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Scouting The Dallas Stars Late Round Draft Picks

Round 3 - Pick 13 (74 overall)

Esa Lindell - D, Jokerit (Finland)
6'2"/~190 lbs

The Stars took another European defender in the third round, this time the young Finnish defenseman Esa Lindell. He's played pretty much his entire career with Jokerit, the giants of the Finnish league and he's done very well there. Last season with the Jokerit U-20 squad, he had 51 points (21 goals) in 48 games. That's a great mark for a defenseman and shows the offensive potential that he has. He's not that great defensively, but he's got plenty of time to improve and it's his offensive skill that really makes him intriguing. Erik Karlsson just won the Norris Trophy (albeit controversially) and he's a all about the offense (he's a terrible defender).

With three defensemen on their way to the AHL this year, this is one of those picks to restock the prospect pool across the pond. If he really grows his game, he could be a power play quarterback for the team in the future with a bit of size to boot. This is a good project pick that could pay big dividends.

Round 4 - Pick 13 (104 overall)

Gemel Smith - C, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
5'10"/~165 lbs

After all those big bodies in the first three rounds, the Stars went with a small, quick center in Gemel Smith. He's the fastest player of all the Stars picks this year (one of the fastest in the entire draft) and has a pretty good two-way game to boot. He's just a hard working player that will fight on both sides of the ice and can be used like a Swiss Army knife, anywhere on the ice. He's also got a great work ethic so no red flags in his game there.

The only problem is his size, He may outwork guys to the puck but he's going to have trouble against big defensemen along the boards. His speed is a huge asset though and makes him an intriguing project. I wouldn't mind seeing him as a third/fourth liner ~3-5 years down the road if he can keep working hard and improving his overall game. There have been plenty of small forwards to succeed in the NHL and Smith certainly has the work ethic and mentality to make it.

Round 5 - Pick 13 (134 overall)

Branden Trook - RW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) (@BTroock)
6'3"/~205 lbs

The Stars first pick in the fifth round was the first non-center/defenseman. Winger Branden Troock has had a pretty tough career. He missed the entire 2010-2011 season and played just nine games in the 2009-2010 season due to head and neck injuries. He was finally healthy this year and had himself a nice season.

He's a prototypical power forward with his size and skill-set. He's a rough physical player that's going to bull his way through the opposition. He's a pretty good skater but it's just an extra dimension to his physical play. He's going to ram through defenders in his pursuit of the puck and destroy guys along the boards. He's a very raw prospect as he's not had a lot of playing time in the last couple of years and hasn't really progressed his game.

He's going to need a good amount of time before the Stars are able to see if he can contribute to the team, but the skills as a power forward are there and the Stars always need one of those. He could be a valuable late line guy. Dallas has had good success finding gems in the fifth round though, so this could be another one.

Round 5 - Pick 23 (144 overall):

Henri Kiviaho - G, KalPa (Finland)
6'3"/~190 lbs

There are a lot of goalies coming through the Stars system and entering the AHL, so this was a pick to help bolster the lower levels. Dallas scouts a lot around Sweden and Finland and Kiviaho must have been one of those guys that they really liked. Who knows if we ever see him come to the States as he's going to need a good amount of time in Finland continuing to improve. He and Kari Lehtonen are countrymen though, so maybe Kari can help him out during the off-season when he returns home. He should start for his youth team for the foreseeable future.

Round 7 - Pick 2 (183 overall):

Dmitry Sinitsyn - D, UMass-Lowell (NCAA)
6'2"/~190 lbs

Dallas moved up in the seventh round to take this youngster and must have had their eye on taking him before the draft began. He's spent two of the last three years playing for the Dallas Stars U-16 team, so there's probably a good level of familiarity on him with the team.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.