8/4/18 – Thinking About the Top Prospects

I spent the last couple of weeks putting together a list of the top 25 prospects in the Dallas Stars system. Is it perfect? Nah. Is it going to be the exact same as everyone else? Nah. Am I going to end up being “right in my analysis”? I like the list, but players flame out or rise to prominence all of the time. I will certainly be very wrong about many of them.

Looking back at the list there are a few things that stand out to me about the way I put my list together compared to how others might that I want to talk about here a bit. tl;dr the links to the five stories on SportsDayDFW are at the end.

Colton Point vs Jake Oettinger

I struggled with which goalie to rank higher. Throughout the last season Point continued to get bombarded with shots behind a bad Colgate team, then got named to Team Canada for the World Juniors, and kept getting more praise.

Is that enough for Point to jump Oettinger? I think so, at least temporarily when coupled with Point taking the first shot at professional hockey. There isn’t much question that he’s better than Landon Bow so he should get the bulk of the starts in Austin. The real question is 2020 if Oettinger signs after this coming season.

With Anton Khudobin signed for two years do the Stars roll with Oettinger and Point in Texas at the same time? I can’t imagine, but they certainly could. It would be nice to see Point take over as the backup after one year in Texas though to make the question irrelevant.

Jason Robertson vs Ty Dellandrea

Dellandrea is a tough one to slot in. He was the Stars first round pick, but most everyone had him rated as a second round pick. The most aggressive ranking I remember seeing was, I think, Corey Pronman putting him as a pick in the mid-20’s. Usually that first round pick will come in pretty high on a list like this in the NHL, but I struggled with whether or not to put him ahead of Robertson.

I think with Robertson’s shot he has as much offensive upside and potential as anyone in the system despite his skating still being a work in progress. We’ve seen guys who aren’t the best skaters make names for themselves off of puck skills alone so it wouldn’t be unprecedented for him to do it too. I think too often it’s easy to focus on the negatives and lose sight of the positives. I’m going to lean towards upside at pretty much all turns, but Dellandrea makes it tough because I think he has a really high floor.

Dellandrea is much more likely to have a long career as a solid middle of the lineup guy, but Robertson is more likely to be a higher level offensive player. It’s a coin flip for me.

Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov

These two are the ones I have ranked the lowest relative to other rankings you may come across. They both have time in the AHL under their belts, and both have questions about their defense hanging over their heads. My question for both is this: is either player good enough offensively to overcome questions about their defense to be a good NHL player?

I think they’re both ultimately NHL players, but compare them to Dellandrea or Robertson.

Dellandrea has literally everything you want a prospect to have, but questions about his ultimate offensive ceiling. Even if he doesn’t produce offensively the way the Stars think he will eventually he still has the profile is a good bottom six player who can play in all situations.

Robertson has the offensive chops now with work that needs to be done on the other skills. Does Robertson have enough offensive upside to make up for lacking in those other areas? I think so, and I think that’s the main thing that puts him ahead of both of them too.

Hintz could take another step forward this year in his second season in North America. Gurianov is still young, but at some point he needs to produce like he has some top end offense in there. This is the same problem I always had with the prospect version of Jamie Oleksiak. If he hasn’t ever done it at a level that suggests he can do it, anywhere, then how long are you expecting to wait to see it come out?

College and European Prospects

College and European prospects tend to get rated lower than they should. They’re playing against adults who are physically mature. When they succeed against those guys there is probably a reason for the success. Joe Cecconi, Rhett Gardner, Riley Tufte, and John Nyberg all fall into this camp for me. Tufte not so much because he was a first round pick, but I’m definitely curious to see what the others do when/if they turn pro with Dallas.


  • Miro Heiskanen
  • Ty Dellandrea
  • Jason Robertson
  • Colton Point
  • Riley Tufte


  • Albin Eriksson
  • Jake Oettinger
  • Roope Hintz
  • Joe Cecconi
  • Adam Mascherin


  • Denis Gurianov
  • John Nyberg
  • Rhett Gardner
  • Nick Caamano
  • Fredrik Karlstrom


  • Curtis Douglas
  • Jakob Stenqvist
  • Oskar Back
  • Gavin Bayreuther
  • Jermaine Loewen


  • Tony Calderone
  • Jacob Peterson
  • Riley Damiani
  • Dawson Barteaux
  • Brett Davis

Other recent reads

Gemel Smith arbitration comparables….from within!

Stars defensemen NHLe

Stars forward NHLe

That time Grant Ledyard got walked in Game 7 of 1997


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