2016-17 Top 10 Dallas Stars Prospects

2016-17 Top 10 Dallas Stars Prospects

Top 10 Dallas Stars Prospects

The Dallas Stars are a franchise whose window to win is just opening up. The core of the team, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and John Klingberg, are all in their prime. Management has done a good job of surrounding them with complimentary veterans who are proven winners like Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya and Jason Spezza. There are young players contributing and coming soon as well.

Mattias Janmark had a strong rookie season, as did Radek Faksa. Esa Lindell, Stephen Johns, Valeri Nichushkin and Denis Gurianov are on the way as well. The prospect depth took a hit when Nichushkin signed a two year contract in the KHL recently but the future is still bright in Dallas.

Top 10 Dallas Stars Prospects
1. Julius Honka – Defence

Ht/Wt: 5-11/185
Age: 20
2015-16: Texas (AHL)
Drafted: 14th overall in the first round of the 2014 draft by Dallas

The Stars top prospect is Julius Honka. They may have other defenceman closer to being NHL ready such as Stephen Johns and Esa Lindell on this list, but Honka has the biggest upside.

Honka is an elite skater and offensive defenceman who reads and reacts to plays extremely well. He uses his vision and playmaking ability to create an offensive transition. This skill set is quickly becoming the most valuable currency for NHL defencemen as the league is trending more and more towards skill, speed and skating over size on the back end.

Honka should play a prominent role in the AHL this season but in the near future he will be in a top pairing role with John Klingberg in the NHL.

2. Denis Guryanov – Right Wing/Left Wing

Ht/Wt: 6-3/200
Age: 19
2015-16: Togliatti (KHL)
Drafted: 12th overall in the first round of the 2015 NHL draft by Dallas

Guryanov played in the KHL last season as an 18-year-old and while his offensive numbers where underwhelming, you need to keep in mind his age. The fact he was playing against men, averaging just over ten minutes a game in a limited role, and that the KHL is a difficult league to score in.

Guryanov has size, strength skill and is a very strong skater. He produced offensively at the 2014-15 U-18, scoring six goals and seven points in five games against the best players of his age group in the world.

Guryanov will make the move to North America and play in the AHL this season and expect his offensive game to breakout in Texas. He has future top-six power forward potential, and the departure of Valeri Nichushkin to the KHL for two years opens some room.

3. Esa Lindell – Defence

Ht/Wt: 6-3/210
Age: 22
2015-16: Texas (AHL)
Drafted: 74th overall in the third round of the 2012 draft by Dallas

Stars GM Jim Nill often speaks highly of the AHL All-Star and expects Lindell to compete for, and claim a NHL roster spot to start the season. Lindell was very impressive in his first season in the AHL with Teas where he poste 14 goals and 42 points (two points behind Honka) in 73 regular season games before scoring another four in four playoff games.

Lindell finished his impressive season by claiming the Silver Medal with Finland at the World Championships, recording four points in ten games there. He has size and strength Honka lacks and is NHL ready now.

4. Stephen Johns – Defence

Ht/Wt: 6-4/225
Age: 24
2015-16: Texas (AHL)
Drafted: 60th overall in the second round of the 2010 draft by Chicago

Acquired with Patrick Sharp in a deal with Chicago that was a bit of a steal for Dallas. Johns is very important part of the trade and Nill stated he had to be a part of the trade. Johns played four years with the University of Notre Dame before turning pro with Chicago.

Now with two seasons of pro hockey under his belt, the strapping defensive defenceman is poised to make the jump to the NHL. Johns made his NHL debut last season playing in 14 games and recording three points. He has offensive upside, but he projects as a more defensive defenceman at the NHL level.

5. Jason Dickinson – Center

Ht/Wt: 6-2/200
Age: 21
2015-16: Texas (AHL)
Drafted: 29th overall in the first round of the 2013 draft by Dallas

The former Guelph Storm star posted impressive AHL rookie numbers with 22 goals and 53 points in 73 games. He was rewarded with one NHL regular season game and he recorded his first career NHL goal.

The strength of his game is his versatility and two-way play. For a young player he understands the game very well, using his smarts to make excellent defensive and offensive reads.

With his size and two-way play he projects as an excellent third line centre in the near future for Dallas, but should expect another year of development with some NHL call ups this season.

6. Riley Tufte – Left Wing

Ht/Wt: 6-5/205
Age: 18
2015-16: Fargo (USHL)
Drafted: 25th overall in the first round of the 2016 draft by Dallas

After starting the season in the USHL, the big left winger returned to play High School hockey in Minnesota. He dominated there for 25 games, scoring 78 points before returning to the USHL and continued to impress with Fargo.

Tufte has size and skill but needs to improve his physical play. Despite being 6-5 and 205 pounds, his playmaking and offensive skill are his strengths. An impressive but raw prospect that will need several years of development to become an NHL player, but the upside on this file is very high.

7. Devin Shore – Left Wing

Ht/Wt: 6-1/205
Age: 22
2015-16: Texas (AHL)
Drafted: 61st overall in the second round of the 2012 draft by Dallas

Shore was having a breakout rookie season in the AHL where he was producing over a point per game scoring pace with 15 goals and 26 points in 23 games. Then he suffered a shoulder injury which cost him the remainder of the season.

It set him back to be sure, but Shore will be given the opportunity to regain his momentum in the AHL. Once he is in full stride, expect him to be given another NHL look after having a three game audition last season.

8. Roope Hintz – Center/Left Wing

Ht/Wt: 6-3/185
Age: 19
2015-16: HIFK (Liiga)
Drafted: 49th overall in the second round of the 2015 draft by Dallas

Hintz played his second pro season in Finland last year, but missed some time due to a back injury. He will miss training camp with an injury suffered earlier in September.

Hintz has size and has played well in pro hockey in Finland as a teenager so far and helped Finland claim the Gold Medal at the WJC. Dallas will need to wait on Hintz as he will play another season in Finland before he comes to North America.

9. Niklas Hansson – Defence

Ht/Wt: 6-1/180
Age: 21
2015-16: HV71 (SHL)
Drafted: 68th overall in the third round of the 2013 draft by Dallas

Hansson is another offensive defenceman in the Stars system that plays a game suited for today’s NHL in that he is a good skater and creates transition offence. His seven goals and 22 points in 44 games was good enough to make his team’s leading scoring defenceman last year.

Following his season he made a brief North American debut in Texas playing in ten combined regular season and playoff games posting a single assist in that time. The Stars have loaned Hansson back to his SHL club team where he will play top minutes this year and continue to develop.

10. Remi Elie – Left Wing

Ht/Wt: 6-1/210
Age: 21
2015-26: Texas (AHL)
Drafted: 40th overall in the second round of the 2013 draft by Dallas

The former junior scoring star had a strong camp with Dallas last summer and was one of the last players cut. He played the entire season in the AHL where he struggled with consistency as many rookies do, posting six goals and 17 points in 64 games.

He is a versatile winger with size who has displayed a scoring touch at the junior level. If he can find his offence at the pro level he could project as a top six power forward, but likely fills out as a bottom six checking winger with some offensive upside.