Monday, August 25, 2014

2015 Pool Projections: Dallas

Are the Dallas Stars going to just blindside everyone this year? The Summer of 2014 could quite possibly the best follow-up to a pretty darn good Summer in 2013, as Stars management pulled off a massive deal in each year and this team has skyrocketed in potential for the coming season.

Landing a kid like Tyler Seguin in 2013 was a huge coup for the Stars, as they found themselves a legitimate centre to play with scoring winger, Jamie Benn, but the team did lack a little bit of depth, which made for an early exit in the playoffs.

So when Jason Spezza became available out of Ottawa, it appears that the Stars were ready to work out a deal, which they did, giving away some prospects for some talent right now and the Stars are now one of the more dangerous teams down the middle.  The impact for us poolies, also becomes rather immediate, as the team has some real scoring threats and now with a quality centre in the number two hole, Dallas may find themselves with a few more hockey pool worthy players than they've had in the last few seasons.

Forwards 14/15 Proj Cap Hit Defense 14/15 Proj Cap Hit Goaltenders 14/15 Proj Cap Hit
Tyler Seguin 90 5.750 Alex Goligoski 55 4.600 Kari Lehtonen 80 5.900
Jamie Benn 85 5.250 Sergei Gonchar 30 5.000 Anders Lindback 15 0.925
Jason Spezza 75 7.000 Trevor Daley 30 3.300
Ales Hemsky 50 4.000 Jordie Benn 20 0.700
Ryan Garbutt 40 1.800
Valeri Nichushkin 40 0.925
Erik Cole 35 4.500
Antoine Roussel 35 2.000
Vern Fiddler 30 1.250
Shawn Horcoff 25 5.500
Patrick Eaves 10 0.650
TOTAL 59.050
Colton Sceviour 20 0.650 Jamie Oleksiak 10 0.894
Rich Peverley 0 3.250 Kevin Connauton 5 0.683
Cameron Gaunce 5 0.650

First Round Picks

With all of this potential, it is really hard not to project them well.  Management has done all the right things to reward this team, likely giving them more confidence and this should, in theory, make their best players even better.  The Stars, by my estimation, will have three or four reasonable 1st round picks, depending on how deep your pool is.  Seguin and Benn should be locks for the opening round, while Kari Lehtonen should benefit from a high powered team, enough to be an opening round selection.  Spezza doesn't quite make the cut in my projections, but the excitement around the Stars may bump his stock up to someone else.

Most Intriguing or Breakout Player

Besides all the forwards that I've gushed about thus far in the post, there is a real chance that Alex Goligoski could break out this year, eclipsing his previous hockey pool scoring ranking of 155th, which he achieved in the shortened 2013 season.  Goligoski had 6 goals and 42 points in 2014, which was good enough for 166th overall, but with the depth on this team expanding, the power play possibilities are certainly there and scoring should be up in those even strength situations as well.  Goligoski has been touted with the upside, now it's his time to show it.

Other Pool Worthy Forwards

The Stars also added Ales Hemsky to the mix in this off-season, who should provide a decent depth option in Dallas, which means he could be a good pick-up in the mid-rounds of the draft.  Youngsters Ryan Garbutt and Valeri Nichushkin may also be reasonable picks around there as well.  The team has some decent depth, which they were lacking in their shorter playoff run last year.  I think if the Stars gain that extra little bit of confidence, they could be a force to reckon with.

Other Pool Worthy Defense

The Stars are not rocking a lot of defensemen on their projected roster, but what they do have is pretty good, including their breakout player.  When you add veterans Sergei Gonchar and Trevor Daley to the mix, that's a quality top three defensemen, comparable to most other NHL teams, to a point.  I think with all the excitement that surrounds the Dallas Stars this season, they should be able to pick up enough points to make an impact in the pool.

Goaltending Situation

In the Dallas net, we already know that they have a 1st round-type goalie in Lehtonen, but behind him this year will be the towering Swede, Anders Lindback, who spent the 2014 season in Tampa Bay.  Lindback has been shifting around the league over the last couple of seasons and has managed to put up some reasonable points in his stops.  Last season, he won 8 games and should be good for a few more, if Lehtonen gets rested every few games.

Team To Pick From Late?

Once the Stars sort out their depth, especially on the blueline, you can make a more informed decision on the matter, but there are a few depth players in the forward position that may be able to help on this excited Stars team.  Antoine Roussel has been a name that has been thrown around as a possible sleeper possibility, if you were looking for a forward late in the draft.


In mid-July, the word on Rich Peverley was that he was working on making a return to the NHL, but given his condition, he has a long way to go.  It sounds like he is making progress to make a return, but at this point, he would be a long shot to start the season in October and his projections won't be updated until there are substantial reports on his progress.\

Unsigned Players and Salary Cap

Salary CapAs of this post, I am making the assumption that Peverley will start the season on the Long Term Injury Reserve and his $3.25 million cap hit will be off the books until he can return to the ice.  This leaves the Stars with only 17 players on their projected roster, including only four defensemen, coming in at roughly $59.1 million.  The Stars still have forward Cody Eakin and defenseman Brenden Dillon still to sign from restricted free agency.

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