Last weekend, Minneapolis hosted the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The Dallas Stars had a total of six selections in the draft, including the 14th overall pick. Jamieson Oleksiak, the 6'7" defenceman out of Northeastern, was their first round draft pick. There is obvious excitement to see a player of this caliber in Cedar Park, but when?
To help moderate expectations for the 2011 draft class, I took a look at the players from the 2010-11 Texas Stars who were originally drafted by the Dallas Stars organization. There are, of course, other players who were drafted on the team, such as Aaron Gagnon, Dan Spang and Brent Krahn, but I wanted to look only at those who have come up fully through the Dallas system.
You can see from the table that the majority of the drafted players who joined Texas for the last campaign were selected in the 2006-08 entry drafts. Dallas is not a club that rushes their prospects through to the NHL generally. Players like Jamie Benn have been the quickest moving prospects in the Stars system and yet Benn still played two years with the Kelowna Rockets after being drafted before breaking onto the scene in the NHL.
So when do we expect players like this to start filtering up to Cedar Park? The earliest to expect any of the 2011 draftees would be 2013-14. Most of these players will be just beginning their second year of college/major juniors play in the fall. Both of those take four years, generally, but like college football, players can opt to leave early to join the professional ranks (with several technical and confusing rules and caveats).
For now, continue to watch these players' development in the junior, overseas and college circuits. Even more of the Dallas Stars 2007-09 draft class should begin pouring into Cedar Park next year.