TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 14: 2011 Hall of Fame inductee Joe Nieuwendyk is interviewed by the media during a photo opportunity at the Hockey Hall Of Fame on November 14, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The second in a series breaking down the prospects the Dallas Stars will be choosing from with the No. 13 pick in the NHL Draft.
As I've stated before, the Stars have a lack of depth and skill at the center position and it should be the number one target for the team during this year's draft. Owner Tom Gaglardi came out this week and said that center will be a priority in the draft; Colton Sissons is one of the centers (in a group of four or five) that should be around when the Stars pick at number 13.
The 6'1", 190ish lb 18-year-old is the 14th best North American skater in this year's draft, and the fifth best center, according to Central Scouting. He's spent the last two seasons playing for the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL, registering 41 points in each of those seasons.
He was second on his team in goals (26) and third in points, with 13 of those goals coming on the power play, a team high. He would have had even higher totals but he missed some significant time due to a concussion that he suffered in February.
Sissons has split his time between winger and center throughout his career, though he has been a winger for most of this season. He's a born scorer though so no matter where he is on the ice, he'll score goals in bunches.
No team can say they wouldn't like some more scoring punch, especially Dallas and he would certainly fit in with a playmaker like Loui Eriksson. He's got a cannon of a shot and above average vision with the puck. He's a ferocious forechecker and certainly has a lot of offensive potential, but that's not where all his value is.
He might be the best two-way forward in this draft, and he plays a tough physical game, grinding for every puck along the boards. There are many scouts out there that think he's without a doubt the best defensive forward in this draft and with the way that the NHL playoffs have gone this year, guys like that are going to be coveted.
He's smart defensively: he will rarely be out of position and is more than willing to throw his body to block a puck. The Stars could always use guys like that, especially with his top-six potential. Don't look at his +/- during his two years in the WHL. +/- is the most worthless stat in all of sports and tells nothing about a player.
As with all players, Sissons does have some flaws. He's a plodding skater and won't be flying past anyone (though Dallas has plenty of those guys as it is) and he's going to need a good amount of time before reaching the NHL. He's still really young, raw and he won't make that immediate jump to the big time. He'll need two or three years of play through leagues like the AHL before he's really able to make an impact.
He's also going to need some more time working on his game if he's moved to center. The Stars are terrible on face-offs as it is and Sissons isn't exactly great in that area. The 13th pick might also be a little high for him as he's most likely going to go around the 20th pick.
It would be close to impossible to find someone that makes an immediate impact for the team at where they stand in the draft though, so someone like Sissons would be a great pick for the future of this team. If Dallas is really willing to go defensive minded without actually picking a defenseman, Sissons would be a top candidate for the 13th pick.