Some people see the arrival of Sergei Zubov in 1996 as the moment the Stars became ‘championship’ quality.
That fleecing of the Penguins sure helped, and he was a huge piece, but the seeds of that oak-strong defense-corp were planted years before – at the NHL Draft.
I give you, ‘The Crazy Eights’
Doug Zmolek8th overall1989 (He turned into Darryl Sydor through trade in 1996)
Derian Hatcher8th overall1990
Richard Matvichuk8th overall1991
Three top 10 picks – wulah - half of that bruisingly talented late 90s - early 2000s defense.
Fast-forward a decade and a half and - then Stars GM, Doug Armstrong - tried to once again build the core of the blueline through the draft – all be it sans top 10 picks.
In 2004 they drafted 5 defensemen. Among them, Mark Fistric and Nick Grossman.
2005 brought Matt Niskanen in the first round
The 2006 draft saw them use their first pick on Ivan Vishnevskiy
That promise never materialized in Dallas.
In late June of 2010 another Dallas defense reconstruction began at the draft table. Goaltender Jack Campbell was chosen with the 11th pick followed by defensemen Patrik Nemeth (41st), Alex Theriau (109) and John Klingberg (131)
2011 The Big Rig, Jamie Oleksiak arrived via the 14th overall pick
And this past summer the Stars used their 2nd pick (43rd) to grab defenseman Ludwig Bystrom
Will those three draft classes be the genesis of another run at a Cup?
Only time will tell.
But what time has always taught us is this: Defense Wins Championships.
There’s a big black banner at AAC that is testament to that.
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