Blackout Dallas, on behalf of the Dallas Stars, select centre Brendan Gaunce from the Belleville Bulls of the OHL.
I saw Gaunce in person half a dozen times this season, and he showed the attributes to be a scoring centre in the NHL. He has good size and vision, but his hands are what separates him from other prospects. He almost doubled his point production from his OHL rookie season and was a top offensive option for the Bulls. At 6’2″, 215 lbs, he already has NHL size and could compete physically with the top centres in the NHL. As good as he is with the puck, he might be the top forward in the draft when it comes to playing without the puck and in his own end. With Dallas needing help up the middle having not replaced Brad Richards, Gaunce would be a welcome addition a year or two down the road.
On the clock with the #14 pick is the Calgary Flames and Flame For Thought.