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2015 NHL Draft: A Look At Prospects From the CJHL

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As the 2015 NHL Draft approaches it is time to have a look at a few prospects who the Dallas Stars could be interested in.

Jamie Benn was one of the Dallas Stars' picks from the CJHL
Jamie Benn was one of the Dallas Stars' picks from the CJHL
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Canadian Junior Hockey Leagues is the tier below the big three leagues that make up the much better known Canadian Hockey Leagues (CHL).

It's a branch of junior hockey in Canada that also maintains their players NCAA eligibility and many of those who are drafted out of those leagues end up in the NCAA.

The Dallas Stars have gone to those leagues time and time again in recent years and it's had a big impact on the Dallas Stars roster.

Jamie Benn, Jordie Benn, Curtis McKenzie (all played in the BCHL) and Devin Shore (AJHL) are players who have all played in the CJHL, though in different leagues across Canada.

Ex Dallas Star Alex Chiasson and ex Dallas Stars prospect Alex Guptill were both drafted out of those leagues as well.

It's safe to say that the Dallas Stars have history in drafting players out of there, some who have become key to the Dallas Stars, Jamie Benn in particular springs to mind.

So who are the top candidates out of those leagues that could be flying under the radar of other organisation's scouting staff that doesn't have a history of drafting from the Junior leagues.

This year the crop coming out of those leagues is extremely thin and there are only three that I feel might be worth a look at when it comes to the draft.

Jackson Keane, Center, Five-Foot-Nine, 155 Pounds, Shoots Left, Winnipeg Blues (MJHL)

He's a small forward but very energetic forward. One of his best skills is his skating ability, some say that it is similar to Jeff Skinner in some respects.

He's got some high end vision and creativity but he falls into the trap of being too fancy on occasions. Trying to do too much when something simply would get the job done just as effectively. Because of this he'll have to improve his decision making on when to pull out his move flashy moves.

Despite his size he's still willing to go into the gritty areas to get the play going and is willing to engage physically. Admittedly his size doesn't necessarily mean that he wins most of those physical engagements.

He's heading to the University of North Dakota and will probably do the four years before he's ready for the professional leagues. But if he gains a bit more on his height and bulks up while there he could end up being a pretty serviceable player down the line.

Out of Future Considerations, ISS, and Hockey Prospect only Future Considerations has him ranked. He is a player that divides scouts or it could be that he's flown under the radar in the MJHL.

A risky pick, but one that could reward a lot if it works out. Only time will tell.

Marcus Vela, Center, Six-Foot-Two, 200 Pounds, Shoots Right, Langley Rivermen (BCHL)

Marcus Vela is a prospect that reminds me a lot of Dallas Stars prospect Devin Shore. He's another player that has a combination of size, skill and vision. He's much more of a playmaker than a goal scoring himself and his passing, both the pass and seeing it, is one of his best traits.

He's a pretty good skater and played a leading role for the Rivermen despite being one of their youngest players. He logged big minutes every game and was very competitive. He's also known as being a bit of an agitator, goading his opposition out of position or into making stupid musics.

What is even better about Vela is that he knows how to use his body to his advantage. He was one of the biggest bruisers, as well as scorers, in the BCHL and he appears to be projecting only up.

He is used in all situations, logging powerplay and penalty kill minutes for the Rivermen.

Marcus Vela is committed to the University of New Hampshire for next season. He's a player that I would be very happy to see the Dallas Stars draft in the 2015 NHL Draft. He should be available in either the fourth or fifth rounds.

Will Reilly, Defense, Six-Foot-Two, 190 Pounds, North York Rangers (OJHL)

Will Reilly is a big bodied defenseman who is pretty mobile for his size. He knows how to use his body effectively to stop onrushing forwards and to wipeout the opposition. He also knows how to time his body checks, not dragging himself out of position to wipeout a forward.

He hasn't got a huge offensive game and his game is more of a shutdown player who can get the puck out of his zone to the forwards going on the attack. He does have a strong slapshot but otherwise his goalscoring ability is still limited.

Reilly can read the game well and he knows how to react to developing situations in all areas of the ice.

Will Reilly isn't committed to an NCAA program yet but has also been drafted by the USHL's Chicago Steel so that could be an option.