Moving on in our series analyzing Dallas Stars draft picks since 2005, we have the 2009 NHL Draft. The Stars struggled during the 2008-09 season, finishing third in the Pacific Division and missing the playoffs. This gave them the 8th overall pick in the draft that summer. While it is never a guarantee that a player reaches their potential, the hopes are high for the top picks in each draft. Following a miserable 2008 Draft, the Stars desperately needed to perform in 2009.
Early Rounds 1 & 2
First Round (8th overall): Scott Glennie, Center (Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL)
Glennie was a highly touted prospect out of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-1, 201-pound center was a point-producing machine for the Brandon Wheat Kings. Unfortunately, after the Stars drafted him, he did not make an impact at the NHL level. He made his NHL debut in the 2011-12 season, which was the only NHL game of his career. After that game, he was sent back down to the American Hockey League, where he remained for the rest of his short career before retiring in 2017.
Second Round (38th overall): Alex Chiasson, Right Wing (Des Moines Buccaneers, USHL)
Chiasson was a big and powerful winger at 6-foot-4. He was nearly a point-per-game player during his one season in the United States Hockey League for the Des Moines Buccaneers. After being drafted, he spent three seasons at the University of Boston before becoming a professional. During his first full pro season in 2012-13, he made his NHL debut, playing in the final seven games of the Dallas Stars season. He made an immediate impact, scoring six goals and one assist in those seven games. Unfortunately for him and the Stars, they were well out of the playoffs, and he was unable to continue to grow during that season.
The following season, he was not nearly as impressive, tallying only 35 points in 79 games. His real contribution to the organization came when he was a part of a trade that brought Jason Spezza to Dallas; Chiasson was traded along with some prospects to the Ottawa Senators for Spezza and Ludvig Karlsson in the summer of 2014. Spezza was a big player for the Stars in his first three seasons, tallying over 60 points in all three. He was also key to their magical 50-win season in 2015-16. Chiasson has since moved on to play for the Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals, and Edmonton Oilers.
Middle Rounds 3 & 4
Third Round (69th overall): Reilly Smith, Right Wing (St. Michael’s Buzzers, OJHL)
Reilly Smith was a speedy winger coming off a monster season, scoring 75 points in 49 games in the Ontario Junior Hockey League. Similar to Chiasson, Smith spent three seasons playing college hockey after being drafted by Dallas. He made his NHL debut following the 2011-12 college season, playing in three games for the Dallas Stars. The following season, he split his time between the NHL and AHL but had trouble producing offense at the NHL level.
After scoring only nine points in 37 games, the Dallas Stars decided to trade him to the Boston Bruins. This trade would mark one of the biggest blockbuster trades in franchise history. On July 4, 2013, the Stars traded Reilly Smith, Loui Erikkson, and two prospects to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Ryan Button.
This was a huge win for the Stars as Seguin instantly became a top player after finding chemistry with Jamie Benn on the top line. Seguin exploded for 84 points in 80 games during his first season in a Stars sweater and has been a consistent scorer ever since. He has cemented himself not only as an elite scorer but as a true two-way, top-line center in the league.
Peverley was also a productive player for Dallas, racking up 30 points in a checking role during the 2014-15 season. Unfortunately, he suffered a collapse on the bench during a game and was forced to retire from hockey due to an existing heart condition. He has worked within the Stars’ organization ever since, though, and is currently the director of player development. Smith has gone on to play for the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights.
Late Rounds 5-7
Fifth Round (129th overall): Tomas Vincour, Right Wing (Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL)
The big winger from the Czech Republic was a productive player during his time in the WHL. Once drafted, it did not take him long to make his NHL debut. He split time between the Texas Stars and Dallas during the 2010-11 season, scoring only two points in 24 games with Dallas. The following season, he played in 47 NHL games but still struggled offensively, scoring only 10 points. After playing only 15 NHL games the following season, he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche at the trade deadline in exchange for Cameron Gaunce. Vincour played a few games with Colorado before moving on to the KHL and Czech leagues.
Sixth Round (159th overall): Curtis McKenzie, Left Wing (Penticton Vees, BCHL)
After being drafted by the Stars, McKenzie was the third player on this list to play collegiate hockey. He played four seasons at Miami University before joining the Texas Stars at the end of the 2012-13 season. His first NHL games came two years later during the 2014-15 season when he played 36 games for the Dallas Stars. He struggled to find his groove, though, only contributing eight points and a minus-8 rating on the season. His biggest opportunity came in the 2016-17 season when he played 53 games with the Dallas Stars.
He was a fourth-line player but added 16 points and was a solid plus-5 rating. Since then, he has spent nearly his entire career in the AHL, where he was named captain of the Texas Stars. After playing in seven NHL games the following season, he signed a contract with the Vegas Golden Knights in the summer of 2018. After two seasons with their AHL affiliate, he signed with the St. Louis Blues but has not played an NHL game since leaving Dallas.
Nick Leddy, Defenseman (Eden Prairie H.S. (Minn.)) (16th overall)
Leddy was as close to being ready for the NHL as you can be when he was drafted by the Minnesota Wild. After finishing his college career at the University of Minnesota in 2010, the Wild traded his rights to the Chicago Blackhawks. Leddy made them regret that decision almost immediately as he ramped up to the NHL level in his first season. He played in 46 games for the Blackhawks that season, recording seven points. Other than a 31 game stint in the AHL in 2012-13, he has been an NHL defenseman ever since.
From 2013-2019, he missed only eight total games between the Blackhawks and the New York Islanders, who he was traded to in 2014. During that time, he recorded over 30 points in all but one season, including a career-high 46 points in 2016-17. He was a huge part of the defensive-minded Islanders core and continues to play two-way hockey at a high level to this day. Overall, he has played in 776 NHL games and recorded 336 points. He also helped the Islanders during some deep playoff runs, including coming within one win of the Stanley Cup Final in each of the last two seasons.
Other Notable Players
Ryan Ellis (11th overall), Chris Kreider (19th overall), Kyle Palmieri (26th overall), Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Tomas Tatar (60th overall), Tyson Barrie (64th overall), David Savard (94th overall), Craig Smith (98th overall), Mattias Ekholm (102nd overall), Mike Hoffman (130th overall)
Overall Draft Rating
This year is a strange one since none of the players selected made a real impact on the team directly. However, drafting Reilly Smith and Alex Chiasson turned out to be one of the better moves the Stars have made. When the Stars traded those players, bringing in Seguin and Spezza, both were huge moments for the franchise. Spezza made an immediate impact and was a key part of their success in their high-flying offensive days before moving on to the Toronto Maple Leafs, while Seguin was a home run. He had instant chemistry with captain Jamie Benn, was a dominant offensive player, and eventually shifted himself into the NHL’s elite as a top-line, two-way center. Those two trades alone are enough to boost this rating into the 7/10 given. It took a few years, but eventually, the Stars were able to rebound from their unfortunate 2008 draft with the trades made.
Sam Nestler is a Dallas Stars contributor for the ‘The Hockey Writers’. Growing up in New Jersey, Sam has been playing hockey since he was 7 years old. Developing a love for writing in college, Sam uses his hockey knowledge to create analyses and articles on every aspect of the game. Sam also hosts his own podcast on Spotify, the “Slapshot Sammy’ podcast, breaking down action across the NHL and NCAA. Check out the podcast here, and give his latest article a read!