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Scouting the Dallas Stars’ acquisitions in the Jagr, Roy deals

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Here are some scouting reports on the prospects the Stars acquired today in the Derek Roy and Jaromir Jagr deals.

Kevin Connauton, D

Defenseman Kevin Connauton (acquired from Vancouver), has 25 points (7 goals, 18 assists) in 60 games with Chicago of the AHL this season. The 6-2, 198-pound left shot, was selected by the Canucks in the third round (89th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The Hockey News rated the 23-year-old Connauton as the Canucks fourth best prospect in its Future Watch 2013. Here is THN’s profile (Spring 2013):

Kevin Connauton’s offensive numbers, especially his goal-scoring, have fallen off, because he’s trying to improve in his own zone. That’s what will allow the blueliner to graduate to the NHL next season with his entry level deal expiring.

However, all that pressure has affected Connauton and some of his natural instincts with the puck have suffered. He has been hesitant jumping into the rush and using his big shot.

Behind his own blueline, his stick positioning and footwork are occasionally lax and his body position down low is too passive at times. Connauton remains a work in progress.

Here is a scouting report on Connauton from Corey Pronman of the Hockey Prospectus (September 2012):

The Good: Connauton took several steps forward last year, from a talented project into a quality prospect. He’s a plus skater who one NHL source describes as “tremendous”. He is very good at leading the rush and jumping up when he senses a chance to create an odd-man chance. He has skill, too, as he can move the puck at a solid level and has a cannon from the point that is accurate. An AHL All-Star this year, Connauton wasn’t sheltered and played at a top level while facing off versus top players.

The Bad: Connauton’s defense showed significant strides last season, and while he doesn’t project as a quality defensive player, he’s made enough improvement in that area where he may not have to be sheltered by his coach in the NHL.

Projection: He could be a top-four defenseman.

Lane MacDermid, LW

Left wing Lane MacDermid (acquired from Boston) has 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) and 82 penalty minutes in 37 games with Providence of the AHL. He’s played three games with Boston as well, registering no points and 10 penalty minutes. He played five NHL games with Boston last season as well.

He was selected by the Boston Bruins in the fourth round (112th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Here is a preseason scouting report on MacDermid, who is 6-3, 205 pounds, from the New England Hockey Journal (August 2012):

After making his NHL debut last season and fighting Mike Rupp to get his first major penalty in the books, this effective middleweight will look to earn more playing time in Boston. With NHL bloodlines and a strong work ethic, MacDermid’s average skill level means he isn’t going to be a scoring forward in the show, but he does have potential to be a player similar to Shawn Thornton. If the ranking looks a little low (23rd among Boston prospects), it’s simply based on the lack of a high ceiling. Gritty glue guys like MacDermid can usually carve a niche somewhere, but given Boston’s surplus of similar players, he might need to establish himself elsewhere.

Cody Payne, RW

Right wing Cody Payne (acquired from Boston) is currently playing with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. He had 45 points (24 goals, 21 assists) in 66 games this season. The 19-year-old had 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) in four games as Plymouth swept its first round OHL playoff series.

Payne, whos is a right shot and is listed at 6-2, 200 pounds, was selected by the Bruins in the fifth round (145th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Here is a preseason scouting report on Payne from the New England Hockey Journal (August 2012):

The second of two fifth-round picks in June has been buried on talented teams in Oshawa and Plymouth of the OHL, but brings rugged power forward potential. A tough kid who can hit and fight, the Bruins pointed to flashes of Payne being something more in late December/early January when several Whalers teammates were in the World Jr. Championship and he stepped up effectively into a top-six role during their absence. Payne is more of an unknown commodity than anything else after getting only a few shifts in games for much of the season, but if the untapped upside the B’s saw proves to be legitimate, watch for Payne to rise up the depth chart.

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