As you may already know, the Dallas Stars have quite a few picks this year in a very deep draft, four of which are in the first two rounds. It seems as though we will probably see a trade on draft day. Regardless, our job is to highlight any possible draft prospects. A name buzzing around the Stars community has been Hunter Shinkaruk.
This Calgary native enters the draft having been a major offensive threat in the WHL for the past several years. He can definitively be defined as a sniper. Shinkaruk has phenomenal hands and is very creative. He is a fluid skater and possesses a knack for scoring which many teams would love to have on the front end, especially the power play.
His potential for being an elite scorer at the NHL level coupled with his recent success at the Junior level has placed him consistently in the top 10 in most rankings for this years' draft class. His size (5'11), along with questionable defensive abilities, have kept many speculating about his peak talent. Even with these drawbacks, Shinkaruk managed to put up 86 points in 64 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers.
I truly believe Shinkaruk could be one of the next young elite scorers in the NHL. His work ethic and skills on the ice are valuable assets which could launch him into the pros come next year. On the other hand, Shinkaruk brings me back to the 2009 entry draft when the Stars selected Scott Glennie at the 8th overall pick. Even though he is merely 22 years old, doubt looms over his ability to earn a top spot on an NHL roster as expected. Shinkaruk is a very similar winger to Glennie as they possessed similar qualities in the WHL. Glennie had as impressive stats as Shinkaruk and played an identical style of game.
Do the Stars want to spend a very important draft pick on another potential scorer? I don't think so. There is quite a bit of offensive talent in the pipeline as of right now and our priorities are now with defense and finding that long term consistent centerman.
Overall, I do not seeing Dallas picking Shinkaruk at 7-10. My guess is we don't want to use our high draft pick on players with notable gameplay flaws (defense) rather than drafting safer and assuredly filling a hole in the future lineup. Below is a highlight video which showcases some of Shinkaruk's offensive talent in the WHL.
Remember, keep it tuned to Starsinsider.com and @stars_insider for live coverage of the draft from Newark, NJ. Feel free to contribute your own thoughts and opinions whether you agree or disagree!