Nill, Jackson talk draft picks

Here are quotes from Stars GM Jim Nill and assistant GM Les Jackson on some of the team’s draft picks from Sunday. The European scouts weren’t available to talk about a couple of the guys, so I just provided a brief line on each of them.

Valeri Nichushkin, RW
6-4, 202 pounds
Shoots: Left
Chelyabinsk (KHL)
6 points (4 goals, 2 assists in 18 games/9 points (6 goals, 3 assists) in 25 playoff games
1st round/10th overall

Jackson: “He’s got a lot of attributes that fit for the NHL. It will be interesting to see how he does. He is one of the most talented guys in the draft. He has all the tools to be a good player. He just has to grow and mature. He handles the puck well, he has good instincts that fit for where he was selected.”

Jason Dickinson, C
6-1, 179 pounds
Shoots: Left
Guelph (OHL)
47 points (18 goals, 29 assists) in 66 games
1st round/29th overall

Jackson: “He’s a good worker. He’s got a good combination of skating, skill, instincts and he’s really competitive and he understands the game. This kid has a good foundation.”

Nill: “He’s a big, strong kid, strong skater, plays 200 feet, plays hard on both ends, has got good skills. He’s intriguing. He’s got a little bit of a Ryan Kesler type of game to him. We like his size. He’s got good puck skills, can play a physical game. He was someone we had ranked pretty high.”

Remi Elie, LW
6-0, 203 pounds
Shoots: Left
London (OHL)
17 points (7 goals, 10 assists) in 65 games
2nd round/40th overall

Jackson: “He’s a lot like Dickinson, he just didn’t have a lot of opportunity to play. He’s a talented kid. He plays in a great situation with great coaches, with a winning team. I think next year you’ll see a big bump in his game, but he’s a pretty gifted kid.”

Philippe Desrosiers, G
6-1, 182 pounds
Catches: Left
Rimouski (QMJHL)
3.07 goals against, .900 save percentage in 43 games
2nd round/54th overall

Nill: “We watched him all year. He was very good for Team Canada. They won the gold medal at the Under-18 championships. He was their No. 1 goalie, went in there as the backup and ended up taking the No. 1 position over. He’s very athletic and we like his upside.”

Jackson: “He’s a talented kid with a great attitude. I suspect the foundation is pretty secure. With continued coaching, games and all that, he has a chance to advance for sure. “

Niklas Hansson, D
6-0, 175 pounds
Shoots: Right
Rogle (Sweden, Jr.)
23 points (3 goals, 20 assists) in 39 games
3rd round/68th overall

Scouting report: Highly skilled, offensive defenseman. Moves puck well. Very good power play quarterback.

Nicholas Paul, LW
6-2, 202 pounds
Shoots: Left
Brampton (OHL)
28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in 66 games
4th round/101st overall

Jackson: “Big, raw kid. He’s got some things to work on in his game, but he has some good offensive talent. He understands the game and he competes. He’s raw, but he has upside for sure.”

Cole Ully, LW
5-10, 164 pounds
Shoots: Left
Kamloops (WHL)
50 points (22 goals, 28 assists) in 62 games
5th round/131st overall

Jackson: “Very talented, slippery. Good puck game and dangerous offensively. He’s a good selection for where we picked him. He’ll get lots of opportunities in Kamloops this year that will be good for him. He has some good offensive talent.”

Matej Paulovic, LW
6-3, 187 pounds
Shoots: Right
Farjestad (Sweden, Jr.)
17 points (5 goals, 12 assists) in 34 games
5th round/149th overall

Jackson: “He’s a big right-handed kid. He’s a Slovakian kid playing in Sweden and he has some talent. We saw him at the U18 in August and this year Kari (Takko) and Rickard (Oquist) followed up in Sweden. He looks like a kid who has potential to grow and advance. We’re pretty excited to get him that late.”

Aleksi Makela, D
6-1, 195 pounds
Shoots: Left
Ilves (Finland, Jr.)
17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) in 37 games
7th round/182nd overall

Scouting report: Skilled, puck moving defenseman who put up some pretty decent numbers in Finnish junior hockey last season.

3 Responses to “Nill, Jackson talk draft picks”

  1. I hoe more “D” yo follow, somehow.

    • The Stars are already pretty deep on defense, especially after acquiring Morrow, Connauton and Gaunce at the trade deadline and trading for and signing Sergei Gonchar in June. They have some very good prospects in the pipeline, too, including Oleksiak, Nemeth, Bystrom and Jokipakka. They probably could use a true, top pair, shutdown d-man until Oleksiak is fully ready, but there’s still time to find that player.

      • I agree, we’ve got plenty of young D who need time to develop. If we’d drafted a defenceman instead of Nichushkin it would have been a mistake. We need experience to help our young guys develop, Gonchar fits that and it would be nice if we could sign someone like Scuderi too.


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