Hey guys, I've been lurking for a while, but our top 20 is in desperate need of some revision. Here's what I think our Top 10 should be:
1. Jussi Jokinen- our most skilled prospect in forever, that shootout goal the other night was just sick
2. Antii Miettinen- very complete player who isn't playing to his full potential right now, he will likely be a poor man's Lehtinen
3. Pertuu Lindgren- tearing it up and arguably the top prospect in Finland right now, our latest Finnish steal
4. Vojtech Polak- putting up good numbers in Iowa, look for him to possibly make the jump to the NHL either late this season, but most likely next season
5. Loui Eriksson- i'd like to see more from him, starting to disappoint
6. Matt Niskanen- heard some really good things about him, but he's got a bunch of offensive d-men to pass on our depth chart up before he gets his shot at the big team
7. Shawn Belle- very overrated IMO and I get a strong bust vibe from him
8. James Neal- if the comparison to Gary Roberts is accurate then this guy is gonna be one of my favorites in the future
9. Mark Fistric- May get a chance to fill the role vacated by Erskine next season
10. Johan Fransson- losing his luster a little?
What do you guys think?
You must have missed something about Loui Eriksson, he is the 2:d best player about points, goal, powerplaygoal, he plays boxplay, he is one of the teams best 2-ways player, he is very responsibility with the puck, he has been the star of the game 7 times, and Iowa - Dallas is very high of him.....
I don't want to put together a full blown list, but I do want to throw out my thoughts on some players.
While Miettinen and Jokinen will still technically be prospects, I don't consider them such anymore. They're full time players.
My top guy at the moment is probably Eriksson. Polak may have had a better camp and more offensive upside, but Eriksson is still less likely to bust. He fit in in both roles that he's been given in the AHL (though he fits better on the top 2 lines), and I still don't have confidence that Polak will stick as anything more than a Top 6 forward, and I question when there will be openings there.
I'm not sold on Lindgren yet. Both times he's gone to major international tourneys, he's been practically invisible. That worries me some. However, he's still very young and has a ton of skill, so it might just be a blip on the screen.
On defense, it's hard to pick out the top guy. Out of the AHL guys it seems like the best player (not prospect) might actually be Scalzo at the moment. And while Grossman might be outplaying Belle, it's doubtful that he has higher upside (assuming Belle puts everything together). Niskanen is having a solid all-around season, but is underwhelming offensively. Fistric has come on strong after an average start, but still has questionable upside. Fransson is mired in a culture of "win now" prevalent among SEL teams and isn't getting the ice time he probably needs to progress (which is certainly their perogative).
Goaltending is kind of worrying. Both Smith and Ellis are having good years, but behind them there's little depth and both are kind of old as far as prospects go. I still like Stephan but think he'll need a little more time to be 100% back. I don't think Kilpelainen will end up in the NHL, and it's way too early to tell with McGann.
I don't think this year has been kind to Stars prospects. We've had a bunch lose time to injuries, and some aren't playing up to expectations. On the flip side, we've seen guys like Holtet and Vas emerge as solid pro prospects even if not stud players.
There's no question the Stars still lack that top end guy, but there is some depth in the system among skaters, especially amongst role-players. In goal, the Stars are thin, but they're set at goal for the next four years.
Stars Fans I am telling you JAMES NEAL will be a prime time player. He gets talked about very little on the prospect boards but he will be a solid NHL player. I have seen Neal play several times this year he is big and nasty and is hitting every thing is site.