Part two, part dos, yada yada yada. So here is the second part to my ranking and grading of the Stars forwards. Here is the link to the first part if you missed it and my grades for some of the top guys, and here is my post for the defense. So read up, let me know if you disagree, and here we go with the rest of the forwards and some of the young guns.
Jamie Benn – 82: If you are a Stars fan or payed any attention to the Dallas Stars last year and missed Jamie Benn, then you weren’t actually paying attention. Put down the phone, stop just chatting with the person next to you at games, and watch the game! Benn may have only played one season up in the NHL, but he is already gaining a lot of attention. Apparently multiple teams tried to contact Dallas about trading for him last season, and thankfully the Stars said no. He will only be 21 going into his 2nd season, expect to see even more out of this young star over the next few years as he can play either wing and the Stars are grooming him to play center as a future #1 or #2 center.
Brandon Segal – 79: Talk about getting something for nothing. Dallas claimed Segal off of waivers late last season from the Kings and he immediately seemed to fit in with the Stars. It also does not hurt when you can put up 10 points in your first 14 games with a new team. He is a RW and a right handed shot, two things which the Stars do not have much of. He also is 27 and has been a guy that has bounced around the minors with success but has not played a ton at the NHL level. Look for him to probably start the season on the Stars 3rd line, but he could be moved around a bunch this season. He is probably at about to top of his potential, but you never know because I think he could have a decent season as a grit and 3rd line guy.
Brian Sutherby – 79: Back for another season is Sutherby, a continuous grit guy who is a solid 4th line center and PK guy. He will not ever throw in much offense (only 9 points in 45 games last season), but he is scrappy and is a good face-off guy for a low line guy. He knows where to play in his own end and will get back and help his defenseman, and of course is never against dropping the gloves if he feels he needs to. The thing is, it seems like Brian has been around for a long time in the NHL but he is only 28 and could be a guy that can stay around for a long time in the role he is in now.
Adam Burish – 78: Bring on the toughness! That is GM Joe’s plan with resigning Barch, and adding Burish and Lukowich. He wants this team to be tougher and have more grit overall then the team that took the ice last year. Burish comes over from the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and is a RW who will probably see most of his time on the 4th line playing with guys like Sutherby and Wandell. He is a tough guy who adds character, grit, and toughness. Don’t expect a lot offensively but he can chip in every now and then. Overall he is a solid pickup for a cheap price who has some experience and is a solid depth guy.
Tom Wandell – 77: Wandell got off to a good start last season in his first NHL campaign but it was cut short when he suffered a torn ACL. But he showed not only that he was capable of being a two-way forward with a +2 rating, he also put up 15 points in the 50 games he did play last season. He could be capable of being a 35-40 point if he plays most of this season, and he could provide youth and quickness on the PK team. He may play center some, but may see a majority of his minutes on the wing for the 3rd or 4th lines. Still has some upside and growing to do at the NHL level, could be a future solid 3rd line/shut-down forward/PK specialist type of player who can throw in 40 points as well.
Fabian Brunnstrom – 77: Let me say right away, I am not a fan of Fabian right now. The 25 year-old Swede came onto the NHL scene as a highly sought after free agent from Europe a couple of years back with a solid rookie season, putting up 29 points in 55 games. But it could be seen that his defensive skills and some parts of his game were still growing and adapting to the NHL level. This last season he only put up 11 points in 44 games and looked out of place a lot in the first half of the season, and I would agree that he could use some time in the minors just gaining experience and working on things. Well this offseason he fights for arbitration and does not sign the Stars contracts because he wants a one way contract to keep himself at the NHL level. He still needs growth, and seems to be fighting it. He can be a good 2nd or 3rd line guy in the future, but right now he may be keeping himself from getting better. He will see plenty of time this season with the 3rd and 4th lines.
Toby Petersen – 75: For those that follow the Stars franchise, you should recognize Petersen pretty well. He does not get a lot of time, as he has spent almost every season since joining the franchise in 2007 right now the edge of not making the NHL or just making it and having to fight to get playing time. He is short, but skates well and does not play all the time because of lack of heart. Toby is a solid center or winger on a 4th line and gives it everything he can every night he gets a chance to play. He will probably again be a healthy scratch to start the season, but when injuries occur Toby is always called upon to fill up a spot in the lower lines. He has about hit his cap at 31, but he is still a type of player every roster needs.
Krystofer Barch – 74: Barch knows what he is here for, we know what he is here for, and the opposing team knows what he is here for. He does not really score (only 23 points in 209 career NHL games), and he does not really play great defense either. All Barch really does is fight and scrap with guys, and sadly at times he is not even good at that. He takes a bunch of punches often and really just fills the spot as the enforcer when Ott or someone else does not step in and fight. I was not really a fan of resigning him, but the Stars did and he is here so I guess we will just have to see what happens. But he will often be a healthy scratch and is not a threat to take away minutes from anyone else on the roster, and at 30 has hit his peak by filling in a niche.
And that is it for the forwards Stars fans. I will talk about the goalies in the near future and will this week cover the top 5 areas that will dictate how much success the Stars will have this season. Have a great weekend!