Recapping the Dallas Stars 2011 NHL Draft

In round 1 the Dallas Stars took Jamie Oleksiak a defenseman from Northeastern.  A Northeastern defender that I loved as a prospect since I made my first mock draft back in January.  I think Oleksiak could be that defender who rivals Adam Larsson as the top defender in the draft down the road.  Jamie Oleksiak has a 6 foot 7 240 pound frame.  Oleksiak has the size and is capable of setting up big plays.

Jamie Oleksiak may be a raw project at this point, but he has the upside and high ceiling of a Zdeno Chara two way defender.  I really believe Jamie Oleksiak’s potential is so great that he could be an NHL All Star within the next decade.  The only question with Jamie Oleksiak is will Dallas develop him properly?

Dallas had a penalty killing unit that finished 23rd out of 30 NHL teams during the regular season.  Dallas took the first step of improving that in the long term by selecting Oleksiak.

In the 2nd round the Dallas Stars chose Brett Ritchie a right winger who played for the Sarnia Sting in the OHL.  Richie is a line 3 power forward.  Ritchie racked up 41 points in 49 games for the Sarnia Sting.

Richie has the size of a power forward too weighing 6 foot 3 210 pounds.  Ritchie’s size will allow him to be another player who can boost your penalty killing unit.

The reason why I am not sold on Brett Ritchie as a long term player in Dallas is because Ritchie only played 49 games and has some durability issues.  Even if Ritchie stays healthy he’s a line 3 right winger at best who is probably better suited to play in the AHL for 5 years after playing the OHL for 2 years.

You just don’t take project players like Brett Ritchie in the first two rounds unless they have a high ceiling like Jamie Oleksiak has.

In round 4 the Dallas Stars probably made their worst selection of the draft by selecting Emil Molin a center from the Swedish Junior League who no one projected to be drafted in a 7 round mock draft.  What is worse is that Colin Jacobs and Michael St. Croix two 2nd round prospects who were graded higher than Brett Richie were both still available in round 4 when Dallas made this pick.

After Dallas took Molin in round 4 both Michael St. Croix and Colin Jacobs were the next two draft picks.  The New York Rangers selected Michael St. Croix while the Buffalo Sabres took Colin Jacobs with the 16th pick.

In round 5 the Dallas Stars bounced back strong by selecting Troy Vance a defenseman who plays for the Victoriaville Tigres in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  Troy Vance is 6 foot 6 204 pounds.  Vance was the #1 defender for Victoriaville and is best suited to anchor a line 2 unit on an NHL squad down the road.

Vance is mainly a defensive defender who can boost your penalty killing unit.  He only had 4 points during the regular season in 21 games, but Vance had 4 points in 9 games during the postseason.  You want a postseason performer who may fly under the radar Vance is your man.

In the 6th round the Dallas Stars selected their first Western Hockey League prospect.  I’ve talked about how the Stars have a history of taking WHL prospects so this is no surprise.

Dallas selected Matej Stransky a right winger for the Saskatoon Blades who played left wing on line 3 of the Saskatoon Blades.  Dallas selected Matej Stransky in the 6th round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.  He was also Saskatoon’s sniper on the Saskatoon Blades 1st line power play playing next to Brayden Schenn at the wing.

2009 Dallas Stars first round pick Scott Glennie played next to Schenn as a winger on the power play when Glennie and Schenn were both members of the Brandon Wheat Kings WHL Team.

Stransky can play the left wing or the right wing role and is an effective sniper.  Stransky got 26 points in 71 games with 12 goals and 14 assists so he can be a playmaker too by passing the puck to his teammates.

Stransky was a big reason why Saskatoon got to the 2nd round of the playoffs.  In 10 playoffs games Stransky got 9 points in 10 games before Saskatoon got swept by the eventual 2011 WHL Champion Kootenay Ice.

Dallas has snipers on their first 2 lines so they were clearly taking Stransky to develop him as a line 3 sniper for the future.

One other thing that Stransky does well is he wins face offs so you can plug him into a two way forward role and play him at left wing, center, or right wing.

To be honest I was skeptical about Dallas selecting Matej Stransky at first, but the more I learn about Stransky the more I like him as a player who could contribute for Dallas down the road.

Dallas wrapped up the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by selecting Jyrki Jokipakka a defender for the Ilves team in the SM Liiga league.  Jokipakka is a defensive defender born and raised in Finland.

The only offensive attributes that Jokipakka brings to the table are his shooting power on wrists shots and slap shots.

From a defensive perspective Jokipakka has outstanding defensive awareness.  Jyrki Jokipakka is very disciplined, has a great hockey IQ, and a good sense of where the puck is moving.

Jokipakka can be that aggressive tenacious defender that resorts to unleashing deadly body checking ability and deadly stick checking ability.  Jokipakka is excellent at blocking shots.

Jokipakka is a one dimensional defender who relies on his defensive ability and athleticism because he is mainly a defensive defender with top notch skating ability plus he has durability issues along with a low endurance level which causes him to fatigue easily.

I love this pick in round 7 because Jyrki Jokipakka has the ability to anchor a 3rd line in the NHL if he can stay healthy because he has the potential of an NHL defender despite being a major project at this point.  Plus he can be another player that you could add to boost your penalty killing unit.

At this point in round 7 Dallas has the luxury of taking a flyer on Jokipakka because they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Your basically getting bang for the buck by taking a chance on a player with the skill set of Jyrki Jokipakka.

Worst case scenario Jyrki Jokipakka gets bit by the injury  bug and you wasted a 7th round pick.  6th and 7th round picks are usually wasted picks that teams use hoping to land a Henrik Zetterberg or Pavel Datsyuk.

Best case scenario you obtain a grand slam diamond in the rough making half of the NHL general managers look silly if Jyrki Jokipakka pans out and becomes a productive player on the Dallas Stars.

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