The Dallas Stars drafted five more players in day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, held at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. To say that the Stars came away from the draft with prospects that have considerable size, upside and potential would be an understatement.
Looking at the mere size of the players drafted, one might think this was the Cowboys' or Mavericks' draft. No sir - this is the new NHL, where size, strength and skill combine to build teams that are hard to play against.
That is exactly what Joe Nieuwendyk is trying to do.
The Stars selected three defensemen, two wingers and one center at the draft. The six players average an impressive 6-3½ in height and 201.3 pounds in weight. The three defensemen alone average 6-5¼ tall and 212 pounds. Three of the prospects are right-handed shots.
“I think it was a real positive weekend for us,” said Nieuwendyk. “Our scouts do a lot of great work in the field and they proved it once again. This year, the theme obviously was size. (Jamieson) Oleksiak is 6-7 and we took two a couple of other defensemen at 6-6 and 6-3. Just meeting these kids in-person, it was exciting to see how big they already are.
“I think (drafting size with skill) is part of the plan. We’ve always stressed that we want to become a team that is hard to play against. You’re certainly going to see that with the group of kids that we have coming now. We want to continue to become a quicker, bigger, faster team. You have to draft well and grow your team internally. It is the smart way to build your team in the new NHL.”
Dallas Stars 2011 NHL Entry Draft Selections
|Rnd (overall) ||Player ||Team ||Height/Weight ||2010-11 Stats |
|1(14th) ||D Jamieson Oleksiak ||Northeastern (NCAA) ||6-7/244 ||34GP, 3G, 9A, 12PTS, |
+13 (led team)
|2 (44th) ||RW Brett Ritchie ||Sarnia (OHL) ||6-3/210 ||49GP, 21G, 20A, 41PTS |
|3 ||**No Selection - Traded to New Jersey |
|4 (105th) ||C Emil Molin ||Brynas Jr. (Swe) ||6-0/170 ||36GP, 31G, 50A, 81PTS |
|5 (135th) ||D Troy Vance ||Victoriaville (QMJHL) ||6-6/200 ||23GP, 1G, 3A, 4PTS |
|6 (165th) ||RW Matej Stransky ||Saskatoon (WHL) ||6-2/193 ||71GP, 14G, 12A, 26PTS |
|7 (195th) ||D Jyrki Jokipakka ||Ilves (Fin) ||6-3/191 ||48GP, 1G, 8A, 9PTS |
Dallas selected defenseman Jamieson Oleksiak (OH-lehk-see-ack) with the 14th overall pick on Friday night. A 6-7, 244-pound dual citizen of Canada and the USA, he played last season at Northeastern University (3 goals, 9 assists) in 34 games.
Link: Oleksiak coverage from Day One
Day Two Summary of Draft Picks
The Stars selected Brett Ritchie with their second round pick (44th overall), a 6-3, 210-pound right wing from Sarnia of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He tallied 21 goals and 41 points in 49 games. Ritchie missed time during the season due to mononucleosis.
Ritchie, who turns 18 on July 1, competed for Canada at the 2011 Under-18 World Championships, tying for second on the team with four goals (4g, 3a) in seven games. A right-handed shot, he is a native of Orangeville, Ontario. Ritchie says he models his game after Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf.
“It’s been a dream since I was little to get drafted in the NHL,” said Ritchie from the Draft in St. Paul. “For that to finally happen to an organization like the Dallas Stars is great. The amount of feelings I have right now are unreal. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Stars. Going into the draft, they were one of the teams that showed a lot of interest in me so it wasn’t too much of a surprise. I’m very excited right now.”
Stars scout Jimmy Johnston on Ritchie:
“Brett is a big strong winger. He has good hands, shoots the puck well and goes to the net. He has a lot of upside; he will dig in at the walls and works hard.”
NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards on Ritchie:
"He uses his size well, fights through checks and is tough along the boards. He has good playmaking ability and he sees the ice well. He also has a very good shot and has scored some goals coming in off the wing."
Ritchie prospect page on NHL.com
Dallas did not have a third round pick today due to the Jamie Langenbrunner trade with New Jersey this past January.
The Stars selected Swedish center Emil Molin with their fourth round pick (105th overall). He played last season with Brynas Jr.-18 of the Swedish Junior League, scoring 31 goals and 50 assists for 81 points in 36 games (2.25 points-per-game average). Molin also played nine games with the Brynas Jr.-20 team, earning one assist.
The 6-0, 170-pound center was born on Feb. 3, 1993. He is a left-handed shot.
Stars scout Rickard Oquist:
“Emil is a skilled creative forward who can play center and wing. He is a good two-way player who plays responsibly on defense. He’s not physically there yet but will get there and he has very good upside. He’s a smart player and is very good at setting up his teammates.”
Molin prospect page
Dallas selected defenseman Troy Vance with its fifth round selection (135th overall). Vance played this past season with Victoriaville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), appearing in 23 games with one goal and three assists with 21 penalty minutes.
Vance, a 6-6, 200-pound native of Goshen, New York, was born on Aug. 2, 1993. He was at the draft in St. Paul when his name was called.
“I try to model my game after (Buffalo’s) Tyler Myers,” said Vance after being selected. “He’s a big guy who can skate and he is a two-way player. He has really good hands for his size and sees the ice well.”
Vance was a forward who has been converted into a defenseman.
“(Playing forward in the past) helped my hands and my vision. That’s the one thing I had, was decent hands. Moving back to D, it helps me become more of a two-way defenseman. I don’t have to be just a shutdown guy; I can be both (offensive and defensive).”
The right-handed prospect has even visited Dallas recently.
“I’ve actually been to American Airlines Center and saw a game and some of the practices. I have so much to work on but the main thing I need to work on is my feet. I’m looking forward to the future and I hope to one day be a Dallas Star.”
The Stars have had considerable success with their fifth round picks recently. No pressure on Troy Vance, but recent Stars fifth round picks include Tom Wandell (2005), Tomas Vincour (2009), Philip Larsen (2008), Mike Smith (2001) & some guy named Jamie Benn (2007). Honorable mention to Marty Turco, who was drafted in the fifth round in 1994.
Stars scout Alex LePore on Vance:
“Troy is a big puck-moving D-man with good poise. He is a good skater for his size and probably will play with the first power play unit nest season. He has a ton of upside because he is still learning the position in the Quebec league.”
Vance bio page at NHL.com
The Stars selected right wing Matej Stransky (first name pronounced Mah-tay) with their sixth round pick (165th overall). Stransky played with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL this past season, skating in 71 games with 14 goals and 12 assists with 53 penalty minutes. He also had 10 playoff games with the Blades, recording three goals and nine points with a +5 rating.
A 6-2, 193-pound native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Stransky was born on July 11, 1993. He is a right-handed shot.
Stars scout Dennis Holland on Stransky:
“Matej has great hands. He is very effective below the (face-off) dots, offensively. He’s a skilled player, a big guy at 6-3 who needs to fill out. We think he will be a difficult guy to deal with for defenses.”
Stransky prospect page at NHL.com
Dallas selected defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka with its seventh round pick (195th overall). Jokipakka is a 6-3, 191-pound native of Tampere, Finland (born Aug. 20, 1991). He played this past season with Ilves in the Finnish League, skating in 48 games with one goal and eight assists with 18 penalty minutes.
Stars Director of European Scouting Kari Takko on Jokipakka:
“Jyrki is a 6-3 defenseman who can skate with good skill. He’s just getting his feet wet, as he is a late bloomer. He played at the World Juniors Under-18 for Finland.”
Jokipakka prospect page at NHL.com
Q&A Article on Jokipakka
One thing is for sure - the Stars' food budget for Training Camp will have to be increased. Larger jersey sizes ordered too.