Dallas Stars Daily Links: Thomas Harley Goes To The Front Of The (Blue) Line
The Stars’ newest defender instantly becomes their top D prospect. Plus, the first-round party for the U.S. national program, a history of late-draft diamonds, and more.
In case you missed last night’s NHL Draft action, the Dallas Stars kept it on the board and drafted for need with the selection of left-handed defender Thomas Harley.
Matthew DeFranks broke down the pick and its significance for The Dallas Morning News:
Harley, 17, is an above-average skater that likes to join the rush, and nearly quadrupled his point production this season in the OHL from his debut in 2017-18. OHL coaches named Harley the Eastern Conference’s most improved player, the best offensive defenseman and second-best skater.
Not including [Miro] Heiskanen at No. 3 two years ago, Harley’s selection at No. 18 was the highest pick the Stars used on a defenseman since they picked Julius Honka at No. 14 in 2014. Harley will instantly become the most promising prospect -- with the highest ceiling -- on defense for the Stars.
Thomas Harley has never been to Texas before, but he can't wait to get here. He breaks down his game for us and talks about everything leading up to draft day. pic.twitter.com/j6epuSRIvL— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) June 22, 2019
But there are challenges ahead in Day Two, as the Victory Green gang seeks to make do with a depleted draft hand:
They entered the weekend with only four picks, which would be the lowest total since the franchise moved to Dallas. They only have four picks in next year’s draft. So the Stars could have traded No. 18 to move down and accumulate more picks later in either this draft or the next one.
The Stars also have a glut of forward prospects and lack depth on defense in their pipeline, especially on the right side. They could have selected forwards Ryan Suzuki or Arthur Kaliyev or Raphael Lavoie to bolster the forward pool, but instead chose Harley to add a needed defenseman to their pipeline.
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Let’s enjoy some of the reaction to the Harley kick pick, shall we?
Dallas gets a great two-way defenseman in Thomas Harley. He took on a ton of responsibility this year in Mississauga. I'm a fan.— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) June 22, 2019
Love the Thomas Harley pick for the Stars! Big dude that can skate with the smaller ones and a quality offensive defensemen.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) June 22, 2019
As it turns out, our own Derek Neumeier isn’t the only Stars writer who’s had his eye on Harley. Here’s what Josh Bell wrote in April.
Dallas lands a favorite of mine. https://t.co/jrU3r309l5— The Hockey Writers (@TheHockeyWriter) June 22, 2019
Let’s forget the unfortunate name reversal and take another look at this....
Stars owner Bob Gaglardi reads Thomas Harley's name backwards as it probably was on the card, but the awkward handshake fail with Jim Nill might be the highlight pic.twitter.com/v0HvjTwS5z— Paid man gets bored (@cjzero) June 22, 2019
Around The League(s)
Arguably, last night’s biggest first-round winner was the U.S. National Team Development Program. Red, white and blue everywhere.
It was a big night at the 2019 #NHLDraft for @USAHockeyNTDP. Seven of the first 15 picks were alums. Read @mikemorrealeNHL's look inside the program.https://t.co/V9Cpjhsw5L— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) June 22, 2019
The Los Angeles Kings mistake aside, here’s an interesting look at how Spencer Knight became the highest-drafted goalie since fellow American Jack Campbell.
The Florida Panthers become the first team to draft a goalie in the top-15 since 2010 when LA took Jack Campbell. I break down what the Panthers saw in Spencer Knight and why he has the tools to be an elite NHL goalie @MiamiHerald https://t.co/hn7lcMWL4p— Harman Dayal (@harmandayal2) June 22, 2019
The Vancouver Canucks had a treat for the home crowd during the first round. Clearly, there’s no point in making fans wait to see Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin get their due.
A special #NHLDraft surprise and what a surprise it was.— NHL (@NHL) June 22, 2019
Numbers 2️⃣2️⃣ and 3️⃣3️⃣ will be retired by the @Canucks in February. pic.twitter.com/dw0Cv7IDCe
Is forward Cole Caufield even more of a draft steal than Alex DeBrincat?.
Did the Montreal Canadiens get the steal of the draft in high-scoring Cole Caufield? @THNKenCampbell on the sharpshooting winger:https://t.co/GHYFO2lF4s— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) June 22, 2019
And there was a big moment for Canada, as Yukon native Dylan Cozens made history.
Cozens becomes highest drafted player from Canada's territories in NHL history https://t.co/wHqeiXq3aG— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) June 22, 2019
Jamie Benn is the poster boy for draft steals everywhere, but he’s not the only diamond from past late rounds.
ICYMI: Finding success in the later rounds of the NHL draft isn't easy. Taking a look all the way back to the 2005 draft, who are the best fifth-to-seventh-round draft picks by all 31 NHL franchises?https://t.co/esaOX1sN3q— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) June 22, 2019
Meanwhile, in non-draft headlines: Awful news for Ryan Callahan and the Tampa Bay Lightning as he receives a career-ending diagnosis.
Ryan Callahan hoped there was a fix for his “unbearable” back issues, wanting to play a few more years. But degenerative disk disease cut career short. What’s next for #tblightning vet? “Devastating. Truly disappointed I didn’t get chance to win a Cup.” https://t.co/Cht6ZnW2ZU— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) June 21, 2019
Now here’s the Thomas Harley-related meme we should all get behind. Enjoy.
Welcome to Dallas, Thomas Harley! #GoStars pic.twitter.com/sfK8qZUhq4— Jeff K (@jeffk_stars) June 22, 2019