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NHL Draft

Stars willing to trade No. 3 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Dallas would want established player in return, GM Jim Nill says

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

The Dallas Stars are willing to trade the No. 3 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft if the price is right, general manager Jim Nill said Thursday.

"I have talked to other teams already about possibly moving that pick, getting an established player back," Nill told SiriusXM NHL Network Radio. "It gives us lot of options. I think this will heat up more as we go."

Dallas moved up to the No. 3 pick from No. 8 in the NHL Draft Lottery.

Part of the draw of the third pick are the options available after Brandon center Nolan Patrick and Halifax center Nico Hischier, arguably the consensus top two picks.

"Probably a group of another 10 players, and that's when it comes down to team's personal preference," Nill said. "Are you looking for a big strong centerman? Are you looking for a scoring winger? Are you looking for a power forward? There is lot of different options there."

Nill said he'll attend the Memorial Cup, which begins Friday in Windsor, Ontario, and the Royal Bank Cup (Canada's Junior A championship) to scout prospects.

Video: Mike Morreale discusses the upcoming NHL Draft

He also said the NHL Expansion Draft to help stock the roster of the Vegas Golden Knights could come into play, and he still has difficult decisions to make before submitting his protected list on June 17.

"I've got some pretty good players that are going to be exposed," Nill said. "Do I talk to [Vegas Golden Knights general manager] George [McPhee], and do we need to do something? Or do I say, 'He's going to pick one of these four or five guys' and go from there?

"I think early June will be an exciting time for player movement."

The past two months have been busy for the Stars. Dallas hired Ken Hitchcock as coach to replace Lindy Ruff on April 12; Hitchcock won the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999. The Stars also acquired goaltender Ben Bishop in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings on May 9; three days later, they signed him to a six-year, $29.5 million contract.

Bishop's signing means the Stars likely will move one of their goaltenders, Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi, during the offseason. Nill said he's looking at all options and even could trade each of them.

Dallas picked up another first-round pick when the Anaheim Ducks advanced to the Western Conference Final, the conditional return from a Feb. 25 trade that sent forward Patrick Eaves to Anaheim.

"It's a pretty good last month here with the draft lottery, the goaltender, then with Anaheim winning and getting to the final four we got that second first-round pick," Nill said. "So it gives us more assets to make a move and acquire players."

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