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Draft Weekend Is Almost Here

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

The NHL Draft is different from the NFL and NBA draft in that most of these 18 to 20 year olds will not have a chance to play for the team that drafts them for at least a few years. The NHL drafts players younger and the kids will be put in the system as the various clubs in the NHL will watch them develop. The NHL club will provide guidance and support from afar until they are ready to contribute at a higher level. Therefore many of the players that will be drafted on June 25th and 26th will be unknowns to the fans of the NHL teams that draft them. However there are quite a few interesting stories in this year’s draft that Stars’ fans can watch for as the draft unfolds over the weekend.

Former Dallas Stars captain Mark Tinordi's son, Jarred, is eligible for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Team USA won the gold at the 2010 World Junior Championships in both the Under-20 division and repeated as champions in the Under-18 division, because of this there is a large crop of American players in the 2010 draft pool. In Central Scouting’s Top 30 North American Skater Rankings there are 10 Americans looking to be drafted to NHL teams this weekend and in the Top 30 North American Goaltenders there are nine Americans eager to be picked.

One American-born player with a lot of American hockey history in his family is center Brock Nelson. His uncle, Dave Christian, was part of the ‘Miracle on Ice’ team that won gold for the US at the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. His grandfather, Billy Christian, and great uncle, Roger Christian, both played for Team USA at the 1960 Olympics as they won the first gold medal for the US in hockey. Nelson was born in Minneapolis, MN and is projected as the 25th best North American skater.

Jack Campbell has had recent success on the world stage for Team USA. The number two North American goaltender played significant time in both of the 2009 and 2010 Under-18 gold medal winning teams and also the 2010 Under-20 team that defeated Canada in overtime to win gold. Campbell was called from the bench to replace the starting goaltender in the second period and was able to hold off the Canadians on their home ice to win the tournament.

A couple of the potential draftees have Stars’ ties in their family. Jarred Tinordi, son of former Star Mark Tinordi, is the 38th ranked North American skater. Mark Tinordi played 375 games between 1988-94 for the Stars’ franchise and collected over 1,000 penalty minutes for the club. Jarred is set to play for the University of Notre Dame next season and he will wear his father’s old number, 24.

Nick Bjugstad, the 13th ranked North American skater, is the nephew of former Star Scott Bjugstad, who played for the North Stars between 1983-88. Scott collected 126 points (68g, 58a) during his time with the Stars. Nick was awarded the Mr. Hockey Award (most outstanding high school senior hockey player from Minnesota) this past season. Four of the last five Mr. Hockey Award winners have been taken in the first round of the NHL Draft.

Many of the draft hopefuls list current Dallas Stars as their hockey idols. Defenseman Alexander Petrovic, the 29th ranked North American prospect, lists the Dallas Stars as his favorite team with Mike Modano as his hockey idol. The American goaltender Jack Campbell lists Marty Turco as his hockey Idol. Brandon Gormley, the sixth ranked North American prospect, lists Brad Richards as his hockey idol. Gormley is from Murray River, Prince Edward Island, which is very close to Murray Harbour, where Brad Richards grew up. Prince Edward Island is a small territory in Canada and Richards is now the leading scorer from the territory with 639 points (192g, 447a). Gormley is attending the same prep school that Richards did when he left PEI, Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Saskatchewan.

Dallas Stars fans should also keep an eye on a couple prospects that grew up in the DFW area and started learning the game in various Dr Pepper StarCenters here in the metroplex. Ryan Daugherty and CJ Ludwig both played for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL last season. They are eligible to be drafted in the 2010 Draft this weekend and they both are set to attend the University of Northern Michigan this fall.  CJ is the son of former Dallas Star Craig Ludwig. Craig, currently an analyst for Fox Sports, played eight seasons for the Stars and helped Dallas win the Stanley Cup in 1999.

Tune in this weekend to find out where these prospects go the draft, along with the rest of the action as potential trades come to fruition very often during the NHL Draft. The Dallas Stars will draft 11th overall in the first round on Friday, June 25th at 6 pm (Central) on Versus and the second through seventh rounds will be on Saturday, June 26th at 12 pm (NHL Network).

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