Friday, June 25, 2010

NHL Draft Features on the Dallas Stars Website: Draft Weekend is here

The NHL Draft begins tonight and their influences on current Dallas Stars as they got near their draft day.

From the Dallas Stars Website:

The NHL Draft is different from the NBA & NFL in most of these 18 to 20 year olds will not have a chance to play for the team that drafts them for at least a few years. The NHL Drafts players younger and the kids will be put in the system as the various clubs in the NHL to watch them develop.

The NHL Club will provide guidance and support from afar until they are ready to contribute at a higher level. Therefore many of the players that will be drafted on June 25 and 26 will be unknowns to the fans of the NHL Teams that draft them. However they are quite a few interesting stories in this year's draft that Stars fans can watch for as the draft unfolds over the weekend.

Team USA won the Gold at the 2010 World Championships in both the U20 Division and repeated as champions in the Under 18 Division, because of the large crop of American players in the 2010 Draft Pool. In Central Scouting's Top 30 North American Skaters Rankings there are 10 Americans looking to be drafted to NHL Teams this weekend and in the top 30 North American Goaltenders there are 9 Americans eager to be picked.

One American born player with a lot of hockey history in his family is center Brock Nelson. His uncle, Dave Christian, was part of the Miracle on Ice Team that won the gold in 1980 in Lake Placid. His grandfather, Billy Christian, and great uncle Roger Christian, both played for Team USA at the 1960 Olympics as they won the first gold medal for the USA in Olympic Hockey. Nelson was born in Minneapolis and is projected as the 25th best skater in North America.

Jack Campbell had recent success on the world stage for Team USA. The number two North American Goaltender played significant time in both the 2009 and 2010 U18 World Championship and also the 2010 World Junior Championship winning team that defeated Canada in overtime to win the Gold Medal. Campbell was called from the bench to replace the starting goaltender in the 2nd period and was able to hold off the Canadians on their home ice to win the tournament.

A couple of the potential draftees have Stars ties in their family. Jarred Tinordi, son of former Star Mark Tinordi, is the 38th ranked skater. Mark Tinordi played 375 games between 1988 and 1994 for the Stars franchise and collected over 1,000 penalty minutes for the club. Jarred is set to play for the University of Norte Dame next season and will wear his father's old number, 24.

Nick Bjugstad, the 13th ranked North American Skater, is the nephew of former Star Scott Scott Bjugstad, who played for the North Stars between 1983-1988. Scott Collected 126 points (68G 58A) during his time with the Stars. Nick was awarded the Mr. Hockey Award (Best High School Player in Minnesota) this past season. Four of the last 5 Mr. Hockey Award Winners have been taken in the first round of the NHL Draft.

Many of the Draft Hopefuls last current Dallas Stars as their hockey idols. Defensemen Alexander Petrovic, the 29th ranked North American Prospect, lists the Dallas Stars as his favorite team with Mike Modano as his hockey idol. The American goaltender Jack Campbell list Marty Turco as his hockey idol. Brandon Gormley, the sixth ranked North American Prospect, lists Brad Richards as his hockey idol.

Gormley is from Murray River, Prince Edward Island, which is very close to Murray Harbor, where Brad Richards grew up. Prince Edward Island is a small territory in Canada and Richards is now the leading scorer from the territory with 639 points (192G 447A). Gromley is attending the same prep school that Richards did when he left PEI, Athol Murray College of Norte Dame, Saskatchewan.

Dallas Stars fans should also keep an eye on a couple prospects that grew up in the DFW Area and started learning the game at the various Dr. Pepper Starcenter's.

Ryan Daugherty and CJ Ludwig both played for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League last season. They are eligible to be drafted in the 2010 Draft this weekend and they are both are set to attend Northern Michigan University this fall. CJ is the son of Craig Ludwig. Craig, currently an analyst for Fox Sports, played 8 seasons for the Stars and helped Dallas win the Stanley Cup in 1999.

Tune in this weekend to find out where these prospects will go in the draft, along with the rest of the action as possible trades come to fruition very often does during the NHL Draft. The Dallas Stars will draft 11th overall in the first round on Friday, June 25 at 6PM (Central) on Versus and the second through seventh rounds will be on Saturday, June 26 at 12 Noon on the NHL Network.

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