Dallas has prospects ‘everybody wants,’ but Nill isn’t ‘giving them up’

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At first glance, the Stars have the look of a deadline buyer — second in the Central Division, second in the Western Conference, trailing only defending champ Chicago in both.

But according to GM Jim Nill, the club might not be all that active by Feb. 29.

Why?

Because he’s loathe to part with the prospects his competitors want.

“We’ve got four young defensemen, five or six young forwards,” Nill said, per NHL.com. “We’ve got three or four guys in the top-20 scoring [Travis Morin, Brendan Ranford, Jason Dickinson] and another guy who’s out for the season in Devin Shore who was leading the league in scoring.

“When I talk about trades, when we got to make trades, that’s who everyone wants and I’m not giving them up. That’s too big a part of our future.”

It’s no secret both Nill and owner Tom Gaglardi are bullish on the club’s prospect pool. Last summer, Gaglardi raved about the club’s blueline depth, saying “we’ve got the deepest bench of defense prospects in the league quite honestly.”

As such, it wasn’t surprising to read this in Elliotte Friedman’s latest 30 Thoughts column:

In preparing for “Headlines” last weekend, I asked which teams were most insistent about adding pieces. When it came to forwards, the teams mentioned most often were Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles and the Islanders…

…On defence, it was Los Angeles, Montreal, Pittsburgh, San Jose and Tampa Bay. No Dallas was interesting, especially since I linked Dan Hamhuis to them last week, so you wonder about your intel. But they didn’t get as many mentions.

All that said, Nill has been aggressive at past deadlines. Last year, he sent veteran winger Erik Cole to Detroit and, the year prior, traded Stephane Robidas to Anaheim and acquired Tim Thomas from Florida.