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03-01-2006, 06:42 PM
Kevin Wey
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Des Moines
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Among the defensemen, I would say that Grossman probably edges out Scalzo ever so slightly. I don't think either will crack Dallas out of training camp next season. I think both are having successful rookie season in the AHL. Scalzo is working on his defensive play, especially one-on-one battles. Scalzo is already NHL caliber in skating and stick skills.

Grossman is pretty good in one-on-one battles. He could improve his backwards acceleration. He also needs to use his offensive potential more often. If they both keep progressing, I would expect Scalzo and Grossman to be NHL ready after another season of AHL development. I know Grossman wants to be like Mattias Norstrom, and I think that's a fair goal. Grossman has a huge shot though. Grossman still has some filling out to do, which doesn't bode well for opponents.

After that, Shawn Belle is a ways off. Although, I've seen him start to assert himself more physically and angle off opponents better and stand them up. He just MAY be able to be next year what Matt Greene was, physically, this year. (Matt Greene was just in his own caliber, as in, NHL caliber, probably why he's there.) Belle has potential, he's very powerful. I'd just like to see him concentrate on defense and not crash the net like he's a forward. He has a hard point shot, although he needs softer hands to handle passes to the point. Small refinements.

Dan Jancevski: It's great for him that he was recalled, and his confidence is high. He just isn't fast enough to play in the NHL, I don't think. He's very valuable as an emergency recall and an AHL leader. It's important to have that veteran leadership on AHL teams, I think.

At forward, I suppose Lessard is the most NHL ready, just because of his age and experience. There are younger prospects that are better than him at each aspect, but Lessard is pretty decent all-around. He'll compete for pucks and battle around the net. He has a nice shot.

After Lessard, I would say Loui Eriksson is next. Eriksson has second line potential. His confidence has improved, and he's somebody the Stars COULD keep on the team next year if they want. But, another year of AHL seasoning, or a split season, wouldn't be bad.

After Eriksson, it's a drop off. Vojtech Polak is a sniper, but without Petersen as his center...I'd like to see Polak improve his skating too. (Unless maybe they're just sharpening his skates poorly here, I do see more I-Stars fall than I should.) Yared Hagos is starting to assert himself physically, which is what he'll have to do to succeed. He has to venture into traffic. A month ago Valtteri Filppula was coming to check Hagos while Hagos had the puck by the net and Hagos leveled Filppula and then proceeded with the puck again. (It could be a defining moment in Hagos' career, that he chose the path he needed.) Hagos has the potential to be a third line center. I'd like to see him skate with a more powerful stride. He has fairly quick feet, but moving your feet a real fast doesn't always translate to velocity.

Holtet is probably next in line. He's pretty good, and very willing defensively, he just doesn't always go where he needs to defensively. At least the effort is there. He finishes his checks, fairly hard, but he has a great shot and decent speed too. Holtet isn't that far away from being worthy of NHL fourth line duty. Janos Vas is becoming more and more like Holtet. Vas is just a year behind Holtet in North American development. The similarities are striking. (Vas is taller.) B.J. Crombeen is just young, he mainly needs experience, either ECHL or AHL. He's a legitimate fourth line prospect.

Francis Wathier is a hard call because of the injury. Prior to the injury, he was more developed that Zach Stortini. Wathier could become a depth NHL forward who is played when a fighter is needed, but Wathier is pretty responsible defensively. His hands aren't a disaster either. Hopefully Wathier can be healthy all of 2006-07.

Lastly, David Bararuk just isn't an NHL prospect at this point. He can keep up in the AHL, but he doesn't make an impact like Jamie Johnson has or Krys Barch is now doing.

As for the goalies...Mike Smith is the more talented. His crease movements are excellent and he can really handle the puck. However, he creates more work for himself than he has to. Dan Ellis doesn't run around too much, but he can create more work for himself too, especially with rebounds. Don't get me wrong though, they both have been extremely vital to Iowa's success, and I hope one of them gets a shot next year as Turco's back-up.

Likewise, I hope Tobias Stephan is brought to North America, along with Lindgren, Fransson, and Nickerson.

Ron Hisey: It's possible. Without Petersen, Dallas would need to sign another veteran center, I think. Having David Oliver on the team is helpful, so is Jancevski, the team would need at least one more vet of the Toby Petersen caliber, a guy with some NHL experience who is comfortable in the role of Top AHLer helping guys develop. So, does Hisey potentially become the second line center after that player to be acquired? Maybe. But if Lindgren is brought over, it's probably Perttu instead.

Iowa Stars 2005-06 (Assuming no Edmonton affiliation)
Sc1: Eriksson-TBA-Polak
Sc2: Lammers-Lindgren-Oliver
Sc3: Vas-Hagos-Holtet
Sc4: Wathier-Guyer-Crombeen
D1: Jancevski-Belle
D2: Fransson-Grossman
D3: Scalzo-Fistric
G: Smith/Ellis and Stephan
Scratch: D Nickerson, D Waugh,

Jamie Johnson and Krys Barch COULD figure in, but they may not necessarily. They're both proving to be AHL caliber. But, Dallas would probably be more interested in developing their drafted players instead. Obviously, one would want a couple of extra forwards.

Last edited by Kevin Wey: 03-01-2006 at 09:33 PM.
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