The Dallas Stars made the “biggest” splash during Friday night’s first round of the NHL Entry Draft, selecting 6-foot-7 Northeastern defenseman Jamieson Oleksiak with the 14th overall pick.
Oleksiak played 34 games with the Huskies in his freshman season, scoring three goals with nine assists for 12 points and 51 penalty minutes with a team-best plus-13 rating.
Although born in Toronto, Oleksiak has a dual citizenship and played for the United States' U-18 team at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka tournament. His father, Richard, is a native of Buffalo, N.Y.
So does the 18-year-old project as another Zdeno Chara?
ESPN.com’s Gare Joyce wrote of Oleksiak in February on the NHL Draft Blog:
“This guy is 6-foot-7 (maybe 6-foot-8), north of 240 pounds, and plays defense at Northeastern; where he lands and when he goes in the draft will be interesting because it might indicate a trend in the league -- are teams going to put a greater premium on extreme height in propects? Think about Zdeno Chara or Tyler Myers in this regard.
Usually the word "raw" is attached and a long, gradual development curve is presumed when you're talking about guys this tall; Chara and Meyers debunked that, but it's still the prevailing notion.