Jack 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.
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
“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
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
“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
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.”