Okay time to be honest. Who had heard of Denis Guryanov before the Dallas Stars drafted him 12th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft? It’s okay I didn’t know of him either. Also you know what’s funny? I’m still not sure how to spell or say his name correctly and I’m not the only one (even the Dallas Morning News). However a quick Google search tells you he is an 18-year-old Russian out of the KHL. Sound familiar? Let’s get to know the future Dallas Star and who he is being compared to.
A pattern developing in Big D: Val and Guryanov
Guryanov is already drawing comparisons to Valeri Nichushkin as they are both tall wingers that have the natural ability to score. Guryanov even listed Val as one of the players he contrast his style of play with. However, they get it done in different ways. Gruryanov uses speed and a power shot to get his majority of his scoring, but like Val uses his size and strength to attack the net. However, another European first round pick is not abnormal for General Manger Jim Neal and the Dallas Stars. These are the type of people Nill and scouts looked for when they worked with the Detroit Red Wings. In the past three NHL Drafts the Dallas Stars selected Radek Faksa (Czech Republic 2012), Valeri Nichushkin (Russia 2013) Julius Honka (Sweden 2014) and now Denis Gruyanov out of Russia. I see a pattern developing.
A good pick for the Stars and what to expect from Guryanov
From nearly all reports, this seems to be a good selection by the Stars. But nobody really knows yet. The guy I trust the most is the general manger of the team, so I’m going to let him tell you his thoughts. “When I talked to my staff, I wanted to take the best available,” Nill said. “And right from the start they said he was a top three to five pick.” For now I’m going to trust that opinion. Since Nill and company have gotten here progress has been made especially at the scouting and affiliate level. They are building a nucleus of young talent to be groomed around Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. With Guryanov, it seems it will take some time. Director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell says Guryanov will continue to play in the KHL to further develop his game before he plays in North America with the big boys. Meaning, be patient with the young Russian. Not everyone can be an anomaly like Nichushkin and Seguin. It takes time to develop these 18-year-olds but the future looks bright for the Dallas Stars and Denis Guryanov.
The future face of the NHL: Connor McDavid
If you like hockey, and I really hope you do, you know all about Connor McDavid. With all the questionable 1st round trades and selections, Edmonton’s first overall pick is a sure thing. Already being named the next Sidney Crosby, McDavid will step in as the next super star following under the wings of Crosby and Ovechkin. Look to see his name in stat lines while leading the league in scoring. Hopefully the 18-year-old Canadian can also bring the Edmonton Oilers out of the last place dwellers they have been lurking for the past ten years. We need to see that old Oilers vs. Stars playoff rivalry again.
Here’s a look at Denis Guryanov at the World Juniors under 18: