The Dallas Stars decided to hold onto their No.14 selection and select defenceman Julius Honka out of the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos. Honka is highly regarded as an offensive defenceman with an incredible knowledge of the game. This is a great pick by Nill. He has seemingly addressed the need for more puck-moving defenceman within the prospect pool. Here are what some experts had to say about Honka.
“Small defender who plays much bigger than his size. Fearless, and will engage anyone to get control of the puck.
Easily the best PP QB out of the WHL and plays a solid all-around game with a careful approach to his defensive responsibilities. He is an elite offensive talent based on his reads on the ice. Moves well laterally, and is able to close because of his feet. He handles physicality on the smaller North American ice well. Battles for pucks in his end and side-steps checks. If a team is in need of an offensive defenceman ,they ignore the fact he is under-sized and take him in the first. In junior, he was pretty solid defensively, so there is indication with strength and bulk he makes a place for himself.” –Bill Placzek–
“Played a key role for Finland at the 2014 World Junior Championship. Excelled in his first North American season with 16 goals and 56 points in 62 games; good awareness and excels on the power play.” –Mike Morreale–
“An impressive offensive defenseman, he moves the puck very well and has the ability to put up good point totals at all levels. Is an asset on the power play, due to sound hockey sense and a good point shot. Will need to add significant strength, since he doesn’t own ideal size for a National Hockey League defenseman. Also needs to continue to work on his play without the puck, especially his defensive-zone coverage.” –The Hockey News–
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