The Dallas Stars got back into the playoffs in 2018-19 and were inches away from beating the eventual Stanley Cup Champions in round-two.
Their first-round picks in 2013 (Valeri Nichushkin) and 2014 (Julius Honka) have not developed like the Stars hoped. However, they have hit on a number of draft picks, including Esa Lindell (No.74 Pick in 2012), Roope Hintz (No.49 Pick in 2015) and Miro Heiskanen (No.3 in 2017).
With Lindell signed for six years, John Klingberg inked for three more seasons and Miro Heiskanen to get a big contract in a few seasons, the Stars blueline is locked up. Dallas will likely look to add a high-end forward to their prospect pool. Right now, they have Denis Gurianov, Jason Robertson, Ty Dellandrea and Riley Tufte as their best forward prospects, but none of then project as first-line forwards.
With the No.18 Overall Pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Dallas Stars select…
Raphael Lavoie — C/RW — Canada 🇨🇦
Lavoie is coming off of a great season with the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). The 6-foot-4, 198 lbs. forward uses his size and strong skating to get to the dangerous areas on the ice and finishes plays off with a deadly release. Lavoie scored 32 goals with 41 assists (73 points) to rank third on the team in points. After a strong regular season, Lavoie ratcheted up his performance in the postseason, leading Halifax to the Memorial Cup with a QMJHL Playoff-high 20 goals and the second-highest point total (32) in 23 games. In the Memorial Cup, Lavoie had three points (2G / 1A) in four games with Halifax losing in the final.
The first thing that you notice with Lavoie is his frame. He already has NHL-size and has time to fill-out even more. Despite being one of the taller forwards in the draft class, Lavoie skates very well and knows how to utilize his reach to his advantage. The playoff performance speaks to how talented the Montreal native is and he projects as the future No.2 centre in Dallas. This pick would give the Stars a strong trio of centres with Tyler Seguin, Lavoie and the hard-working Dellandrea.
A puck-possessing machine with speed, size and excellent awareness in the offensive zone. He is a versatile forward who can wear many hats from start to finish, and he is capable of taking over a game by himself. Lavoie owns an excellent shot, both for its quick release and also for its velocity, and his penchant for creating his own chances expands the ice for his linemates. — Steve Kournianos (The Draft Analyst)
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