Monday, June 28, 2010

Stars going defensive in later rounds, selecting 3 defensemen and a skilled Left Winger

After the Dallas Stars took Jack Campbell in the opening round on Friday Night. The Stars were defensive focus with a couple of Swedish Junior Players, a major player who plays the Everett Silvertips plus a Junior A Player who plays in the Central Canadian Hockey League which in the Central Part of Ontario. Included in the picks is a great 2nd Round Defensemen which includes a player from the very successful AIK Stockholm Program which always have had a number of great players over the years.

From John Tranchina of the Dallas Stars Website:

Many Observers expected them to take a defensemen in the first round, but the Dallas Stars ended up selecting three overall, including one in the 2nd round, choosing Swedish blueliner Patrick Nemeth 41st overall.

A tough, physical defensemen who skates well for his size (6'3", 201 pounds), Nemeth split the 2009-2010 season between AIK Stockholm Juniors and Professional Teams in the Sweden's Second Division.

"He's a good skater for his size," said Stars European Scout Richard Oquist. "He brings leadership to his club." Nemeth brings a physical edge and is a solid defensive player."

A solid defender and a good penalty killer, Nemeth registered one goal and 20 points in 38 games, while racking 120 penalty minutes. In the 2nd pro season, he skated in 16 contests, contributing three assists. Dallas ended up trading down in the 3rd round, dealing the 71st overall choice for Colorado for the 77th pick, where they choose left winger Alexander Guptill while also added a fourth rounder, 109th overall, who turned out to be defensemen Alex Therial.

"We liked Guptill, so we moved back, got we wanted and added an pick," explained Stars Director of Scouting and Player Development Les Jackson. "It worked out for our scouts who had a chance to excierse their work. We only moved back six spots and got a pick for that."

In Guptill, the Stars get a big (6'3", 175 pounds), physical forward who also has some offensive skill, as the native of Newmarket, Ontario totaled 19 goals and 37 points in 29 games for the Orangeville Crushers in the CCHL and notched 6 goals and 11 points in 10 games for Brampton in the OJAHL, both second level Junior A Leagues.

Guptill, who missed some time early in the season with a broken wrist, is slated to play for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the United States Hockey League next season before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall of 2011, so he will have plenty of time to grow before he becomes an NHLer.

"He is a big winger with a lot of natural skill," Stars Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Bernhardt said of Guptill. "He is a young guy and needs some time develop but he will get that time at Michigan."

"Guptill is big and strong, one of the most talented guys that come out of Junior A Tier 2," added Stars Scout Jimmy Johnston. "He has good hands. Alex really does not lack anything, he just needs to continue to play games. He was injured a bit last year."

As for Theriau, the 6'2", 189 pound native of Duncan, BC, is a solid, smooth skating blue-liner who notched four goals and 24 points in 70 games this past season for the Everett Silvertips. As he continues to fill out his big frame, Theriau, who was ranked 77th by NHL Central Scouting, hopes to add more of a physical dimension to his game.

"I like to consider myself a good skating defensemen," said Theriau, whose coach in Everett is Former North Stars rearguard Craig Hartsburg. "I like to play good, solid defensive hockey but also contribute offensively, and I base my game around my skating and puck moving. Probably I'd like to more physical. I want to put on weight, that's my goal for the summer."

"Theriau a good skater, he's one of the best skaters in the Western Hockey League and he can really get to pucks." Jackson said. "He's an ideal situation for growth, he's with Craig Hartsburg, who's one of the best coaches available to work with him. His game is based on skating and the puck, so for the new game, he has the attributes that fit. It's just a matter of developing and growing."

And finally, with their fifth round pick (131st overall), the Stars selected Swedish Defensemen John Klingberg from the Frolunda Indians Junior Squad. Klingberg, a 6 foot 158 pound all around blue-liner, will need to get stronger, but Stars management is confident he will.

"Our last pick, our Swedish Scout liked Klingberg," Bernhardt said. "They feel he's still got a lot of growth - he's still a slight kid, but they fell he's got all kinds of growth in him. He skates really well and he's a feisty kid."

Klingberg registered five assist in 27 games in the Elite-Level Junior League in Sweden and reminds some Dallas Scouts of Stars Prospect Philipp Larsen.

"He's a two way defensemen and he has some bite to his game," said Oquist. "He's a great skater, mobile and moves the puck with ease. Big guy that needs to fill out."

The Stars had previously traded away their original fourth rounder, as well as the sixth and seventh round picks.

In Nemeth, the Stars were excited to add another hard nose defensemen somewhat in the mold of current blueliner Marc Fistric.

"Nemeth is a good skating defensemen, said Stars director of European Scouting (and former North Stars Goaltender) Kari Takko. "He is good on the puck and a bug guy on the back end."

Nemeth's pre draft rankings were a bit all over the map, as he was slotted 37th by the International Scouting Services, 42nd by TSN's Bob Mckenzie and 61st by the Hockey News. NHL Central Scouting had him listed 11th among European Skaters.

"He's more of a two way guy," Jackson said of Nemeth. "His strength is without the puck, for sure, but he's got a first pass, he manages the blueline offensively. He needs some work, but for sure has a good foundation."

While the Stars absorbed some local criticism for not choosing a defensemen on Friday, Bernhardt noted that it was not a wise idea to go into a draft with a specific need, especially when a player is still a few years away from the NHL.

"You can't go into a draft targeting a certain area," he said. "You've got to take what comes at you," because over a four or five year period, it's going to even out. That's the way we have to look at it."

Overall the Stars are very happy about how the day unfolded, still ending up with 3 defensemen after securing goaltender Jack Campbell with that first rounder (11th overall) on Friday Night.

"It's not what we said," we have to get a defensemen in that area,' Its just that when we made our lists, this is the way it came out," Bernhardt said. "We had a bunch of defensemen slotted into the 2nd round. We had a pretty good feeling we were going to get a defensemen in that area, we had Nemeth and a couple of defensemen other defensemen that we were targeting in the 2nd round and Nemeth was the one that was available, so we're very happy with that. He's a big, 6'3" defensemen who plays a very aggressive, in your face type of game. We think there's some untapped offensive potential there, he's got a big shot. He's going to be a big player when it's all said and done."

"And Guptill, he's a very skilled guy." From what we can see, he's got all the tools. He's got long, fluid strides, he just kept getting better from the start of the year. "He's going to Michigan, so he's got a good development program ahead of him.

"We came to the draft with only four, which is not very good, we were able to pick up a fifth pick, which was kind of a bonus. If we can get two or three players out of this draft, we're very happy."

Here's a look at the Prospect Profiles and what some of the experts have to say about the Dallas Stars Draft Picks from Rounds 2 through 7.

Patrick Nemeth, AIK Stockholm (SWE JRS) (2nd RD, 41st Overall)

Patrick Nemeth's Profile:

Comments about Patrick Nemeth

Director of European Scouting Karri Takko: Nemeth is a good skating defensemen. He is good on the puck and a bug guy on the back end."

European Scout Rickard Oquist: He's a good skater for his size. He brings leadership to the club. Nemeth brings a physical edge and is a solid defensive player.

Director of Scouting and Player Development Les Jackson: He's a good two way guy. His strength is without the puck; he's got a good first pass and defends the blue line well.

Alex Guptill, Orangeville Crushers (CCHL) (3rd Round, 77th Overall)

Alex Guptill's Profile:

Comments on Alex Guptill

Amateur Scout Jimmy Johnston: Guptill is big and strong, one of the most talented guys that come out of tier two. He has good hands. He's going to the University of Michigan. Alex really does not lack anything, he just needs to continue to play games. He was injured a bit last year.

Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Bernhardt: "He is a big winger with a lot of natural skill. He is a young guy and needs some time to develop but he will at Michigan.

Les Jackson: "We've seen him around 15-20 times. This kid is an impressive young player. He is a big guy with a solid foundation and he has skating, skill and good offensive touch.

Alex Theriau, Everett Silvertips (WHL) (4th Round, 109th Overall)

Alex Theriau Profile:

Comments on Alex Theriau

Amateur Scout Shane Churla: "He's a puck moving defensemen. He is an excellent first pass defensemen. He has great mobility, which is probably his best asset. He has the potential to be a very good two way defensemen.

Les Jackson: "His game is skating and puck moving. He's one of the best skaters in the Western Hockey League. His game is based on Skating. It's just a matter of development with him, and growing. Maturity his time will come.

John Klingberg, Froulnda JRS. (5th Round, 131st overall)

John Klingberg's Profile:

Comments on Klingberg

Kari Takko: He started to come out in the 2nd half of last year. His attributes are a lot like Philipp Larsen. He needs to fill out a little, but he's a good two way defensemen.

European Scout Rickard Oquist: He's a two way defensemen and he has some bite to his game. He's a good skater, mobile and moves the puck with ease. Big guy that needs to fill out over time.

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