Thursday, May 19, 2011
Prospect update: Jack Campbell
By Mark Stepneski
The latest in a series of updates on Dallas Stars prospects looks at goaltender Jack Campbell, the team’s 1st round pick (11th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
The 19-year-old came out of the U.S. Development program and played his first season in the Ontario Hockey League in 2010-11, posting a 24-14-4 record with a 3.80 goals against average and .884 save percentage for the Windsor Spitfires. In the playoffs, he helped Windsor make it to the Conference finals, going 9-9 with 3.74 goals against average, a .887 save percentage and two shutouts.
He was named “Best Goalkeeper” at the World Junior Championship after helping lead Team USA to the bronze medal with a 5-1 record, 1.70 goals against average and a .941 save percentage. That performance earned him a spot on the tournament All-Star Team as well.
“I think Campbell had a great year,” said Les Jackson, Dallas Stars Director of Scouting and Player Development. “For a kid coming from where he came from to go play in the OHL, that’s a huge step. The first half, I think, was a huge adjustment. He went to the World Junior, played excellent and since then he played good. The last month-and-a-half he was really a top player for [Windsor]. He’s right on track.”
Campbell got off to a slow start, but was 15-5-4 in his last 24 decisions during the regular season for Windsor, which plays a wide open style. And the OHL schedule was a major adjustment too, but Jackson felt those are all good experiences for the highly touted Campbell, ranked as the Stars’ top prospect and 10th among all NHL prospects by The Hockey News Future Watch 2011.
“Those are the best things for him to learn because of where he got drafted everybody thinks he’s got to be God. Well, he isn’t,” Jackson said. “He’s got to go through the lessons to learn just like everybody else. There isn’t a better kid. There isn’t anybody in his age group that has that talent. It’s just a matter of getting through it.
“He was pretty impressive. He had some learning experiences. It’s a pretty rigid schedule up there. The potential is unbelievable. He’s a very good player.”
Good enough that Team USA invited him to be the No. 3 goaltender at the recently concluded World Championship in Slovakia. Campbell didn’t play, but list it as another good learning experience.
And Jackson said the Stars are leaning towards another season of learning and gaining experience in the OHL for Campbell, who signed an entry-level contract with the Stars in November.
“We’ll probably leave him in Windsor again,” Jackson said. “That’s the next step where he should go, get his two years there and then turn him pro.”