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Dallas Stars Daily Links: How Scouting Sagacity Made Jamie Benn a (Dallas) Star

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Sportsnet takes a closer look at a textbook case of late-round NHL Draft larceny. Plus, all eyes are on tonight's selection action, and the entire league is trying to make a deal for P.K. Subban.

Back in 2009, who knew how good Jamie Benn would become? The Stars, probably.
Back in 2009, who knew how good Jamie Benn would become? The Stars, probably.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

If the 2006 NHL Draft were held today, new wisdom – or 20/20 hindsight, same diff – says Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn would be selected No. 2 overall. So how did so much talent end up waiting on the fifth round? Sportsnet's Gare Joyce has written a great piece on how careful scouting (and just the right amount of waiting) gave the world Captain Benn, first-team NHL All-Star.

The reasons Jamie was overlooked back in the day are a matter of longstanding public record: his position with the small-market Victoria Grizzlies, a slow start to his all-important draft season, his below-average skating and lack of hockey conditioning due to summers spent playing baseball. But Dallas scout Dennis Holland (yes, Ken's brother) looked past the obvious warts and found the makings of an impact player:

What Holland saw and made note of were the positive aspects of Benn's game, namely hockey sense, a mean streak and an NHL shot. The scout followed up and did some background work.

"It turned out that Jamie had been about five-foot-seven at age 14, so he had shot up about six or seven inches," he says. "He was still catching up to a growth spurt."

So how do you follow up scouting a below-the-radar superstar who shoots through the league at a pace bested only by draft classmate Patrick Kane? Let Tim Bernhardt tell you about 2010:

..."[John] Klingberg had never been invited to any tryouts for the Swedish national age-group teams. He got lost in the shuffle in Sweden, never mind with NHL scouts. He wasn't even on Central Scouting's list at all. And the fact is outside of Kari Takko, our other Euro scout, no one in the organization had seen Klingberg. No video, nothing like that. Rickard [Oquist] was really high on him and he had done a lot of good work for us so I told him that we'd use our last pick that day on him, which wound up being No. 131."

Enjoy the full story, and the amazing junior-team photos, at the link. [Sportsnet]

*****

It's NHL Draft Day! Watch the 2016 festivities live on NBCSN (pre-show at 5:30 p.m. Central time, first round starting at 6), and keep up with all the action at the league's handy-dandy draft microsite. [NHL]

And if you're still taking in everything that happened at the NHL Awards on Wednesday, Mark Stepneski has posted a summary.

The Sports Illustrated mock draft predicts the Stars will select Erie Otters center Alex DeBrincat in the first round. [SI]

Elsewhere, Ryan Lambert has Dallas taking Brett Howden of the Moose Jaw Warriors. [Puck Daddy]

What of that other draft, for Las Vegas' new franchise? Sportsnet ponders a possible roster, featuring current and former Stars Patrick Sharp, James Neal, Jussi Jokinen, David Schlemko and Jyrki Jokipakka. [Sportsnet]

And if you're still not convinced about hockey in Sin City, Greg Wyshynski lists five reasons why it could be a surprising success. [Puck Daddy]

Are the Stars working on a third jersey? Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.net discovers a new trademark for an old logo that may point to...something.

The San Jose Sharks are ready to listen to deals regarding netminder James Reimer.

Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning is calling about P.K. Subban, Milan Lucic and Steven Stamkos, and he doesn't care who knows.

Not everyone sees all this candor as a bonus.

Seriously, though: GMs are circling the Montreal Canadiens to "inquire" about Subban's availability before his NMC kicks in. Will Marc Bergevin make a deal with the defense-starved Edmonton Oilers for Leon Draisaitl and this year's No. 4 pick? [Sports Illustrated]

A simmering financial dispute has boiled over in Tennessee, and Nashville Predators co-owner David Freeman has sued the team and its chairman, Tom Cigarran, for $250 million. [The Tennessean]

But there's happier news in the desert: The Arizona Coyotes have gotten to work on securing a yet-to-be disclosed site in or near Phoenix for their new arena.

Finally: The Allen Americans just keep bringing home the trophies. Congratulations to play-by-play announcer Tommy Daniels on his 2016 ECHL Broadcaster of the Year Award.