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2015 NHL Draft: A Look At Some European Prospects

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As the 2015 NHL Draft less than a week away lets take a look at some interesting prospects from Europe.

Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Dallas Stars have had a positive history when it comes to drafting European players. Defensemen John Klingberg, Patrik Nemeth and Jyrki Jokipakka, who are all signed one way contracts for next season, are recent examples of picks from Europe that have worked out well for the Dallas Stars.

With that said, who else could the Dallas Stars be interested in from Europe? There are a couple of interesting looking European players recently profiled by DBD's Derek Neumeier including Veini Vehvilainen and Aleksi Saarela, both players I would like to see in victory green.

Apart from those two who else do I like from Europe? These are five of the standout players from Europe that I like the look of and who the Dallas Stars could draft.

Jonas Siegenthaler, Defenseman, 6-foot-2, 215 Pounds, Shoots Left, ZSC - NLA

The Dallas Stars have never drafted a player from Switzerland. Jonas Siegenthaler could be the prospect that changes that.

He's a big bodied defenseman who plays a hard and physical game. Despite his size Siegenthaler has some excellent skating ability. He can catch players with his acceleration and his mobility means he can shift quickly to adjust to a developing situation.

Generally Siegenthaler isn't fazed under pressure and can make the outlet pass to get the play moving back down the ice. He's excellent on the powerplay and knows exactly where he has to be and isn't drawn out of position. He's remarkably consistent, making smart play after smart play.

One of the few negative things about Siegenthaler is that his offensive game is limited. He isn't going to rack up a huge number of points where ever he plays but he's going to probably a defensive stalwart. In many ways he reminds of Patrik Nemeth. It's a skillset the Dallas Stars don't really have in their prospect pool anymore.

Jonas Siegenthaler is expected to be drafted late in the first round or at some point in the second. It's highly unlikely he will fall any further than that.

Roope Hintz, Center/Left Wing, 6-2, 183 Pounds, Shoots Left, Ilves - Liiga

Roope Hintz is a Finnish prospect I've been following all season. He's a big bodied forward who has spent most of the season playing in the Liiga against full grown men.

Despite still being a raw prospect he has shown an intelligent but simple playing style. There are flashes of much higher offensive potential but for now these aren't appearing regularly or on a consistant basis. With enough time and development he could become much more of an offensive threat but it just isn't there yet.

There is definitely potential there already to fit a third or four line role, he plays with lots of energy and throws himself into the play. His size also helps this potential style. However you'd draft Hintz in the hope that the impressive playmaking and flashes of offensive potential become a much regular occurrence.

His skating and his defensive game also need some work but it isn't a complete shock because he is still very much a raw prospect, even if he has spent a season in the Liiga.

Depending on which scouting service you believe Hintz could go anywhere from early in the second round to falling to the fourth round. There is potential there, it's just a matter of getting that offensive game to be developed.

Veeti Vainio, Defenseman, 6-1, 170 Pounds, Shoots Right, Blue U20 - Jr. A SM-Liiga

Veeti Vainio is an extremely skilled offensive defenseman who has put up over a point per game in the Finnish Juniors this season. He is also divisive among scouts, he had a poor U18 World Championship and at times in the juniors scouts felt he wasn't putting in his best effort consistently.

Vainio is a smooth skater who loves to jump into the rush as a fourth forward and he is an impressive puck handler. He's got some pretty good hockey sense when it comes to his offensive game.

His main weaknesses are his physical strength and his defensive game. His lack of strength means that he isn't committing enough on defense, getting outmuscled or not trying to dig the puck out from a scrum. His defensive coverage isn't particularly good.

It's not an uncommon problem for an offensive minded defenseman but it is something that he'll need to sort out to make it in the NHL. If he can build up his physical strength and also work on his defensive coverage he could be a pretty good defenseman.

As he is so divisive it's uncertain where he'll be drafted. He could go late in the third round or even later depending on whether teams are willing to take a risk.

Kirill Kaprizov, Left Wing, 5-9, 180 Pounds, Shoots Left, Metallurg Novokuznetsk - KHL

Kirill Kaprizov is a small forward with elite level offensive talent who works extremely hard. His work ethic and his determination means that he plays bigger than his size would suggest. He's an excellent skater and he's got a very good shot, though he isn't really a sniper.

He does have playmaking skills but he tends to not use them unless he has the space and time to utilise them effectively. During his time in the KHL this season he's been used on the powerplay and has done pretty well at this role. He finished with eight points in 34 games in the KHL this season.

Despite his small stature he has been effective defensively and is very happy to take up a forechecking role. He has elite talent, it's one of the reasons he was drafted first overall in the KHL draft in 2014. It's possibly that reason why scouts have him all over the board. Some have him as an easy second round pick while others have him being drafted in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

There is a lot of potential there and he could be a good top six winger in the NHL. If he is still available in the fourth, fifth or sixth rounds I'd be very happy for Jim Nill to draft this extremely talented young player and see if he wants to play hockey in North America.

Kevin Stenlund, Center, 6-3, 205 Pounds, Shoots Right, HV71 J20 - SuperElit

Kevin Stenlund is one of the oldest players in this draft, missing eligibility for the 2014 NHL Draft by only five days. Despite this he's been one of the steady risers among many scouting groups this year.

He's a big center who uses his body well and his generally defensively sound, though some work is still needed. One of his most impressive talents is his faceoff ability. Multiple scouting organisations comment on his complete domination of the dot, something that is pretty rare from any young player.

Offensively he has some very good hands and top end playmaking ability. He sees the ice very well and can get the puck to where it needs to be. His wrist shot is a little weak and could do with some work. Stenlund is a key piece of the powerplay but also shows a lot of versatility by being able to play different roles effectively.

Kevin Stenlund captained HV71 U20 and has a lot of leadership qualities and tends to be a calm and mature player on the ice.

Generally he is expected to be drafted between the late third and fifth rounds of the draft, though one organisation has him being just on the border of being drafted in the second round.