Strengths: Trevor Daley, Shawn Belle and Mark Fistric lead a good crop of Stars defensive prospects. Forward prospects Antti Miettinen, Junior Lessard and Loui Eriksson could make Dallas one of the best two-way teams in the NHL for years to come. Dan Ellis, Mike Smith and Tobias Stephan are quality goaltenders who provide plenty of depth between the pipes.
Weaknesses: Scoring. The Stars lack blue chip prospects, in particular snipers and playmakers. They are also in need of some more size up front.
Top Prospects: Trevor Daley (D), Shawn Belle (D), Loui Eriksson (RW), Antti Miettinen (LW), and Jussi Jokinen (LW).
How many teams have a true blup chip prospect up front? I think HF is punishing the Stars too hard for their lack of blue chippers up front and not give enough credit for the hard working, two-way types. The Stars are well filled at most positions except for a top notch center. I don't think that one, pretty big flaw equals the 23rd place. In net we're fine, not stellar, but decent (they also forgot Kipleainen who's had a pretty decent rookie year in NA). Defensively we have 6 defensemen who all have an outstanding shot at cracking the Stars some day (Belle, Daley, Fistric, Grossman, Fransson, Nickerson) as well as a few tweeners (Granath, Jancevski, Waugh).. Much better than average. Whereas up front, Jokinen, Eriksson, Lessard, Polak and Miettinen have top 6 potential (though Miets' style may suit a 3rd line better), complemented by a boat load of hard working types, maybe even 3rd liners (Hagos, Sawada, Crombeen, Holtet, Bararuk, Lammers)..
Ah well, not like we should be higher than 16th, but higher than 23rd would've done more justice none-the-less. I think that for a team lacking a blue chip prospect, you can't do much better than this.
I understand that you feal bad about the list but it really doesnt mean much. It doesnt mean that Phaneuf is 9B (or something like that) = he will be a top D-man. He may bust out. On the other had Shawn Belle may turn out to be a no.1, Norris winning D-man.
And Id rather have a team like Dallas, which may not have top notch prospects but is a playoff performer, than Washington, which has Ovechkin, but atleast 2 years before they even contend for the playoffs.