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2018 NHL Entry Draft: Notable Dallas Stars Targets For Round 3

As we continue our coverage leading up to the draft, let’s take a look at what the Stars could do with the 75th overall pick.

Owen Sound Attack v Windsor Spitfires Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

With the 2018 NHL Entry Draft fast approaching, we here at Defending Big D are starting to wrap up our pre-draft content and get into the nitty-gritty of things.

The other day I compiled a list of potential good fits for the Dallas Stars with their second round pick, the 44th overall selection, and today I’ll next focus on Dallas’ pick in the third-round (75th overall), with one last article examining rounds four through seven also coming soon.

Below you’ll find quick profiles on five different prospects who could be fits for the organization at 75th overall. Why were these five particular players chosen for this spotlight? The Stars currently have the following needs in their prospect system that should be priorities to address in this draft:

  • Centers who can reliably produce offense and drive possession
  • Pass-first, playmaking forwards who specialize on the power play
  • Right-shot defensemen who can kill penalties

For a better idea of which prospects the Stars currently have in their system, feel free to check out the most recent edition of Defending Big D’s Prospect Rankings, from back in March.

Important note: these views are entirely my own. They have been developed through personal scouting, research, and analysis of the team’s prospect pool. I have no firsthand or insider knowledge about which players the Stars are actually targeting for this pick.

While there’s no guarantee that any of these upcoming players will still be available at 75th overall (the draft is always full of surprises), they have ultimately been chosen based on an accumulation of various rankings and recent league-wide draft trends that suggest a high likelihood that they will still be around. It should also be mentioned that high-ranked players who unexpectedly slide down the draft board should be heavily considered in this spot as well, but we won’t know who they are (if anyone) until the picks start going through.

Let’s jump on in.

Aidan Dudas — Center — Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

If Dudas were a few inches taller he’d be a lock for the secondnd round, something that makes him a bit of a wild card in this draft. Measuring in at just 5’7” and 164 pounds at the combine, size is definitely a risk factor, but the good news is that Dudas does everything smaller players need to do to survive. He’s quick and elusive, he can control the puck, he thinks the game well, and he’s committed to becoming a professional. He also owns a very lethal wrist shot and isn’t afraid to go to dirty areas to use it. If Alex DeBrincat can succeed in the NHL, can Dudas as well?

Nathan Dunkley — Center — London Knights (OHL)

Just how much value do you place in the environment that a prospect plays in? On his own, Dunkley is a decent player, utilizing slightly-above-average puck skill, passing ability and hockey sense to contribute secondary offense, producing 57 points in 60 games this past season. Solid on face-offs, too. What is most interesting, however, is that he plays for the prestigious London Knights, an organization that is exceptional at prospect development. With London’s great track record, there’s a chance that Dunkley’s game could grow a lot as well over the next two seasons.

Ty Emberson — Defense — USNTDP (USHL)

A smooth-skating rearguard, Emberson was overshadowed a bit this season on a deep USNTDP defense group, but keen eyes saw a prospect who was consistent and trustworthy in his role. He can hold his own at both ends of the rink, even though he doesn’t really excel in either one. Not a particularly tall defender, but he’s pretty strong and athletic. He is difficult to beat one-on-one thanks to his mobility, competitiveness, and an active stick. Jumps into the play when the opportunity presents itself, but does a good job of not taking unnecessary risks.

Jan Jenik — Center — HC Benatky nad Jizerou (Czech2)

The youngest player expected to get picked in this year‘s draft, Jenik is still a very raw prospect, but there are enough tools in the box to make him intriguing. He has height and a long reach with his stick, and does a good job using his body to gain position on opponents. Not a very fast or powerful skater, but his mechanics are good, so he should get better after he gains leg strength. He can carry the puck in motion, although you would like to see quicker hands and more creativity to produce offense. A staple with the Czech Republic in international play, which is a bonus.

Ivan Morozov — Center — Mamonty Yugry (MHL)

Morozov earned high marks for his play at this year’s World Junior A Challenge and IIHF U18s, helping his draft status by overcoming some so-so scoring totals in Russia’s top junior league and having just one KHL appearance. Has above-average agility and can make some high-end moves with the puck on his stick. He showed off a nice power play one-timer at the U18s. Doesn’t cheat on his defensive assignments, which is a good sign for a young pivot. With the right patience and development, Morozov has the potential to be a second-line center in the NHL one day.