to fill one of the identified needs of the Stars. We looked to get either a scoring winger or a top notch defenseman. The Stars have made it known that acquiring a defenseman is a prime goal. Boy, we tried.
Seth Jones and Oliver Ekman-Larsson are the two names we were the hottest after. A package of Cody Eakin, the first round pick, and a quality prospect were discussed. The price for acquiring a player like this is going to be steep, and we were willing to go as far as needed. Nothing came together for either player. We even had Darren Helm ready to fly into town to provide arguably a better third line presence than Eakin for a 2nd round pick if anything came together.
We tried, but ultimately we ended up with a top notch center prospect instead. It's hard to be upset about ending up with a prospect like Kyle Connor. The Stars wouldn't be in bad shape if things played out like this, but the NHL roster improvement hurt to miss out on.
Our choice for the pick came down to Kyle Connor and Travis Konecny. More of the support was for Connor, though the choice was tough.
Connor is a 6'1 American center playing in the USHL. He has the buzzwords we see attached to Jim Nill picks. He's known as an intelligent player. He's known as a leader. On top of those two qualities he is a skilled playmaker. The Stars are flush with centers, but you can never go wrong taking the best player available. Positions will sort themselves out in due time.
If you were in our situation what would you have done?