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Stars believe best plan is to pick best player available

by Steve Hunt

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill said Monday that he will use the same simple approach to the 2015 NHL Draft that he's used in the past: Select the best player available.

The 2015 draft will be June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. The first round will be June 26 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports); rounds 2-7 are June 27 (10 a.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports).

"Really with every pick you're taking the best player," Nill said Monday. "My philosophy's always been take the best player. It's all about assets. The more assets you have, the better assets you have, the more currency you have to make moves down the road."

It's an approach Nill used in his first two drafts with the Stars. In 2013 the Stars selected right wing Valeri Nichushkin at No. 10 and he had 14 goals and 34 points in 79 games. This season, though, he was limited to eight games because of injuries.

At the 2014 draft Dallas chose defenseman Julius Honka at No. 14. He made his professional debut Texas of the American Hockey League this season and had eight goals and 31 points in 68 games.

The Stars have six picks at this year's draft, including No. 12 in the first round.

"You need to have two or three players come out of every draft that play in the NHL," Nill said. "Our staff has done a very good job. They've been out there working all winter looking at players and they've done a good job getting that list together. Now we'll just go to the draft. We've got some pretty good picks; just see where it falls."

As he enters his third draft in Dallas, Nill said he doesn't see any pressing needs or positions at which he'd like to add depth. But he still would like to draft at least one goaltender.

"We go into every draft wanting to draft a goalie," Nill said. "I think it's important. You always have to have a goalie coming into the system every year, so we'll take a goalie somewhere along the way. That could be anywhere from the second to the seventh round. You never know where it's going to fall.

"Our organization, we're sitting pretty good right now with depth. We've got a good influx of centermen and wingers coming in. We've got a good influx of defensemen coming in. There's no pressing concern. You always want to get the best player in the end, but there's no real need that we're going to say boy, we got to look for that."

Dallas always could make a trade to move up in the draft, but Nill says that scenario isn't likely because the price to do so would be too high.

"It's been pretty quiet so far," he said. "We've got our list. We're all set. We know we're getting a pretty good player. The top three or four guys in this year's draft, they're above everybody else. And then there's a good group of nine or 10 guys. We know we're getting one of those guys.

"The price to move up to get somebody that may be no better than the guy you're picking at 12, it's probably too high. I'm not looking at giving up some assets to move up one or two spots when I know we can get just as good a player with our pick."

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