74th Pick: Esa Lindell
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 192
The Dallas Stars went back to Scandinavia for a defenseman, taking Finland’s Esa Lindell, an offensive defenseman with above average scoring skills. He was the highest scoring defenseman in the Junior A SM-liiga, putting up an astounding 21 goals and 51 points. He briefly appeared in two games with Kiekko-Vantaa, his first experience with pro hockey and will hopefully make the jump to Jokerit next year. His offensive skill is something to watch, if it can translate to success in the pros the Stars might have themselves a nice prospect ready down the road.
104th Pick: Gemel Smith
Ht: 5’9″ Wt: 150 lbs
Gemel Smith, yet another center, is fast, a scorer, and a playmaker. He put up 60 points in 68 games with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL and is praised for his ability to elude defenders and finish plays. So why was he available over 100 picks into the draft? Well, the only knock against Smith is his size, at 5’9″ he is small. The biggest question with him is whether or not he will be able to carry over his success when and if he begins playing professional hockey.
The Stars got themselves a couple promising prospects in the mid-rounds, but they will certainly be players to watch. If they can’t overcome their obstacles, their game will fizzle out. They’re a longshot for the NHL as of right now, but with the right development, they could certainly be making a push years from now. Stay tuned to Blackout Dallas for the final batch of draftees from this year’s draft!