Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Mock drafts and the Dallas Stars
By Mark Stepneski
Here’s a look at what some of the various mock drafts have the Dallas Stars doing with the 14th overall pick in Friday’s first round of the NHL Entry Draft.
I picked 14 mock drafts, including some of the more notable independent scouting services, top media sites and resources that I use.
Finnish right wing Joel Armia, Swedish defenseman Jonas Brodin and center Mark McNeill, who plays for Prince Albert of the Western Hockey League, led the way with three mentions each. There were five other players that some of the experts thought the Stars could take at No. 14.
*ESPN.com: Jamie Oleksiak, D, Northeastern (Hockey East) - Profile
Comment: A blueliner who will scare opposing wingers when they come down his side of the ice. Oleksiak says that he's going back to Northeastern, and if he's not flexible on that he might slide down the board somewhat. Stock was buoyed by an impressive combine and good interviews.
*Red Line Report Draft Guide 1: Joel Armia, RW, Assat (Finland) - Profile
Comment: They love their Finns in Dallas, and Armia could a really nice replacement for James Neal in a couple of years with a similar size and hands combination busting off the wing.
*Red Line Report Draft Guide 2: Vladislav Namestnikov, C, London (OHL) - Profile
Comment: Not that he’s even close to being ready, but Namestnikov could be the right pick for franchise that could lose Brad Richards.
*Int'l Scouting Services Draft Guide: J.T. Miller, RW, USA Under-18 (USHL) - Profile
Comment: Miller could be considered a bit of a reach at this point but his similarities to Dallas captain Brenden Morrow can’t be ignored, and the idea of having another Morrow in the system could be very appealing to the Stars.
*TSN: Mark Scheifele, C, Barrie (OHL) - Profile
Comment: A great skating, two-way centreman. Scheifele can create offence, he can play all areas of the game. He's a top player.
*The Hockey News: Nathan Beaulieu, D, Saint John (QMJHL) - Profile
Comment: Stars ‘D’ corps needs more weapons and big Saint John star can contribute at both ends of ice.
*Sportsnet.ca: Jonas Brodin, Farjestad (Sweden) - Profile
Comment: The Stars could use another puck-moving defenceman coming up in the system and likely would have drafted Cam Fowler in last year's first round if not for the fact Jack Campbell was still on the board. Dallas has never shied away from the Swedes in the draft and had some success with a second-round steal in Loui Eriksson several years ago. Brodin is a highly-skilled, offensive defenceman with a fluid skating stride.
*Future Considerations Draft Guide: Jonas Brodin, Farjestad (Sweden) - Profile
Comment: Dallas has depth up front with some big bodies and some skill as well as their future franchise goaltender all in the system, adding more defensive help is needed. Brodin gives them a potential top four defenseman coming through the pipeline.
*The Sports Forecaster: Mark McNeill, C, Prince Albert (WHL) - Profile
Comment: The road to rebuilding the Stars will soon begin, as the pending loss of UFA center Brad Richards will hurt. McNeill would be a nice start to the retooling plan. They may go in another direction, but centers are needed.
*The Art of Scouting: Jonas Brodin, Farjestad (Sweden) - Profile
*NHL.com 1: Mark McNeill, C, Prince Albert (WHL) - Profile
Comment: Stars could be in the market for a big-time center, and McNeill has big-time potential.
*NHL.com 2: Joel Armia, RW, Assat (Finland) - Profile
Comment: The 6-3, 191-pound forward had 18 goals, 29 points in 48 games as a rookie in top Finnish league.
*NHL.com 3: Mark McNeill, C, Prince Albert (WHL) - Profile
Comment: Center had a big year, posting 81 points in 70 games.
*NHL.com 4: Joel Armia, RW, Assat (Finland) - Profile
Comment: Big (6-foot-3) forward with great hands could be an eventual replacement for the departed James Neal.