There are several reasons that lead me to believe the Stars could be poised for a draft day trade on June 26th. Today I’ll take a closer look at three of them.
Currently the Stars hold the 12th overall pick. The 2015 NHL draft has been widely hyped for the past three years. Along with potential generational talents Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel is a very deep and talented pool of prospects. Therefore, the price to acquire a first round pick maybe as high as it’s ever been.
Now for my three reasons for a potential Stars draft day trade…
1.) Jim Nill’s Draft History
When Nill was assistant GM of the Detroit Red Wings, he took great pride in his scouting and development staff’s ability to find players in mid-to late rounds. Detroit actually had more seasons without a first round pick than they did with a first round pick. In fact from 2002-2006 the Red Wings only had one first round pick.
In 2011 the Red Wings traded their first round pick (24th overall) for two 2011 second round picks (35th and 48th overall). They made a similar move in 2009 trading their late first round pick (29th overall) for an early second round pick (32nd overall) and a third round pick (75th overall). Again in 2006 the Red Wings traded their first round pick (29th overall) for two seconds (41st and 47th overall).
During Nill’s tenure with Detroit, the Red Wings also traded first round picks for proven NHL talent. In 2003 and 2004 they traded their first round picks to acquire Mathieu Schneider and Robert Lang.
Fast forward to 2015 and it will be Nill’s third season leading the Stars draft table. In 2013 and 2014 the Stars kept their first round picks and drafted forward Valeri Nuchushkin and defenseman Julius Honka. Nill is due for a significant draft day trade.
2.) Team Needs Scream Draft Day Trade
While the 12th overall draft pick will be an excellent prospect, it is extremely unlikely that he will be ready to step into a 2015-16 Stars roster spot. After an early playoff exit in Nill’s first season, followed by missing the playoffs altogether in his second season, anything but a mid to deep playoff run in 2015-16 would be a major disappointment.
In a recent Q&A with Dallas Morning News reporter Mike Heika, Stars owner Tom Gaglardi all but confirmed the Stars will be fairly quiet in free agency this summer. “As a rule of thumb, you’re going to pay too much or give too much term to get a free agent. I think it’s more likely that we would be more involved in trade talk to tinker with the makeup of our team.”
The Stars have done a nice job of building depth at forward and puck-moving defensemen. They have several prospects who are close to being NHL regulars.
Jim Nill said Brendan Ranford from AHL PTO to NHL debut is a good story for younger players. Shows how draft status doesn’t matter. #TxStars
— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) February 19, 2015
Don’t get me wrong I still think the Stars need a stronger physical presence on the blue line. However, the defensemen projected to go in the first round of this year’s draft are known more for being offensive, puck-moving defensemen.
Still cringing at the thought of the Stars trading the pick? True you can never have enough quality forwards and puck-moving defensemen, but maybe the Stars can address a more pressing need, ahem, physical/defensive defenseman and/or goaltending by trading the pick.
Speaking of goaltending, for those who feel the goaltending needs an upgrade, this year’s draft isn’t projected to have a goalie picked in the first round. However, could Kari and his untradeable contract potentially be packaged in a draft day trade?
3.) Supply and Demand
If Halifax forward Timo Meier or university of Michigan defenseman Zach Werenski is still available when the Stars reach the podium it could turn into a dramatic bidding war. There has been a lot of pre-draft buzz about both players. That being said, many mock drafts have the Stars taking Meier and some also have Werenski available.
It has been an unusual offseason and technically the offseason hasn’t officially started yet. Pittsburgh has made it publicly known they want to add a 2015 first round pick.
Boston and New Jersey have new GMs looking to put their stamp on things. The Chicago Blackhawks who are still playing, are already dreading the offseason due to major salary cap problems. Toronto blew up their management team and coaching staff and recently added the highest paid coach in NHL history by signing former Red Wings and Ducks coach Mike Babcock. A likely Maple Leafs roster shake-up remains on the horizon. Edmonton hasn’t won a playoff round since 2006 yet they are suddenly hemorrhaging elite forwards as a new coach and GM take over. San Jose? Yep, count them in as well.
Somehow Montreal and the New York Rangers have remained above the drama. However, now with the Rangers being knocked out of the playoffs they might also join the fray.
What do Stars fans predict for June 26th?
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I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree is Sociology from Bridgewater State College. I have covered amateur hockey prospects with Texas roots for the scoutingreport.org, and I am a Dallas Stars writer for The Hockey Writers. I can be reached via Twitter @EdTexmass09.