2011 Dallas Stars Draft Grades

14. Dallas Stars Jamie Oleksiak D Northeastern Oleksiak is 6 foot 7 240 pounds.  He is a raw project with the upside of a Zdeno Chara type defender.  He won’t be on the Stars roster until 2014-2015.  Oleksiak will reach his potential by that period.  I love Oleksiak’s upside and long term potential so this is a great pick by the Dallas Stars.

Pick Grade A+

44. Dallas Stars Brett Ritchie RW Sarnia Sting OHL Ritchie is a power forward with the size.  The problem is Ritchie is a line 3 power forward with durability issues.  Jamie Langenbrunner was gone and Brenden Morrow is aging as a power forward.  Dallas had to obtain a power forward for the future.

This selection is a major reach because I had Ritchie graded out as a 3rd round pick, but Dallas got a right winger in the first 2 rounds which they had to do.  Overall I have mixed feelings about the pick even though I’m not sold on Ritchie in the long run.

Ritchie will be up in 2014-2015 for the Dallas Stars if all goes well.

Pick Grade C-

105. Dallas Stars Emil Molin C Swedish Jr League Michael St. Croix and Colin Jacobs were 2 2nd round prospects that were both available and graded higher than Brett Ritchie.  Molin won’t crack an NHL lineup anytime in his career.  Both centers fell to round 4 and Dallas passed on both centers.  The Stars get an F grade here.

Pick Grade F

135. Dallas Stars Troy Vance D Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL Vance is a defensive defender with the size.  He can boost the PK unit and play on the 2nd line in Dallas.  Vance is a great future player that can develop into a 2nd line defender for the Dallas Stars.  Vance should be up in 2014-2015 with Oleksiak.

I love the value the Stars are getting with Vance so I cannot question this pick.

Pick Grade A

165. Dallas Stars Matej Stransky LW Saskatoon Blades WHL Stransky can play left wing or right wing as a sniper for the back 6.  He can also be an underrated asset who performs well in the playoffs anchoring a power play.  I think Stransky is up by 2015-2016 for Dallas.

I love this pick that the Dallas Stars are making in round 6.

Pick Grade A

195. Dallas Stars Jyrki Jokipakka D Ilves SM Liiga Jokipakka has the potential to crack an NHL roster down the road.  I think he anchors a line 3 unit for the Dallas Stars defense in 2015-2016 if all goes according to plan.

This is a great pick in round 7 taking a flyer on a Finland defender.

Pick Grade A

Team Grade B

Dallas got some future defenders for a PK unit that ranked 23rd out of 30 teams while getting key free agents this year.  Dallas drafted for the future rather than trying to search for a player that can play this year or next year.  Dallas drafted players that they can develop for 3 or more years before calling them up in the NHL.  That’s another reason why they don’t get anything above a B grade.

Will the Stars pick higher or lower in 2012?

Dallas has no long term asset that can step in and replace the presence that Brad Richards provided.  That has to put some kind of dent on the Dallas Stars as I expect them to pick in the top 10 this season.