On Friday the Stars chose their first round pick at 14th in the 2011 draft in Minnesota.
I think the highlight of the whole ordeal for me was the consistent boos the Stars staff got from the Minnesota crowd; I can’t get enough of that rivalry.
But, I’m sure the highlight for everyone else at the draft were the picks… right?
And the Stars wen’t with a mammoth gentleman by the name of Jamieson Oleksiask with their first pick. Many of the pro-critics thought Joe would go with a forward, but perhaps he felt the pressure of the fans from last years pick, or maybe they saw what Chara did in the playoffs as the Bruins took the cup?
All you reall need to know about Oleksiak is that he’s 6’7 and 250 or so pounds. He was the largest human in the draft and has consistently been compared to someone like Chara, though perhaps his playstyle of closer to someone like the phenom in Buffalo, Tyler Meyers.
He isn’t offensively potent, but for a man his size he is very athletic and coordinated with good skating ability for someone of that stature. It is said that when comparing him to Chara at the same age he is much more coordinated than Zdeno was. That’s good right?
The downside if you can call it that when speaking of a draftee at any rank, is that we won’t likely see him for another 3-4 years as he develops and possibly finished college, though he is being prodded toward the minors by his mentors.
Here are a couple of quotes:
“He moves well for a big man. We’ve seen the impact over the years that big men can have on the game,” said Nieuwendyk. “It goes back with us with Derian Hatcher and the success that he had. He’s [Zdeno] Chara-type size. He skates well and can move the puck. The offense probably isn’t overwhelming, but he plays an all-around game. I think the important thing is he’s got that size, he skates well and is hard to play against.”
“He’s [Chara] someone I look up to and really enjoy his style of play and try to model my game after,” Oleksiak said. “He’s had great success and that’s something I want to do for myself.”
“I think I have the ability to make plays in all three zones and be a reliable player in any situation,” Oleksiak said. “I have a good shot from the point and I think I can use my size and stick to take away scoring opportunities and create some transition.”
OJamieson just finished his freshmen year at Northeastern (4g-9a-12p, +13) so there will be the choice as I said, of staying in college and finishing it out or moving onto the OHL or something of that calibre.
“Northeastern has been phenomenal for me and they’ve really helped out my development. As for what’s happening next year, it’s all up in the air,” Oleksiak said. “My ultimate goal is to play professional hockey and it’s just a matter of continuing that development and going where it will get me to my goal and help me succeed the most. As of now, I haven’t
What is interesting about the large lad is that he has dual citizenship in both the United States and in Canada since his father is from Buffallo. This means he can play for either of the national teams. He didn’t make the U-18 US team last year but it is said that team Canada is looking into getting him on their roster for the next tournament, though it is more likely he will be on team USA.
Overall this is a nice addition to a deceptively deep blue-line roster in the minors. He is accompanied by Philip Larsen, Brenden Dillon, Patrik Nemeth and John Klingberg, all pretty promising candidates. He will also be joined by Troy Vance who was chosen in the 5th round this year and Jyrki Jokipakka who was taken in the 7th.
However, this pick clearly doesn’t answer the question of where the Stars are going to go with defense in the next 2 years. There is still a gap at the number 1 pairing and with Alex Goligoski still on the roster you have to wonder where someone on the cusp such as Larsen is going to get a spot.
I look forward to seeing what moves Joe will make in order to improve the blue line this year.
Here’s the 2-7 picks for the stars:
- 2nd – RW Brett Ritchie
- 3rd - N/A
- 4th – C Emil Molin
- 5th – D Troy Vance
- 6th – Matej Stransky
- 7th – Jyrki Jokipakka