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05-29-2004, 10:37 AM
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A closer look at the candidates available at 19th/20th..

Saw this over at the Avs board (hope RIAL doesn't mind stealing his thread) and considering we pick right in front of them, his thread would pretty much apply to us as much as it does for his Avs.

[RIAL]The draft is quickly approaching and most, if not all, prospects have been ranked by respected sources. I'll list who The Hockey News has from #16 to #24 so we get an idea of who's around.[/RIAL]

My thoughts and opinions are in blue..

#16 - LW Alexandre Picard
Born: Oct. 9, 1985 Les Saules, Quebec
Shoots: Left
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 190 pounds
2003-04 team: Lewiston(QMJHL)
Stats: 69 GP, 39 G, 41 A, 80 P, 88 PIM

Skinny: Alexandre Picard is as blue-collar as they come when it comes to an honest work ethic. He is a bent-over skater, but skating is really not an issue. He finds ways to get the puck and he reminds people of a young Ryan Smyth because of his work ethic. Picard's defensive game still needs some work, but you can say the same thing about most 18 year olds in major junior.

Potential: Two-way forward

A very attractive player, but the Stars need to look past the temptation and focuss on their needs. Picard plays LW, a position that's quite possible our biggest strenght in the entire organisation (yes, > situation in net, IMO), with Morrow, Miettinen, Ott, Jokinen, Polak. That, and he seems very simular to Morrow, and maybe has something from Steve Ott as well, so, interesting, but I don't think it would be wise picking him. Skinny is that he does seems to be your prototype Dallas Stars pick. Solid two-way game, hard work, no offensive wizard, physical. If he were to have a higher offensive ceiling, whether it would affect his defensive game is irrelevant, I would actually want Picard, badly. Wolski however, does seem to be that type, but more on that when he's up.

#17 - G Devan Dubnyk
Born: May 4, 1986 Calgary, Alberta
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 194 pounds
2003-04 team: Kamloops(WHL)
Stats: 20-18-5, 2.51 GAA, .917 save percentage

Skinny: The 2004 draft is deep in goalies and Devan Dubnyk might end up being a steal in the middle of the first round. Anybody who needs to know what a big goalie can do for a team should look no further than Dubnyk. He has size, is fundamentally strong, was stellar for Kamloops all season and had a great performance at the world under-18 championship this spring(3-0-3, 2.02 GAA, .918 save percentage). Dubnyk has quick feet, quick hands and positions himself well. Shooters coming in on him don't have much net to look at. He was the WHL's Goalie of the Year and it's top scholastic player.

Potential: No. 1 Goaltender

Marty Turco is just 28 years old, and should be able to be our starter for about 5 seasons, at least, if all goes well. That, and we're quite stacked in net, with 2 of our top 5 prospects (according to the main HF - Dallas Stars site) being goalies. Not only that, but the Stars also have a gem currently playing in Switserland that goes by the name of Tobias Stephan. He has an interesting upside as well, and IMO has starting potential, even though it's still far too early to tell. So 3 quality goalie prospects behind a still somewhat young, top notch NHL netminder. Furthermore, we have Mike Smith and Eero Kilpelainen that provide the quantity. We shouldn't waste any of our first 5 picks on a netminder if you ask me.

#18 - C Kyle Chipchura
Born: Feb. 19, 1986 Vimy, Alberta
Shoots: Left
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 197 pounds
2003-04 team: Prince Albert(WHL)
Stats: 64 GP, 15 G, 33 A, 48 P, 118 PIM

Skinny: If you are looking for a guy who does a lot of little things right, you've come to the right place. Kyle Chipchura wins faceoffs, checks well, kills penalties and has good hockey sense. His downside? He isn't expected to be a big scorer at the next level. Chipchura helped himself at the world under-18 tournament by being one of Canada's top players. Earlier this season, Chipchura was in the running to be picked in the top 10, but dropped down due to his lack of offense. He is pegged to be a very good, two-way, third line centerman and scouts like his hockey sense and the fact that he goes hard to the net. Skating is not a problem.

Potential: Two-way forward

Much like Picard, Chipchura seems to be your prototype Dallas Stars prospect. Unlike Picard however, Kyle Chipchura plays a position that could use some help, namely center. But, then again, I question whether a good third-line centerman is the type they need, as Niko Kapanen, Yared Hagos and Joel Lundqvist all have around the same 3rd line center upside. They do need a center, but preferably one that has top six potential and just oozes with skill. Unless such a center is available, I also don't see the Stars picking either of these types. I would be quite dissapointed if Army were to walk onto the stage and announces the name Kyle Chipchura.

#19 - LW Wojtek Wolski
Born: Feb. 24, 1986 Zabrze, Poland
Shoots: Left
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 200 pounds
2003-04 team: Brampton(OHL)
Stats: 66 GP, 29 G, 41 A, 70 P, 30 PIM

Skinny: Wojtek Wolski has the size it takes to be an effective player in the NHL. He has high-end skill and is strong along the boards, along with being hard to budge from in front of the net. Scouts believe he has the talent to be successful, but like all young players, he must be more consistent. Scouts like Wolski's even-keeled nature and appreciate what he has, knowing what his parents went through to give him a proper Canadian hockey upbringing.

Potential: Skilled forward

I would actually prefer the Stars to pick Wolski above Picard. Wolski may not be as complete and as sure fine to make it, but he provides more size (though not much) and seems to have a heigher offensive ceiling. It can be considered somewhat of a gamble picking him, because of his position and inconsistency, but his size and offensive prowess is too good to pass up. Picard is ranked higher based on his more complete game, but that isn't what the Stars should care for right now, they are full with two-way forwards/hard workers. Definitely wouldn't mind Wolski.

#20 - D Boris Valabik
Born: Feb. 14, 1986 Nitra, Slovakia
Shoots: Left
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 212 pounds
2003-04 team: Kitchener(OHL)
Stats: 68 GP, 3 G, 12 A, 15 P, 278 PIM

Skinny: Close your eyes and think of Norris Trophy finalist Zdeno Chara. Like his fellow countryman, Boris Valabik left Slovakia for North America as a teenager to learn the NHL game. And like Chara when he was a junior, Valabik towers over his opponents, stumbles around the ice because of his skating and plays a downright rugged game. Valabik has a lot to offer. He's big, tough, mean and dirty, sometimes all at the same time. Valabik had a great world under-18 tournament for Slovakia and even saw time on the special teams. He got better as the season progressed and was playing against the opponent's top line on most nights.

Potential: Two-way defenseman

Now here's the perfect, just the perfect pick for the Stars. What's our biggest need? A quality defenseman. But this guy actually provides a whole bunch of other interesting intangibles that could really prove to be a huge difference. He provides size, is solid in his own zone, and is actually very sound on the offensive end. A future combo of Valabik and Nickerson? Oh man.. We need to pick this guy. Definitely first on my list for this entry draft..

#21 - C Dave Bolland
Born: May 6, 1986 Mimico, Ontario
Shoots: Right
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 171 pounds
2003-04 team: London(OHL)
Stats: 65 GP, 37 G, 30 A, 67 P, 58 PIM

Skinny: Here's another hard-nosed kid from the blueline in. Dave Bolland goes hard to the net and plays a lot bigger than he really is. Scouts love that almost six-footer mentality. Bolland has good hands, a good shot and quick release and he ventures into high-traffic areas. Bolland is deceptive for a guy who has average size and isn't a flashy skater.

Potential: Two-way forward

He seems like a quality center, but his game isn't much of a lock for top 6 duties. And like I mentioned during the Chipchura pick, it pretty much has to be for the Stars to waste their first rounder on.

#22 - LW Lauri Korpikoski
Born: July 28, 1986 Turku, Finland
Shoots: Left
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 183 pounds
2003-04 team: TPS Turku Junior(FIN)
Stats: 36 GP, 12 G, 8 A, 20 P, 26 PIM

Skinny: Lauri Korpikoski had a so-so syart to this season until he was put on a line with Lauri Tukonen, the player ranked at #4. This new line took off and finished in a four-way tie for the scoring lead at the world under-18 championship with 11 points each. Korpikoski is fast, can skate and has all the skills needed to be a really, really good scorer. His great acceleration will make him valuable on a team that puts emphasis on speed and agility. He has shown he can play tough while still playing the skill game.

Potential: Offensive forward

If we were thin at LW, you just know the Stars would pick this guy. He seems like Jussi Jokinen type with a bit more muscle to his game, likely a higher offensive upside as well. Wouldn't be thrilled if the Stars picked Korpikoski, but, this draft seems full of quality left wingers and if the "best player available" approach comes up, Korpikolski wouldn't even be that bad of a pick. That, and I like Fins, but we tend to pick up this kind of calibre's in the later rounds..

#23 - LW Roman Voloshenko
Born: May 12, 1986 Brest, Belarus
Shoots: Right
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 189 pounds
2003-04 team: Soviet Wings-2(RUS)
Stats: 42 GP, 6 G, 8 A, 14 P, 28 PIM

Skinny: Roman Voloshenko tied for the scoring lead at the world under-18 championship with 11 points in 6 games. That makes him more appealing to a lot of scours. The Belarussian has nice finishing ability, but scouts are divided on his future. There is concern about his skating and whether he can tough it out in North American rinks. There is no abrasive side to his game. He makes up for his shortfalls with outstanding stickhandling and very soft hands. Voloshenko is regarded as one of the purest goal-scorers in the draft. He is pegged to be a good second line player who can be a specialist in certain roles. He can run the power play down low and makes crisp passes that are converted into scoring plays, or he can bury the puck himself.

Potential: Skilled forward

Another left winger, albeit the type we could use. He seems like a Polak type to me, and there's a good chance Polak won't become what he was projected to be, so drafting this skilled Russian wouldn't even be such a bad idea. Boom or bust type. However, I rather prefer a defenseman, even if he's originally ranked quite a bit lower (hint: Fransson), since I don't want to gamble on prospects that play a position we are quite stacked at anyway.

#24 - C Travis Zajac
Born: May 13, 1985 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Shoots: Right
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 205 pounds
2003-04 team: Salmon Arm(Junior A)
Stats: 59 GP, 43 G, 69 A, 112 P, 110 PIM

Skinny: Scouts say a big part of their job is projecting how a player will turn out in five years and Travis Zajac definitely put them to the test. Zajac put up a ton of points and everybody took note of that, except it was done in Junior A and not at the CHL level. Scouts like his skill and intensity, but wonder how he'll do when the going gets tough. Zajac is a creative player, has great hands and does the little things that win hockey games. His defensive game is sound and will only get better in a solid program next season. He's off to U.S. college in North Dakota and scouts look forward to getting a better read of his NHL potential then. None the less, he has a knack for the net and is skilled.

Potential: Offensive forward

This guy is ranked 4 or 5 spots below our position, so I am quite positive we don't have to look at him with our first round pick. However, he plays center, is very skilled, he does seems to have the assests that we most definitely use. Not much known on his upside due to level he has played. Doubt he's that much of an upgrade enough over what we have down the middle right now, to warrant being picked in the first.


Also, would be a fun idea to bookmark this thread and maybe review it a year later to see how everything panned out.

Again, hope RIAl doesn't mind I borrowed his idea..

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