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July 19, 2011
Top 10 Prospects
Dallas Stars

by Corey Pronman

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Full list of NHL Organizational Rankings

The Dallas Stars Top 10 Prospects

1. Reilly Smith, Right Wing
2. Scott Glennie, Right Wing
3. Jamieson Oleksiak, Defense
4. Philip Larsen, Defense
5. Alex Chiasson, Right Wing
6. Brenden Dillon, Defense
7. Jack Campbell, Goaltender
8. Patrik Nemeth, Defense
9. Colton Sceviour, Right Wing
10. John Klingberg, Defense

Organizational Ranking: 28th

System Overview: The Stars system lacks true top-end prospects, and the ones who do have that kind of upside tend to have a fair amount of risk surrounding their projections. Winger Reilly Smith was a bright spot for this organization, as he just looked great in college and I could definitely see him on a pro scoring line. Top 10 pick Scott Glennie has looked good, but I'm not sure if he's ever going to be a great forward.

The system has a decent amount of depth, and quite a few projectable players into the league, but I'm not sure how many of these players are going to be significant NHL producers and look more like half a win above replacement level players. Jack Campbell, who at this time last year was as elite a goalie prospect as there was in hockey, had a tough time in the OHL. It's very hard to put goalie prospects high on a prospect list in today's NHL marketplace for goaltenders unless I don't even have a shred of doubt about their projection. With that being said, with Jack only stopping only 88.4% of the shots he faced in the OHL, doubt has been planted even with his top-end skills.

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1. Reilly Smith, Right Wing
Date of birth: 04/01/1991
Age: 20
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 183
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 38 GP, 28 G, 54 P (Miami-CCHA)
Acquired: Third round, 69th overall in 2009 by Dallas

The Good: Smith had a breakout season in his sophomore campaign and established himself as a legit offensive and goal-scoring prospect scoring the fifth-most goals of all NCAA prospects while leading the CCHA. He's a solid skater who moves up and down the ice well and covers a lot of ground with a good work ethic. He's an above-average to plus shooter who can really lean into his shots and can score from a distance, but also shows good coordination in front, getting his stick on loose pucks and playing as a screen in front. Smith thinks the game at an above-average level, showing good anticipation and decisions in the offensive zone. Despite not having pro level hand-eye coordination, he manages to be a decent distributor and isn't liability with the puck. Smith shows a fine defensive game and has the hustle and awareness to play a good two-way game.

The Bad: Smith has a lot of filling out to do, as despite the fact that he was able to be a puck protector and power guy at the NCAA level, he needs more muscle to survive as a pro. His puck skills are below-average and it's hard to see him as an NHL puck-holder.

Projection: At best, an average second line forward with good two-way contribution, but Smith can definitely project to play an NHL top-nine.

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2. Scott Glennie, Right Wing
Date of birth: 02/22/1991
Age: 20
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 192
Shoots: R
Statistics: 70 GP, 35 G, 91 P (Brandon-WHL)
Acquired: First round, 8th overall in 2009 by Dallas

The Good: Glennie is an above-average skater who moves pretty fluidly and accelerates quite well. He has the work ethic that allows him to cover a lot of ice on a shift-to-shift basis. He's a solid playmaker who sees the ice well. Glennie isn't a truly flashy player with the puck, but he can handle it well, has good hockey sense, makes the right distributions and it's rare to see him make a boneheaded turnover. He shows an above-average defensive game in regards to his positioning, awareness and work ethic, and when used at the center position, he has shown the ability to play it effectively from a two-way perspective. Glennie has a solid shot, and is able to score a decent amount of goals from a distance.

The Bad: Physically, Glennie is fringe with a slight body and he isn't a player who is going to win a lot of battles in the corners. He will go to the net, but he's easily knocked off his skates or boxed out. Despite being a top ten pick, Glennie does not have a top-end ceiling.

Projection: A below average second to above-average third line forward who safely projects into a top nine.

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3. Jamieson Oleksiak, Defense
Date of birth: 12/21/1992
Age: 18
Height: 6'7''
Weight: 244
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 38 GP, 4 G, 13 P (Northeastern University-Hockey East)
Acquired: First round, 14th overall in 2011 by Dallas

The Good: Jamieson Oleksiak has seen his stock rise, as the very physically-gifted defender showed several desirable tools this year in college. It's hard to start a write-up without mentioning his height and weight which comes in at an impressive 6'7" and 244 pounds. His physical game projects as an elite tool, but will take some time for him to get there as his frame is a little thin. Oleksiak has a great wingspan that he uses well to close gaps on attackers and his long reach makes him a great stick-checker. He doesn't shy from using his body but doesn't get overly physical. His hockey sense has come a ways since last season and he definitely thinks the game at a decent to solid-average level, but while I've been impressed by his decision-making and calmness in viewings, he does try to go beyond his means at times, and with his low offensive ceiling he'll need to curl that in. Oleksiak was used as a power play guy for Northeastern and was relied to be a trigger-guy and lean his giant frame into shots on net.

The Bad: Oleksiak is a fringe to below-average skater but for a guy that size, that's to be expected. The stride is decent, could still use some improvement as he doesn't get the most power out of his strides as possible pushing a little too much to the side rather than extending out, but most guys his size at his age would be more uncoordinated and he still extends through well. His puck skills are below-average, although I'd say his passing skills are notable as he's able to the basic things well and isn't a liability distributing the puck. His shot windup can be a little long, but overall nitpicks in his mechanics are coachable.

Projection: An above-average second pairing defenseman with a floor projection as an above-average third pairing defender.

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4. Philip Larsen, Defense
Date of birth: 12/07/1989
Age: 21
Height: 5'11''
Weight: 185
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 54 GP, 4 G, 22 P (Texas-AHL)
Acquired: Fifth round, 149th overall in 2008 by Dallas

The Good: Larsen battled through injuries in his first North American pro season, but showed a smart two-way game that could land him in the league soon. He has a decent skill set with no real above-average tool other than his hockey sense. Larsen gets regular praise from scouts for his decision-making, vision and responsible play with the puck. He's not a flashy puck-mover but has good coordination and puck-handling technique and can move it at a decent level. Larsen has a nice first step and a solid overall skating tool that lets him close gaps on forwards well and overall his defensive game has shown notable strides.

The Bad: Injuries have hampered Larsen from developing to where he should have been by this point in his career. He's a fringe physical player who isnít exactly shy from the physical game, but is a small and very slight player who is a ways away from NHL-average strength for a defenseman.

Projection: A below-average second pairing defenseman, with a likely projection as a solid third pairing defender.

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5. Alex Chiasson, Right Wing
Date of birth: 10/01/1990
Age: 20
Height: 6'4''
Weight: 195
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 35 GP, 14 G, 34 P (Boston University)
Acquired: Second round, 38th overall in 2009 by Dallas

The Good: Chiasson is a big-body winger with a notable amount of offensive skill. He has fine hands and is quite coordinated for a 6'4" forward. He protects the puck very well with his puck skills and big frame while also showing the ability to be a decent distributor. He has an above-average shot which lets him wire threatening blasts from way out. NHL sources praise his one-timer and goal-scoring ability from in tight. He's not an extremely physical player, but still projects as plus in that area as he uses his frame well in front of the net and during puck battles along the boards. Chiasson works hard on the forecheck and he can be an effective penalty killer.

The Bad: Chiasson's skating tool showed some progression this season, but it's still below-average and his feet can look very heavy. His open ice puck skills are not that impressive and he's more of a cycle game puck-handler. He still needs to fill out somewhat, and should be a little stronger than what his size suggests.

Projection: An above-average third line forward who can spot on a scoring line. I think he safely projects onto a top nine.

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6. Brenden Dillon, Defense
Date of birth: 11/13/1990
Age: 20
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 200
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 72 GP, 8 G, 59 P (Seattle-WHL)
Acquired: Undrafted free agent

The Good: Nobody would blame you if you didn't know who Brenden Dillon was, but he's a name you're going to see in the league rather soon. He has decent mobility which is solid for a defender his size. He moves quite well in a straight line and his speed lets him close gaps on forwards well. He stays with his checks well and has a strong one-on-one game. Dillon isn't one to back down physically and can play a tough physical game along the sideboards and in front of the net when needed. He's a decent passer who can make the basic distributions well and move the puck fine although he won't be above-average at it. His quick transition to the pro game was very impressive and within games of going pro after finishing his WHL season and signing as a free agent, he was logging top minutes in the AHL. Dillon's defensive prowess in the pro game was impressive considering his jump from Junior.

The Bad: His upside is low as despite the fact that he looks decent when moving with the puck, he doesn't have the skills to do much with the puck if he gets pressured. Dillon has a thin frame and has a fair amount of filling out to do. Despite his impressive mobility, he looks a little awkward at times and doesn't look like he's gotten fully coordinated within his frame yet. His decision-making could use just a little fine-tuning as he occasionally has some questionable moments here and there.

Projection: A below-average second pairing to above-average third pairing defenseman who should at least make it as a decent third pairing defender.

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7. Jack Campbell, Goaltender
Date of birth: 01/09/1992
Age: 19
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 182
Catches: Left
Statistics: 45 GP, .884 SV% (Windsor-OHL)
Acquired: First round, 11th overall in 2010 by Dallas

The Good: Campbell is a high-upside goalie who is a very physically- and mentally-gifted netminder. He's very athletic with quick feet, he has the ability to move across his crease quickly while standing and his hip rotation is good enough to move very effectively out of the butterfly stance. He's not a robotic or blocking style goalie by any stretch of the imagination and will exit traditional stances if the situation calls for it to make acrobatic stops. He's a very aggressive goalie who has the confidence to come out and gives shooters unique angles. Campbell has good reflexes as his upper limbs move freely and he is able to snatch shots off the ground quite well. He's tremendously advanced mentally for his age, shows top-end intangibles and plays with a little swagger to his game.

The Bad: Outside of a six game sample at the WJC, Campbell was bleeding goals all year and looked more like a long-term project than a top-end prospect on the fast track to the league. His positioning needs a fair amount of attention as his ability to square up the puck is not where it needs to be. His aggressiveness needs to be much more selective as he is his own worst enemy at times in terms of not being patient in the crease of trying to do too much. Campbell could also do a better job controlling his rebounds.

Projection: He has the ability to be an above-average NHL starter, but looks years away from even making a case to play in the league.

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8. Patrik Nemeth, Defense
Date of birth: 02/08/1992
Age: 19
Height: 6'3''
Weight: 212
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 38 GP, 1 G, 7 P, 17:42 ATOI (AIK-SEL)
Acquired: Second round, 41st overall in 2010 by Dallas

The Good: Nemeth is a big defenseman who shows no hesitation from leaning into opponents with his large frame. He's an aggressive defender who plays with an edge. His defensive game has progressed this season, as he has showed an aware stick checking aspect to his defensive coverage and played fine positional hockey. He started to show better offensive instincts than last season (albeit not good still) and showed the confidence to carry the puck out of the zone and pinch in from the blueline.

The Bad: Nemeth's skating is decent for a big man and is pro-level going straight, but his first few steps and movement from a standstill could use some work. His puck game, while improved, is still below-average and he's not that effective a distributor. He can still be victim of the occasional gaffe in regards to his decision-making.

Projection: He has the raw tools to be an average second pairing defenseman but more likely he's an above-average third pairing defender.

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9. Colton Sceviour, Right Wing
Date of birth: 04/20/1989
Age: 22
Height: 5'11''
Weight: 201
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 77 GP, 16 G, 41 P (Texas-AHL)
Acquired: Fourth round, 112th overall in 2007 by Dallas

The Good: Colton Sceviour is a versatile two-way forward who has progressed moderately well in the pro game. He shows an advanced defensive game, and gets regular praise from NHL sources for his attention to detail in his two-way game. He works fairly hard, and is the kind of player who doesn't take a shift off. He shows a decent physical game in terms of work along the walls, and when he gets the puck he protects it fairly well. Sceviour can be fair with the puck and was used on the power play in the AHL, but is more of a smart, safe distributor. He can play the wing and center positions with effectiveness.

The Bad: Sceviour's skating is below-average, and while his straight speed is fine, he needs to work on his first few steps. His frame has moderately filled out, but he could use just a little more muscle on his build. He's not that imaginative with the puck and doesn't have true pro-level offensive instincts.

Projection: An average third line forward who safely projects into a bottom six.

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10. John Klingberg, Defense
Date of birth: 08/14/1992
Age: 18
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 172
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 26 GP, 0 G, 5 P, 12:34 ATOI (AIK-SEL)
Acquired: Fifth round, 131st overall in 2010 by Dallas

The Good: Klingberg is an offensively-gifted defender with some desirable skills who has developed by leaps and bounds since being drafted last season. He's a solid to above-average skater who moves very fluidly and has a nice jump in his step. He's a plus puck handler with great offensive instincts. He shows the ability to be a good rusher while being able to quarterback a power play and has the dynamic puck skills to be able to make players miss. Klingberg has a flashy element to his game, and has the ability to do things out of the ordinary.

The Bad: Klingberg is physically underdeveloped with a thin frame and can easily be pushed off the puck. His decision-making needs serious attention as he can be too risky with the puck and has to learn to time his offensive attacks better. His defensive zone coverage needs work as well.

Projection: There are signs of an average second pairing defender with good scoring numbers, but right now looks more like a specialist than a heavy minutes defender.

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The Sleeper: Winger Matt Fraser was signed out of the WHL as an undrafted free agent this winter after a moderately productive season. He shows a decent two-way game, an above-average shot and works hard, but will have to show in the pro game if the rest of his offensive skills are for real or if his season was just another aberration of an overage player in the CHL.

Extra Notes: Forward Scott Winkler is a big body who moves at a decent level, but his offensive potential is fringe at best. Forward Tomas Vincour had a disappointing first full professional season. He got 24 NHL games and based on where he is on the Stars depth chart he deserved to be on the top 10 prospects, but I'm not quite sure what he's going to be. His strengths are in his offensive talents, as his skating and puck skills are quite good, but I'm not sure if the offensive tools are at a high enough level to supplement a lackluster all-around game.

My report on Brett Ritchie can be found here.

Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Corey by clicking here or click here to see Corey's other articles.

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