With no trades made by the team to announce and none of their picks in Vancouver to meet with the media or put on a jersey, the Dallas Stars ended their 2019 NHL Entry Draft journey on a quiet and expected note. Here’s a quick look at their selections from Rounds 4-6.
Shortly after drafting defenseman Thomas Harley at 18th overall on the first night of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill pointed out that he was still hunting for more picks. Considering the Stars entered the 2019 NHL Entry Draft with just four selections, the opportunity was there for them to either trade back or trade players in exchange for multiple picks to further fill out their draft stock.
But although he worked the phones and conversed with other teams, nothing ever came to fruition as the second and final day of the draft played out. As a result, the Stars made their three selections in the final six rounds and exited the draft on a relatively quiet note.
Dallas started the day off by sitting out in the second and third rounds before making selections in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. They drafted defenseman Samuel Sjolund in the fourth round (111th overall), left winger Nicholas Porco in the fifth round (142nd overall), and defenseman Ben Brinkman in the sixth round (173rd overall) before sitting out in the seventh round.
And while we profiled first-round pick Thomas Harley last night and took a look at his past performances, skills, and potential, let’s take a look at the Stars’ other three selections.
Samuel Sjolund, D: 111th overall
Sjolund is a native of Stockholm, Sweden and has spent the past few seasons playing in Sweden’s developmental leagues. He spent the majority of the 2018-19 season with AIK J20 of SuperElit (Sweden’s highest-level junior hockey league). In 31 games, the 18-year-old defender scored nine goals and tallied 15 points along with a -4 rating. He also played in four postseason games, tallying one assist and a +1 rating.
The defender stands at 6-1, 172 lb. and has also played on Sweden’s U18 International-Jr team.
“Developing defender with good offensive tools and recognition skills. Competes hard and initiates contact, and steps up to meet attackers at his blue line. Steps in to get loose pucks on face-offs. Maintains his coverage while clogging passing lanes, and boxes out opposing players in the crease area. Makers good decision and plays well from his blue down in. Has good hands.” -Bill Placzek, DraftSite.com
Nicholas Porco, LW: 142nd overall
Nicholas Porco was the only non-defender taken by the Dallas Stars in this year’s class. In his second season with the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL, the 18-year-old posted 20 goals, 36 points, and a -5 rating in 67 regular season games. He also skated in 16 playoff games with the Spirit, scoring three goals and posting seven points and a +7 rating.
The winger stands at 6-0, 176 lb. and is known for playing with speed and a strong compete level.
“Goal scoring winger with very good mobility, creativity and jump. Competes at strong level, is difficult to contend with when in on the forecheck and uses his speed to push back defenders to find the net or the creases that enable him to get teammates open. Likes the puck on his stick, but is a very conscientious player without it.” – Bill Placzek, DraftSite.com
Ben Brinkman, D: 173rd overall
Ben Brinkman was the final pick for the Dallas Stars in this year’s draft. The 18-year-old defender actually accelerated his high school education in order to get to the University of Minnesota and begin his college hockey journey one year early. In 38 games with the Golden Gophers, the freshman posted one goal, seven points, and a +11 rating (which led all University of Minnesota skaters).
The 6’0, 216 lb. defenseman is from Edina, Minn. and is known for his size and mobility.
“College-bound puck rusher who accelerated his high school education in order to be eligible to play next season for the University of Minnesota. Brinkman is big, strong and mobile, but he also is an on-ice leader that loves to take chances when his team needs a boost.” – Steve Kournianos, Sporting News
New prospects are in the pipeline, no trades went down, and it’s time to look ahead. And just like that, the 2019 NHL Entry Draft is in the books.
With the UFA meeting period, RFA qualifying deadline, and other noteworthy events coming up in the week ahead now that the cap is officially set at $81.5 million, you can be assured that the action is just beginning.