“It was nice to have a lot of picks,” said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. “We got a lot of centermen in the draft and we got a lot of kids for our prospect pool. We’re happy.”
Centers were a focus for the Stars, who were thin in that area organizationally coming into this year’s draft.
“We added a number of centermen and they all have a skill base and offensive tools,” said Les Jackson, Stars Director of Player Personnel. “Obviously they are going to have to mature and develop, all those things that go with young guys. But I think they are all in a good spot to move forward.”
The Stars took a total of eight players on Saturday and here’s a breakdown of the picks.
|Bystrom after his selection |
Ludwig Bystrom (2nd round/43rd overall)
Weight: 208 pounds
Ranked 8th among European Skaters by NHL Central Scouting
Bystrom registered 29 points (7 goals, 22 assists) in 34 games for Modo in Swedish junior hockey. The 6-0, 208 pound defenseman also played 20 games in the Swedish Elite League. He played on Sweden’s silver medal team at the 2012 World Under-18 Championship.
“He has solid two-way skills. He’s a good skater, mobile – made for today’s game. He doesn’t shy away from the physical part of the game either,” said Kari Takko, Stars Director of European Scouting.
“He’s a big kid with a good combination of qualities. He’s a skater, has puck presence, competes and reads the game well,” said Jackson. “There’s a lot of value there and he’s in a good position in Sweden. He’s going to get good development and he’s going to get good coaching.”
|Winther on the draft floor |
Mike Winther (2nd round/54th overall)
Weight: 175 pounds
Ranked 27th among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting
The 18-year-old Winther had 32 goals and 24 assists in 71 games with Prince Albert of the Western Hockey League this past season. He played for Canada at the World Under-18 Championship, picking up one goal and one assist in seven games.
“He’s a good skater, he has a good base of talent and he can put up numbers,” said Jackson. “There are a lot of things that suggest that he is going to go forward with his game and his development. We’re pretty excited about that kid.”
Devin Shore (2nd round/61st overall)
Weight: 184 pounds
Ranked 58th among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting
Shore, 17, played for Whitby of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, registering 29 goals and 29 assists in 41 games. Shore has committed to play at the University of Maine in 2012-13.
“He is a creative, crafty offensive player,” said Jackson. “He has some development needs. He’ll need to work on his foot speed and things like that, but he has real good hand skills and a real good mind. He’s dangerous offensively. He has a pretty unique offensive mind.”
Esa Lindell (3rd round/74th overall)
Ranked 12th among European Skaters by NHL Central Scouting
Lindell registered 21 goals and 30 assists in 48 games for Jokerit’s Under-20 junior team in Finland. He was tops in scoring among all defensemen in the league and ranked ninth in scoring overall. He was named the best player in the league.
“Physically he is very raw. He’s smart with the puck skills and has a little bite,” said Takko. “The physical part of the game is the big area for him. If he is able to add muscle and strength, his skating will get better. His skating is not bad, but it’s a little wobbly. When he gets stronger he is going to be fine.
“He was sliding in the draft. If he had played the same way in the second half the way he played in the first half, he would have been a higher pick and gone by the third round. But he was tiring out, and that’s what I was saying about the physical part. So, that’s what he has to get better at.”
|Gemel Smith meets with the media |
Gemel Smith (4th round/104th overall)
Weight: 164 pounds
Ranked 37th among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting
Smith played for Owen Sound of the Ontario Hockey League, picking up 21 goals and 39 assists in 68 games. He played for Canada at the 2012 World Under-18 Championship and the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
“People think he is small, but he plays a real spirited offensive game,” said Jackson. “He’s slippery, crafty. He plays with a lot of passion. I suspect he is going to find a way to make it hard on our team down the road to keep him off. He just plays a real determined game, and he’s talented.”
Branden Troock (5th round/134th overall)
Weight: 174 pounds
Ranked 65 among NHL American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting
Troock played for Seattle of the Western Hockey League, registering 14 goals and 12 assists in 58 games. It was a good bounce back season for Troock, who had missed all of 2010-11 with a neck injury.
“There are no side effects of that. He played pretty much all last year. He’s a talented kid and I suspect this year he’ll take a step forward,” said Jackson. “He’s a big kid with really good hands and skills. Good skater with the puck, he’s slippery. There are some good raw qualities there that will help him get to the next level. He’s a pretty intriguing player.”
Troock played for Canada at the 2012 World Under-18 Championship.
Henri Kiviaho (5th round/144th overall)
Weight: 183 pounds
Unranked by NHL Central Scouting
Kiviaho played for Kalpa of the Finnish junior league, where he posted a 2.78 goals against average and .909 save percentage in 28 games this past season.
“Good size, quick feet. He stole the No. 1 job around Christmas and after that he was very good the second half,” said Takko. “I was so happy that he didn’t make any of those national tournaments, so he was a dark horse for the draft for us in Europe because there was not a lot of coverage of him.”
Dmitry Sinitsyn (7th round/183rd overall)
Weight: 200 pounds
Unranked by NHL Central Scouting
Sinitsyn joined UMass-Lowell midway through the season, was redshirted and will begin his playing career there next season. Sinitsyn, a Moscow native, has some Dallas ties. He played two seasons (2009-11) for the Dallas Stars Elite Under-16 teams, registering 83 points (35 goals, 48 assists) in 93 games.
“He’s a big kid with some really good puck skills and has a good feel for the offensive part of the game,” said Jackson. “I think that his going to school for four years is a good match for him because he’ll get tested there against older players. That will be a good developmental step for him. He’s a bright kid and I think that is a great spot for him.”