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[#1] HFStars 2012 Top-20 Prospects - Discussion Only

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07-16-2012, 12:59 PM
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[#1] HFStars 2012 Top-20 Prospects - Discussion Only

Welcome back sports fans for another installment of our annual summer prospect rankings!

We're going to do things a little bit differently this year. I want to try a new format that switches up the order in which we discuss a particular spot in the rankings and when we actually vote on that spot. In past years I'd just put up the initial #1 poll and everyone would vote away immediately. Instead of doing that I thought we could have a discussion first and then after everyone has said their piece, we'll vote.

I believe this will make for both a better debate and better results as everyone will have a chance to state their case rather than just explaining why they voted a certain way after the fact. The top spot always generates the most discussion so this will stay open for a couple of days.

Subsequently, when the poll for #1 is posted that accompanying thread will be used to discuss the next spot, and so on. The #2 poll will discuss the #3 prospect, #3 poll will discuss #4, etc.

And what a competition it will be. I can't remember ever having a deeper and better field of possible contenders to be crowned our best prospect. There's no clear cut choice this time and not even a clear triumvirate as has been the case in recent summers.

You've got the returning #1 in Campbell (Yes, I'm still bitter about Larsen not being voted #1), the high pick Glennie, the new arrival and NHL-ready Eakin, the all-around up-and-comer Chiasson, the brand new and exciting Faksa, the beast Oleksiak, and even perhaps R. Smith all in the running.

It's quite the group, and the strength of the overall pool continues right on through #20 and beyond. I've already made my preliminary personal Top-20 (which I won't share right now because I don't want to bias the results) and it was extremely hard to fit in everyone I wanted. I kept switching the order over and over.

I honestly believe this is the best group of prospects this franchise has ever had. Bright days are ahead.

A few housekeeping notes: Larsen, Vincour, and Bachman will all be considered graduated and will not be eligible to be voted on. I have no exact games-played cut-off like HF uses, it's just my call based on whether I feel like those guys are NHLers or prospects. They're NHLers.

For reference here are last year's final results (pretty good except for the omission of Stransky) :

‏‏‏‏ 
pos.
country
acquired
round
change
% of vote
1
 ‏‏‏‏Jack Campbell
G
2010
1st
0
48.7
2
 ‏‏‏‏Philip Larsen
D
2008
5th
0
44.4
3
 ‏‏‏‏Scott Glennie
C
2009
1st
0
50.0
4
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Jamie Oleksiak
D
2011
1st
new
45.0
5
 ‏‏‏‏Alex Chiasson
RW
2009
2nd
1
71.4
6
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Richard Bachman
G
2006
4th
0
29.7
7
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Tomas Vincour
RW
2009
5th
2
44.7
8
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Patrik Nemeth
D
2010
2nd
0
72.4
9
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Reilly Smith
RW
2009
3rd
4
67.7
10
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏John Klingberg
D
2010
5th
6
62.5
11
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Tyler Beskorowany
G
2008
2nd
1
40.6
12
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Brenden Dillon
D
2011
FA
new
51.4
13
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Brett Ritchie
RW
2011
2nd
new
70.3
14
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Troy Vance
D
2011
5th
new
33.3
15
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Emil Molin
C
2011
4th
new
36.6
16
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Colton Sceviour
F
2007
4th
7
32.0
17
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Jyrki Jokipakka
D
2011
7th
new
40.0
18
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Matt Fraser
LW
2010
FA
new
46.1
19
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Curtis McKenzie
LW
2009
6th
8
50.0
20
 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏Hubert Labrie
D
2009
FA
1
56.6

Alright, you guys have the floor. Who's our #1 prospect and why?

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07-16-2012, 01:06 PM
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Dillon, Chiasson, Oleksiak, Campbell, Ritchie, Nemeth, Glennie, Faksa, Fraser, Stransky, Reilly, Molin, Bystrom, Austin... cba to go on, but roughly this order. I think Labrie keeps his spot in the top 20.

But I think Dillon should be the de facto #1 until Campbell and Chiasson (and maybe Oleksiak) show well in the AHL.


Last edited by Frozen Failure: 07-16-2012 at 01:18 PM.
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07-16-2012, 01:19 PM
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It comes down to Jack Campbell, Alex Chiasson, or Jamie Oleksiak for me. Those are my Top 3 for sure, but I'm just not sure about the order yet.

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07-16-2012, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozen Failure View Post
But I think Dillon should be the de facto #1 until Campbell and Chiasson (and maybe Oleksiak) show well in the AHL.
That's honestly something I hadn't even considered, Dillon at #1. But it makes sense if you lean heavily toward the NHL-ready side of the spectrum when it comes to balancing a prospect's ceiling with their readiness.

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07-16-2012, 01:26 PM
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I agree with Big. When I think of who in pur system can become 1st line players or top pairing Dmen, I think Chiasson and Oleksiak. Campbell rounds out the top 3 as a potential franchise goalie.

Undecided for now bit I'm leaning Chiasson.

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07-16-2012, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piqued View Post
That's honestly something I hadn't even considered, Dillon at #1. But it makes sense if you lean heavily toward the NHL-ready side of the spectrum when it comes to balancing a prospect's ceiling with their readiness.
I think Dillon has a pretty high ceiling. Either that or I'm so used to watching our pathetic defense that I think he's the second coming of Scott Niedermeyer.

He's big, good wheels, good shot, good defensive instincts, and seems to be a "commander" on the ice. He's straight up ready for the NHL, as a complete bonus in my mind.

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07-16-2012, 01:34 PM
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Campbell Faksa Chaisson Dillon Olesiak Glennie Nemeth Eakin R.smith Ritchie


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07-16-2012, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozen Failure View Post
I think Dillon has a pretty high ceiling. Either that or I'm so used to watching our pathetic defense that I think he's the second coming of Scott Niedermeyer.

He's big, good wheels, good shot, good defensive instincts, and seems to be a "commander" on the ice. He's straight up ready for the NHL, as a complete bonus in my mind.
I don't mean to say that Dillon doesn't have a decent ceiling, he does. Is it as high as some of the other prospects? Well, I don't think so. For what it's worth I have him ranked fairly highly and making a major jump from last year's spot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnholyPrince View Post
Undecided for now bit I'm leaning Chiasson.
Might as well put it out there now that Chiasson is my #1. I'm impressed with him at every turn. I think he's going to blow the doors off the AHL and finish the season in the NHL and not look back. I see him as an eventual 1st line player paired with Benn making a dynamic, complimentary combo long into the future. He's got size, skill, smarts, character, leadership, and solid experience against good competition under his belt. I think we will look back as fondly on that 2nd round pick as we do Eriksson and Neal.

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07-16-2012, 01:47 PM
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I'll take Radek Faksa for a dollar.

This guy was universally recognized as one of the top two way prospects in the draft and among the most NHL ready as a 18 year old behind Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk. All signs point to him being one of the elite 2nd line centers in the league when he reaches his potential. Faksa was considered a steal at #13 and I believe he'll be making an impact in the NHL just as soon or even sooner than Scott Glennie, Jamie Oleksiak, or Jack Campbell.

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07-16-2012, 01:49 PM
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Campbell is the only potential franchise guy. I would say in HF lingo his likelihood letter went down but the ability is still there. Fafka is really good and will likely have at least a hanzel like career. Chaisson may or may not be able to score enough but I see the attraction. Dillion Olesiak and Glennie Nemeth all will have NHL careers but not sure of the ceiling.
Eakin and R. Smith probably here somewhere. Ritchie could make a big move maybe Molin as well
Fraser and Austin probably cut below but both could surprise and find roles.

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07-16-2012, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piqued View Post
I don't mean to say that Dillon doesn't have a decent ceiling, he does. Is it as high as some of the other prospects? Well, I don't think so. For what it's worth I have him ranked fairly highly and making a major jump from last year's spot.
Might as well put it out there now that Chiasson is my #1. I'm impressed with him at every turn. I think he's going to blow the doors off the AHL and finish the season in the NHL and not look back. I see him as an eventual 1st line player paired with Benn making a dynamic, complimentary combo long into the future. He's got size, skill, smarts, character, leadership, and solid experience against good competition under his belt. I think we will look back as fondly on that 2nd round pick as we do Eriksson and Neal.
I would have to say a #2-#3 big independent* two way defenseman has about the same "potential value" as a big two-way independent* top 6 winger. I'm also really high on Chiasson and his potential. I don't think there's much between Dillon and Chiasson, except Dillon is ready to play the NHL game now. If I had to rank the four I threw out first, it would have to be Dillon, Chiasson, Oleksiak, and Campbell, in that order. There isn't much between Dillon and Chiasson.

Campbell needs some time and to show us that he can play at a quality level before my opinion puts him back in the top 3. Oleksiak needs to show that his offense is there and consistent at the pro level.

As for Faksa, he needs some time. For what little I saw of him at practice, he was a little bit sloppy with the puck. He's solidly cemented in that 2nd tier of our prospects, with guys who will have a solid NHL career but not make headlines all the time.

I totally forgot about Eakin. He'll probably be in the NHL next year, so I can't really rank him.

*: Not linemate/partner dependent for success. See: Morrow as a dependent because of Ribeiro's ability to inflate Morrow's numbers. Eriksson and Benn are independent as they both produce without a consistent linemate.

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07-16-2012, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozen Failure View Post
I think Dillon has a pretty high ceiling. Either that or I'm so used to watching our pathetic defense that I think he's the second coming of Scott Niedermeyer.

He's big, good wheels, good shot, good defensive instincts, and seems to be a "commander" on the ice. He's straight up ready for the NHL, as a complete bonus in my mind.
I think we need to slow down a bit on Dillon's ceiling. Yes, he's a very good prospect. But he didnt do much of anything in juniors until he was 20 years old, and didnt light the world on fire statistically in the AHL(albeit on a bad team in his first season). If he turns into a really solid, 30 point top 4 guy, we should be absolutely thrilled with that. Of course I'd be thrilled with a 40+ point #2 d-man, but thats getting your hopes a bit high if those are your real expectations.

As for #1, I agree with those that say Chiasson. He's got all the tools to be a 1st line caliber player. Size, strength, Hands, good skater. Just needs some time in the AHL.

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07-16-2012, 01:59 PM
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I don't like voting for a goalie number one. There are so many freaking variables that choosing Campbell first leaves me uneasy.

So for me it's between Dillon, Olesiak, and Chaisson. I don't know near enough about Eakin to put him in that first tier though I imagine he probably belongs in that top five.

Gun to my head right now...Chaisson, Olesiak, Dillon. Ask me tomorrow and I might change my mind.

Chaisson has way above average hands and seems to know what to do to put himself in the best positions in the offensive zone. His size and shot, not to mention decent skating make him a potential power forward add in the fact that he can take draws just makes the package that much better. He probably needs half a year in Austin but I too expect him to make Dallas' decision to move Ryder at the deadline that much easier.

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07-16-2012, 02:12 PM
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Even though I am choosing Campbell #1 that is not an endorsement of the player or pick. I frankly have not seen enough to say he is more than a top goalie prospect and I don't know enough about what separates goalie prospects anyway. Fowler would have been my choice period. That said, he is the only prospect that seems to come up when discussing elite potential so I went with that. I would love to see where Chaisson ends up yet I do think it will take some time. I remember when Chaisson and R. Smith were close. Faksa is super intriguing and barring injury will move quickly with the potential to be in this league along time

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07-16-2012, 02:26 PM
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To be honest, I don't know much about Chiasson.

I watched him play 2 or 3 NCAA games last year and he looked pretty dominant.

Add that to what you guys have to say about him, I'll rank Chiasson #1.


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07-16-2012, 02:44 PM
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Really tough to pick the number one. I agree with everyone above that Campbell, Chiasson, and Oleksiak are the front runners. Then I see Dillon, Eakin and Faksa peaking in. Right now I will pick Chiasson but that could change because it is so close!

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07-16-2012, 03:00 PM
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After seeing Dillon and Nemeth play a few times, I'm the highest on them when it comes to D (I'm excluding Larsen). I hope Campbell works out as well as we think.

For Offense: Faksa and Chaisson excite me a lot more than Glennie.

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07-16-2012, 03:58 PM
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This is tough. I don't feel like anyone has clearly separated themselves as a number 1, but I feel like we have a bunch of guys who would be top 5 prospects in any system. Campbell, Oleksiak, Faksa, Nemeth, Chiasson, Dillon, Eakin, R. Smith, Glennie, Bystrom is as strong of a top 10 as anyone, and that doesn't even include Ritchie, Stransky, Fraser, or anyone after the first 2 picks in the 2012 draft. I guess I'll take Oleksiak first.

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07-16-2012, 04:04 PM
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Count me in on the Dillon train.

Most of my opinions regarding the prospect rankings will come from the development camp. Dillon stood out well above the others to me.

I'm also one to weigh NHL-readiness more than "ceiling." (After watching the development camp, the concept of "ceiling" was more ambiguous to me than ever. I couldn't reliably determine which prospect's "ceiling" was higher than another's.)

Eakin will be harder to judge as he hasn't come up through the Stars system, and most of us aren't tapped into what goes on in the east. That unfamiliarity will hurt him imo.

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07-16-2012, 04:10 PM
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Campbell is the one with the highest, franchise-level, potential. He's the number one until he's either a clear bust or graduation. The second spot is really up for grabs though. Lots of choices between Dillon, Oleksiak, Nemeth, Chiasson, Smith, or Glennie. Although I'm leaning more towards Oleksiak or Chiasson as the favorites though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozen Failure View Post
But I think Dillon should be the de facto #1 until Campbell and Chiasson (and maybe Oleksiak) show well in the AHL.
You mean like the few games Campbell got at the end of last season and seemed to excel better than Besko, Bachman, and Raycroft?

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07-16-2012, 04:34 PM
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Tough one indeed. Several players have progressed a lot past season & new players have been acquired with lots of skill, but I don't see why Campbell should drop 3-4 places in this year's ranking. Even though he supposedly had a hard time in the OHL, I bet he learnt the most over that period of time which will benefit him in the long run. And hearing how everyone in the organization raves about his work ethic etc., deserves a #1 ranking again.

Personally I tend to favour progress throughout a season & NHL readiness over a potential high ceiling in a distant(?) future, as that's easier to grasp. So Dillon & Nemeth would make a huge jump this season in my opinion. Nearly forgot Stransky who didn't even make it to the Top20 last year...

But I agree with several others in this thread that a trio of Campbell, Chiasson and Oleksiak (though, when mentioning him, we should not forget Nemeth as IMO he's as valuable for us in future, only in a different way/skillset) will most likely top the ranking this year.

I'm torn. So based on the reasons mentioned above like NHL-readiness Dillon, Chiasson, Oleksiak/Nemeth are frontrunners, but I deeply believe/hope Campbell, also based on his position, has to be the guy who will have the most crucial impact on the future of this franchise in coming years, whether it'll be a success or failure...Huge weight on his shoulders but I bet he'll cope with that pressure, everything a #1 prospect is about.

Another difficult task is how to rank Eakin. Haven't followed him at all, so no idea about that.

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07-16-2012, 04:49 PM
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I always go on top end potential and right now that definitely feels like Faksa.

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07-16-2012, 04:55 PM
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Dillon, Cambell, Oleksiak, Faksa, Chiasson.

I don't know. And I feel great that I don't.

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07-16-2012, 05:05 PM
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Tough choice.

Dillion - Seems to be the most NHL ready player in the group. Some of the comments from the Stars' management makes it sound like they expect him to win a spot in the line up at training camp. He may not have the highest ceiling compared to other Dallas prospects, but he looks like he'll definitely be an NHL player

Campbell - Only player that Dallas has mentioned as having "franchise" player potential. He looked good in the limited time he got in the AHL last season. The only downside is that it's always difficult to predict the development of a goalie and they generally take the longest to develop.

Chiasson - I really like what I've read about him and wish I could have seen him play more. Seems like you here a lot about his hockey sense, leadership, and defensive ability in addition to having size and good offensive ability. The reports from the prospect camp seemed to indicate that he looked NHL ready.

Overall, I'm leaning towards Chiasson and Dillion. I don't think that Campbell is going to have a large impact at the NHL level until he's a starter and I don't think that happens for a few more seasons.

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07-16-2012, 05:13 PM
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Oleksiak will be my choice. 6'7"+ 240lbs+ with room to add weight. He is very mobile for his size, his reach is ridiculous, and he has a booming slap shot to go along with solid hands. I think we are looking at a guy who can score 30ish points while playing elite shutdown defense.

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