One of the notable parts of The Hockey News Yearbook - at least in my opinion - is the ranking of each team’s prospects. THN’s rankings for the Dallas Stars this year include pretty much the same guys I would throw in a top ten list. There are a couple of other guys I would have considered (more on that below), but I like the THN list. I agree with the choices for No. 1 and No. 2 and then might have ranked them a little differently after that, but it’s not significant enough to worry about.
I'd say that Scott Glennie is their top prospect at forward, Jack Campbell is their top goaltending prospect and Philip Larsen is the best defense prospect.
Anyway, these are the THN rankings along with my comments on the players.
Scott Glennie, RW (2009 Draft/1st round, 8th overall): He has great speed and good offensive skills. He’ll get a look in training camp, but expect him to play with Brandon of the WHL this season. I really liked what I saw from him at Canada’s junior development camp earlier this month. He was far more noticeable then he was at last year’s camp, which should give him a good chance of making it to the World Juniors this season. I think he’s poised for a big season in juniors, which should set him up nicely for turning pro in 2011-12.
Jack Campbell, G (2010 Draft/1st round, 11th overall): He’s got all the tools to be a good goaltender: good size, athletic ability, mental toughness and great work ethic. After a couple seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program he makes the jump to the Ontario Hockey League, where he’ll play for the Windsor Spitfires. Not only will he try to help Windsor win a third straight OHL title and third straight Memorial Cup, he’ll also try to help the USA defend its gold medal at the World Juniors in Buffalo. It will be a good test for someone who has a reputation for thriving in pressure situations.
Tyler Beskorowany, G (2008 Draft/2nd round, 59th overall): Ask the Stars and they’ll tell you Beskorowany has one thing you can’t teach, and that’s size. The Stars have him listed at 6-5, 204 pounds. He possesses some good athletic ability too. I like him more every time I see him play. Beskorowany turns pro this season and will likely play for the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL. He played a lot of games and faced a lot of shots in his finals season of juniors with Kingston of the OHL, and that should have him well prepared for the transition to the pro game.
Philip Larsen, D (2008 Draft/5th round, 149th overall): The smooth skating Larsen played two games for the Stars at the end of last season, and did well. He’s skilled and he’s got excellent hockey sense. He’ll get a look in training camp but probably will probably start with the Texas Stars of the AHL, where he can get plenty of ice time and continue to develop and acclimate to the North American game. He’s very close to becoming a regular player in the NHL.
Alex Chiasson, RW (2009 Draft/2nd round, 38th overall): He’s got good size (6-4, 195 pounds) and is still filling out. I liked what I saw from him at the development camp in Frisco this summer. He moves well for his size and he has a nice skill set. He had a good freshman season at Boston University, and should be in a position to build on that this season. He’s a long-term project since he’s expected to play four years of college.
Patrik Nemeth, D (2010 Draft/2nd round, 41st overall): He’s a big, mean, physical defenseman who plays a two-way game. He’ll play for AIK in Sweden this season. He’s got a shot at Sweden’s World Junior team too. He was at the development camp in Frisco and there was plenty to like. He’s 6-3 and already over 200 pounds. He moves well and has some good puck skills. A bit of a project, but he’s got a lot of upside.
Colton Sceviour, RW (2007 Draft/4th round, 112th overall): Versatile, two-way forward had an excellent rookie season with the Texas Stars of the AHL last season. He played all three forward positions and played in all situations. Good defensive forward. He’s got a chance to make a mark in training camp and set himself up for his first call up to the NHL at some point this season. He’s probably going to be a grinder type in the NHL and he’s got the tools to do that really well.
Reilly Smith, RW (2009 Draft/3rd round, 69th overall): The speedy, skilled Smith is coming off a solid freshman season at Miami University. His numbers (8 goals, 12 assists in 44 games) weren’t spectacular, but they were OK considering he was playing on one of the top teams in the country. Those numbers should improve as he moves along in his college career. Like a lot of players his age, he needs to bulk up. He can be a fun player to watch.
Tomas Vincour, RW (2009 Draft/5th round, 129th overall): The Czech forward has some good size (6-2, 200 pounds), plays a physical game and has a decent scoring touch. He turns pro this season after three seasons in the Western Hockey League, where he got acclimated to the North American game. He’s expected to play with the Texas Stars this season and if he has a strong showing in training camp he might put himself in a position for a call up to the NHL at some point in 2010-11. He likes the North American game and has the potential to be a power forward.
Curtis McKenzie, LW (2009 Draft/6th round, 159th overall): McKenzie, who has good size (6-2/192 pounds) and is still growing, is projected as a power forward. He’s physical, has a nose for the net and has a decent scoring touch. He put up good up pretty good numbers (6 goals, 21 assists in 42 games) as a freshman at Miami University. Like teammate and fellow Dallas prospect Reilly Smith, he made an impact on a very good team. He should take another step forward this season at Miami.
There are a couple of other guys I probably would have considered for the list. One is goalie Richard Bachman, who probably will play for the Texas Stars this season. He bucks the trend of a goalie with size, but he stops pucks and wins games. He’s got good athletic ability and is highly competitive. I wouldn’t count him out.
Forward Ondrej Roman is another player I like. He’s a slick, skilled playmaker. The Czech missed most of last season due to a contract issues that kept him from coming over to North America. He’s expected to play with the Texas Stars. He’s played a couple seasons in the WHL, so he is used to the North American game and that will help as he makes the jump to the North American pro game this season.
Glennie, Campbell, Beskorowany, Larsen, Sceviour, Vincour and Roman all are scheduled to play for the Stars at the NHL Prospects tournament in Traverse City, Michigan next month.