The NHL Draft was last weekend in Pittsburgh. The Dallas Stars added some good young talent, but one key member of last year’s team is gone. The Stars traded center Mike Ribiero to the Washington Capitals for center Cody Eakin and the Capitals second round draft pick. Ribiero recorded 63 points in 74 games last year for the Stars (18 goals, 45 assists).
The absence of Ribiero will be felt, but Eakin has tremendous potential. He recorded two points in only his second career NHL game last year against the Carolina Hurricanes. Before making his NHL debut last year, Eakin’s best season came in 2009-10 in the WHL with the Swift Current Broncos: he scored 47 goals and tallied 91 points in just seventy games.
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk should be commended for making this trade, even if it means a few fans are angry and some growing pains in the short term.
The acquisition of Cody Eakin should reap long term rewards for the Dallas Stars franchise.
With the thirteenth pick in the first round, the Stars took Radek Faska, a center from the Czech Republic. In the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) last year, Faksa led all rookies with 29 goals and 37 assists for a league high 66 points. Faska’s scoring potential is important for the Stars who are desperate for more goal scorers. Faksa may even be able contribute this year. Some experts predict that Faska will join the Stars at some point during the NHL season. He should make am impact on this team not just this year, but for years to come.
The Dallas Stars were extremely active on Day two of the NHL draft. As predicted in a previous post, they completed a couple of trades. They swapped a seventh round pick in this year’s draft for the Florida Panthers’ seventh round pick in the 2013 NHL draft. They were also able to add a seventh round pick from the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings for a seventh round pick in the 2013 NHL draft. The Stars used that pick from the Kings to take defenseman Dmitry Sinitsyn. Overall, the Stars selected eight players on day two.
Pick #43: Ludwig Bystrom-D (Member of the Swedish Jr. amateur league)
Pick # 54: Mike Winther-C (Member of Prince Albert, WHL)
Pick #61: Devin Shore-C (Member of Whitby, OJHL)
The Dallas Stars management is clearly trying to address the need for more offensive firepower. In addition to trading away Ribiero for Eakin (who, being 11 years younger than Ribiero, is hopefully their center of the future), the Stars also drafted three more centers with their first 4 picks. Out of the first 61 players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft, the Dallas Stars managed to get 4 players, and 3 of those players are centers. The Dallas Stars offense of the future will be based around some of these young centers. The Stars management looks shrewd: they realized they need more goal scoring ability, and then they went out and drafted 3 centers who are all in the top 60-70 prospects available.
Pick # 104: Gemel Smith-C (Member of Owen Sound, OHL)
Pick # 134: Branden Troock-RW (Member of Seattle, WHL)
Pick #144: Henri Kiviaho-G (Member of Kalpa Jr., Finland-Jr.)
Pick #183: Dmitry Sinitsyn-D (University of Massachusetts-Lowell)
You can find links about some of the new Dallas Stars’ players in the HUB on the homepage. Profiles for all players can be found at nhl.com.
All in all, it was a pretty successful draft for the Stars. They appear to be headed in the right direction. But all of these pieces must fit together and it is general manager Joe Nieuwendyk and head coach Glen Gulutzan’s job to make that happen. These are exciting times for the Dallas Stars and their fans. It’s a breath of fresh air, a sense of optimism surrounding the team not just for this year, but for the long-term success and future of the team. The Stars may still do some things in free agency as well. One thing is for certain. The success of this team’s draft is written in the stars.
Next week we’ll take a look at the 2012-13 Dallas Stars schedule and after some predictions as to how they’ll fare and a look ahead to some of the key games for the upcoming season.
Topics: Branden Troock, Cody Eakin, Dallas Stars, Devin Shore, Dmitry Sinitsyn, Esa Lindell, Gemel Smith, Glen Gulutzan, Henri Kiviaho, Joe Nieuwendyk, Ludwig Bystrom, Mike Ribiero, Mike Winther, NHL, NHL Draft, Radek Faska, Washington Capitals, Written In The Stars