Draft day is a time when teams look to the future.
The Dallas Stars—holding three selections at the 2024 NHL Draft—made moves that will impact their short-term and long-term future. 

Draft Selections


That is how you could briefly summarize the club’s draft; all three selections, the smallest draft class in franchise history, are at least 6 feet tall. 

Emil Hemming

Picked at 29th overall on Day 1 of the draft, Hemming joins an emerging crop of young talent in the Stars pipeline. The Finnish winger stands a 6’1” and weighs about 205 pounds. Numerous scouting outlets and experts had Hemming ranked somewhere between 21-40 in their pre-draft reviews. The only exception is in Central Scouting’s list of European skaters (#6). 

Elite Prospects describes Hemming as a “heavy shooter,” “puck handler,” and a “two-way forward.” After joining TPS in Liiga (Finland’s top professional hockey league) last season, the 18-year-old collected 11 points in 40 games. Some project Hemming to be a complete power forward by the time he reaches the NHL. Barring any trade, the Stars might have picked Jamie Benn’s replacement. 

Niilopekka Muhonen

Try saying that 10 times fast. Muhonen is the tallest skater Dallas drafted. Coming in 6’5,” the Finnish defenseman is praised for his skating ability and physical edge. He will likely need at least a couple of seasons of development in the Finnish league before playing hockey in North America. The Stars parted ways with two defensive defensemen – Chris Tanev and Ryan Suter – over the weekend.

Perhaps the organization’s fifth-round (#158 overall) draft pick can be a defensive anchor on the blue line. TSN analyst and former Stars Director of Player Personnel (1998-2000) Craig Button ranked Muhonen as high as 45th in his consolidated rankings on eliteprospects.com. 

William Samuelsson

Selected 222nd overall in the seventh round, Samuelsson is a long-term project. He can set up teammates as well as wrangle the puck away from the opposition along the boards. Scouts like his determination, specifically noting his smart hockey IQ.

The Swede forward is not listed on a lot of pre-draft rankings, marking him as a wild card. Samuelsson, albeit younger and brand new, joins a successful pipeline of forwards that includes Mavrik Bourque (30th overall, 2020), Antonio Stranges (123rd overall, 2020), Wyatt Johnston (23rd overall, 2021), Logan Stankoven (47th overall, 2021) and, hopefully, Hemming. 

Trading Tanev Away

Chris Tanev is no longer under the rights of the Dallas Stars. The trade deadline splash lived up to expectations. He finished fourth in the NHL this season with 207 blocked shots. He blocked the most in the playoffs with 73 without reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

Despite the success, the Stars traded Tanev to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Max Ellis and a 2026 7th-round pick. Elliott Friedman reported on his blog he suspects Toronto is going to try to sign the rugged veteran to a six-year deal worth $4M per season.

It is not surprising the Stars could not work out a deal with the pending unrestricted free agent.

They saw what happened with fellow blueliner Suter as well as veteran forwards Benn and Tyler Seguin declining in productivity, not living up to their $9M+ AAV deals signed in 2016 and 2018, respectively. 

PHOTO: Dallas Stars

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