Pittsburgh, PA – The Dallas Stars selected eight players at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft today, highlighted by three second-round selections of defenseman Ludvig Bystrom and centers Mike Winther and Devin Shore.
Dallas also made two late trades – first, acquiring Los Angeles’ 2012 seventh-round pick (No. 183 overall) for a 2013 seventh-round selection; and then exchanging its’ own 2012 seventh-round pick (No. 194 overall) for the Florida Panthers’ seventh-round pick in 2013.
With the No. 43 selection, Dallas picked Ludvig Bystrom, a 6-foot, 208-pound defenseman from MODO Hockey in the Swedish Junior League. The native of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, played at three different levels for the club in 2011-12 – posting an assist and eight penalty minutes in 20 Elite League games; earning 29 points (7 goals, 22 assists) and 101 PIM in 34 games at the junior level; and scoring a goal in one appearance at the Under-18 level. He added four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in eight junior league playoff games.
Bystrom was part of the Swedish team that won the silver medal at the 2012 Under-18 World Junior Championships, where he earned an assist in six games. He was ranked as the No. 8 European Skater by NHL Central Scouting.
The Stars selected Mike Winther of the Prince Albert Raiders with the No. 54 overall pick. A 6-foot, 172-pound center, Winther posted 32 goals and 24 assists for 56 points in 71 games for the club. He led the team with 16 power play goals and ranked second in total goals and short-handed tallies (4).
Winther, born Jan. 9, 1994 in Trochu, Alberta, was recognized as the WHL Player of the Week in December for posting an impressive 10 goals and 5 assists for 15 points in six games. He collected a goal and an assist for Team Canada at the 2012 World Under-18 Championships.
Dallas selected another center, Devin Shore, with the No. 61 overall pick. Shore played for the Whitby Fury of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2011-12, where he served as an assistant captain. With Whitby, he posted 29 goals and 29 assists for 58 points in 41 games for the club. He is committed to the University of Maine for the 2012-13 season.
Born July 19, 1994 in Ajax, Ontario, Shore played for Canada East in the U-19 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, where he led the team in scoring with 2 goals and 4 assists in six games.
Finnish defenseman Esa Lindell was selected by Dallas with the No. 74 overall pick. Lindell scored 21 goals with 30 assists and had a plus-24 rating in 48 games for Jokerit of the Finnish Under-20 league.
The Vantaa, Finland native led all defensemen in the Finnish Under-20 league in goals (21), assists (30) and points (51) in 2011-12, and earned several league accolades. He was honored as the league’s best regular season player, earned a spot on the All-Star Team and was October’s “Player of the Month.” The 6-2, 192-pound blue liner also skated for Team Finland at the 2012 World Under-18 Championships.
The Stars selected center Gemel Smith in the fourth round, No. 104 overall. A 5-10, 160-pound native of Toronto, Smith spent the 2011-12 season with Owen Sound of the Ontario Hockey League. In 68 games with the Attack, Smith collected 21 goals and 39 assists for 60 points, good for second on the club in assists, third in points and fourth in goals. He added a goal and two assists in 5 OHL playoff games last season.
In 2010-11, Smith appeared in 21 playoff games as Owen Sound won the OHL Playoffs and advanced to the Memorial Cup tournament. He won a bronze medal with Team Canada at the 2012 World Under-18 Championships, and skated for his home nation at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He was ranked as the No. 37 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.
With the No. 134 pick overall (fifth round), Dallas took right wing Branden Troock of the Seattle Thunderbirds. A 6-2, 174-pound native of Edmonton, Troock scored 14 goals with 12 assists for 26 points in 2011-12, which placed him fourth in goals and fifth in points on the team, which was coached by former NHL player Steve Konowalchuk.
Troock won a bronze medal with Team Canada at the 2012 World Under-18 Championships in the Czech Republic and participated in the 2012 CHL Top Prospects Game. He ended the season slotted as the No. 65 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.
Goaltender Henri Kiviaho was the Stars’ second fifth-round pick at No. 144 overall after a standout season with Kalpa in the Finnish junior league. He posted a 2.78 goals-against-average and a .909 save percentage in 28 games in 2011-12, with two shutouts. He was named the SM-liiga’s Young Player of the Month in November, 2012.
A native of Lappeenranta, Finland, Kiviaho has good size at 6-3, 183 pounds and has represented Finland in various under-16 and under-17 tournaments the last two seasons.
Dallas’ final selection of the day, No. 183 overall in the seventh round, was defenseman Dmitry Sinitsyn, a 6-2, 200 pound native of Moscow who spent the 2011-12 season with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Sinitsyn has stronger Dallas ties than the remainder of the Stars 2012 picks, as he was a member of the Dallas Stars Elite Under-16 clubs from 2009-11, earning 83 points (35 goals, 48 assists) in 93 games in those two seasons.
Sinitsyn joined UMass-Lowell midway through the 2011-12 season, despite being just 17 years old. The Russian defenseman ultimately redshirted, but is expected to contribute heavily for the RiverHawks next season.
Of the 211 total players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft, 12 countries were represented, led by Canada (99), the United States (56) and Sweden (22). Also represented were Russia (11), Finland (9), Czech Republic (6), Denmark and Latvia (2 each), and Belarus, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom (1 apiece).