2010 NHL Entry Draft: Jack Campbell – "This is a dream come true."

Campbell.jpgJack Campbell knew he was going to be picked by the Dallas Stars. He
may have been a bit unsure about it when defenseman Cam Fowler dropped
unexpectedly to the Stars, but all along he just had the feeling that
this was the organization he was going to.

He couldn’t be happier.

Campbell
had a big smile on his face after he was picked by the Stars are #11,
as he stated several times how excited he was to be able to be a part of
an organization with a history of turning out quality NHL goaltenders.
He did admit that that he was a bit worried, however, when the Stars
pick came up and two of the top defensemen in the draft were still on
the board.

“I had no idea where I was going to end up,” Campbell said. “Fowler
kept dropping, and
this really is the true definition of the draft. You just don’t know
what’s going to happen and you really just have to enjoy the process. To
be picked by the team I wanted to be [picked by] the most, it’s really a
dream come true.”

Some may have been caught off guard by Campbell going this high and
to the Dallas Stars, but depth at goaltender was a big need for the
Stars as they have just two young goaltenders in the system and neither
of them considered to be elite.

General manager Joe Nieuwendyk says that even with Fowler there, the
Stars were going after Campbell.

“Our guys felt most strongly about this kid,” said Nieuwendyk. “After
Hall and Seguin,
the next player that had the best chance to be an impact, franchise
player was Jack Campbell. He was the one guy right from the start, and
when he was there at #11 we took him.”

The Dallas Stars now have the best young goaltender as part of their
system, a player who should be with the NHL within just a few years.
Campbell is a tremendously gifted goaltender, who thrives on the
pressure that is on his shoulders when his team needs him most.

“I love the pressure moments and when the game is on the line I love
to be the one in net,” Campbell told Pro Hockey Talk after he was
drafted. “I love that pressure, I want to be in there when I’m 18 years
old and
show the Stars what I’m capable of in the NHL. I know I have a lot of
work to do and Dallas has a plan for me and I’m going to do everything I
can to be ready.”

Campbell was the first American picked in the draft, something he
certainly wasn’t expecting with Cam Fowler supposed to go ahead of him.
With Fowler being picked by the Anaheim Ducks at #12, Campbell said that
he’s looking forward to some divisional games against the defenseman.

Campbell is chomping at the bit to make a difference for the Stars as
soon as possible, as he knows what the depth of the position was like
in Dallas before he was drafted. With the history the Stars have with
goaltenders, and the fact that Campbell has idolized Marty Turco, he
knows he has the potential to be the franchise goaltender for the Stars
sooner than later.

“Dallas is a great organization but the goaltending depth in Dallas
was what was really appealing to me and something I noticed before the
draft,” Campbell said when asked what it was about Dallas that he liked.
“I want to make sure I jump at this opportunity and make the best
of it.

“My goal is to be a franchise goalie in the NHL. I know I
have a long way to go to get there, but playing night in and night out
in Windsor will be a great experience and I’m really looking forward to
it.”

That’s certainly a bit of a ways off. Despite his talent and his
desire to start winning games in a Stars jersey as soon as possible,
he’s likely on his way to go play with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL.

Of course, Stars fans are questioning this pick considering that
Dallas just signed Kari Lehtonen to a three-year contract. He was
supposed to be the franchise goaltender, and now the Stars passed up a
defenseman and grabbed another “franchise goaltender”.

The reality is that Campbell won’t be with the Stars for a few years,
and now the Stars have a legitimate backup option for Lehtonen before
he eventually takes over as the starting goaltender. By the time he’s
there, he’ll be just 22 or 23 years old — the perfect age for a young
player to start his time as the long-term, franchise goaltender.

That’s exactly what Campbell is prepared to be ready for.

“I’m going to be working as hard as I can so that when [Dallas] calls
me I’m ready to step in and play and I’ll be ready.”

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    Eddie Lack expects to be released from hospital on Monday night

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    As scary as the situation was for Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack, the good news continues to pour in.

    First, the Hurricanes provided an update that he had “full feeling in his extremities” while under observation at a hospital. This followed the promising sign that he was able to give a “thumbs up” gesture while being taken off the ice on a stretcher after the Hurricanes’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

    The best news came late on Monday night, however, as Lack himself tweeted that he expects to head back home as early as this late evening/early morning:

    That’s fantastic news. Video of that scary collision with Andreas Athanasiou can be seen in the video above this post’s headline.

    Blues, Flames take care of business (Islanders … do not)

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    For a while there, it seemed like the idle Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs would be Monday’s “winners.” That changed when the Carolina Hurricanes salvaged a standings point and the Tampa Bay Lightning stormed back to beat the Blackhawks.

    Still, there were some teams who came through (beyond the Lightning) and those who fell flat, so let’s cover some of the results in short.

    West teams get it done

    Unlike their counterparts out East, West teams jockeying for position avoided “unforced errors” in losing to non-playoff teams.

    The St. Louis Blues beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 while the Calgary Flames topped the Colorado Avalanche 4-2. Johnny Gaudreau generated his 200th point (and 201st) in Calgary’s win, while Alex Steen generated four assists. (Vladimir Tarasenko also enjoyed a three-point night.)

    This keeps the Blues and Flames in position to advance. St. Louis is one point behind the Nashville Predators for third in the Central while the Flames are a point behind both the Sharks and Oilers for second and third in the Pacific (while remaining in shouting distance of the division title).

    East teams stumble, some get over it

    Again, the Lightning fought through hurdles to win and the Hurricanes managed that “charity point.”

    Overall, East teams struggled. The New York Islanders fell to the Predators by a score of 3-1. Your mileage may vary on the Florida Panthers’ chances, especially after they fell 4-2 to the Buffalo Sabres.

    Brian Gionta scored in his 1,000th game as Buffalo won, by the way.

    Here’s what the race for the final spot in the East looks like after tonight:

    Final wild card: Bruins – 84 points in 75 games played

    Lightning – 83 points in 75 GP
    Islanders – 82 points in 75 GP
    Hurricanes – 80 points in 74 GP

    Victor Hedman might just force his way into the Norris argument

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    For quite some time this season, the Norris Trophy race felt a bit like “Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and [insert token finalist].” As it turns out, Victor Hedman is making it a pretty interesting three-horse race.

    With Burns and Karlsson idle on Monday, Hedman continued to go on the best offensive tear of his already-impressive career, contributing three assists to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-4 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

    As much credit as forwards Nikita Kucherov and Jonathan Drouin deserve in pushing Tampa Bay in Steven Stamkos‘ absence, Hedman has been an all-world blueliner for a Lightning team with a defense that isn’t really surrounding him with great talent.

    He’s serving as a workhorse when his team needs him the most:

    Now, when you look at the numbers, it’s probably fair to say that Hedman comes in third among the likely finalists in simple categories:

    Brent Burns: 27 goals (!), 72 points in 75 games, +16 rating, 24:52 time-on-ice average

    Erik Karlsson: 14 goals, 67 points in 74 games, +7, 26:53 minutes per game (fourth highest average in the NHL)

    Victor Hedman: 15 goals, 65 points in 72 games, +2 rating, came into Monday with average of 24:15 minutes per game.

    Looking at those breakdowns, you might wonder why someone wouldn’t just flippantly hand Hedman the “bronze medal” and a pat on the back … but things get more interesting if you ponder the all-around impact of those three.

    Now, traditional-thinkers who slam risky defensemen for their mistakes often overstate such arguments. Both Burns and Karlsson tilt the ice in their teams’ favors, usually to profound degrees.

    Still … Hedman locks opponents down to a truly elite degree and scores at a similar rate. Hedman could very well own the “two-way” argument; you could perhaps see his case most clearly when you compare his “HERO” chart to those of Burns and Karlsson, especially from the perspective of conceding shots.

    Again, Burns remains the likely winner, and he would be a deserving one. You could make a solid Hart Trophy argument for Burns, in addition to tabbing him as the Norris frontrunner.

    Even so, voters would be wise to take Hedman’s case seriously, especially as the Lightning continue their improbable playoff push.

    Lightning storm back against Blackhawks, finish one point out of playoffs

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    Who would have thought that the Tampa Bay Lightning would rally back from a 4-1 deficit tonight? Then again, who expected them to be so close to a playoff spot mere weeks ago, when they were sellers at the trade deadline?

    The Lightning continue to show that they won’t just roll over and die, scoring four unanswered goals to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime on Monday.

    While Jonathan Drouin was a catalyst for the second-period rally, it was an unlikely scorer who clinched the victory, as Yanni Gourde ended a thrilling run of 3-on-3 chances with the overtime-winner.

    Really, it might have been fitting. Things looked glum when Tomas Jurco scored his first goal of the season against the Lightning, then the mood was totally flipped when Gourde’s second tally of 2016-17 grabbed a huge win.

    With the Islanders losing to the Predators, the Hurricanes only managing a “loser point” against the Red Wings and the Bruins idle, Tampa Bay is a breath away from a playoff berth:

    Final wild card: Bruins – 84 points in 75 games played

    Lightning – 83 points in 75 GP
    Islanders – 82 points in 75 GP
    Hurricanes – 80 points in 74 GP

    Yes, all of a sudden, a long-shot postseason run seems quite attainable.

    Maybe the Lightning would prefer it if we kept counting them out, though?