Moving forward into the off-season, the next big thing on the horizon for the Dallas Stars at this point is the NHL 2011 Draft. Well that is, besides waiting and seeing when something happens with the ownership situation. The draft is not until June, but at this point there is not a lot for the Stars going on until then. The Stars of course are focused on Brad Richards and trying to resign him, but as it has been stated plenty that the Richards situation will probably not change or make any sort of progress until new ownership happens or the draft comes.
With the Stars again failing to make the playoffs again, the team is once again looking at a pick in the first half of the first round. Last season the franchise drafted top goalie prospect Jack Campbell with the 11th overall pick, and in 2009 the Stars took RW Scott Glennie with the 8th overall pick. This year Dallas will select 14th overall and could pick up a very solid prospect in with that pick. So where should the team go? What should they be looking for? DEFENSE! It’s not a secret at all that this team is not full of a lot of prospects, and on top of that their only real defensive prospect right now is an offensive D-man. So for a team that is still in the bottom 10 in the league for actual defensive play in my opinion, the first round pick has to be a defenseman. And there are a few defenders that should or could be on the board around the early-mid teens, right where the team is going to be drafting.
The team has made a habit of picking the top player they “want” early in drafts and then trying to fill needs with later picks. While that can work at times and every team finds hidden gems sometimes in the mid to later rounds, when the team is in dire need of a top quality blueliner and they could take a guy who could be great and NHL ready in a year or two, they have to go that route. Quite a few people have second guessed the Stars pick last summer of Campbell as Fowler and a couple of other prospects were right there that might have fit the Stars needs better. But this summer I don’t see the team and GM Joe going any other route. Guys like Jamieson Oleksiak, Duncan Siemens, and Dougie Hamilton are all names that Stars fans should research. Starting this weekend, I plan to start covering a prospect every couple of days and look at 5-6 names that I believe the Stars should be aiming to draft.