News – NHL – Bichsel was at the top of the list of Stars
Dallas Stars scouting director Joe McDonnell returned to the selection of Lian Bichsel in 18th place in the last NHL Draft. For Joe McDonnell, the Swiss has many skills, evolves with adults and above all has an impressive size. However, he wants him to improve offensively.
« He’s a guy who’s been at the top of our list all season. His size makes him stand out, that’s obviously the biggest thing you’ll notice about him. His skating ability is very, very good for that size « He has good balance and his attacking game is not perfect yet. He played in an adult league and played very well there. When he plays with players his age, that’s where that you can see his attacking game, he can actually give more in that regard. I think it’s just confidence. When you play in a men’s league, as a youngster, you don’t want to make a difference. « mistake. So it takes time to develop that confidence and the only way to do that is to keep playing at that high level. He’s a hard worker, he knows the road to get there and now he has to do it ».
Last year, Bichel wore the colors of Leksand in Sweden where he played 29 games for 1 goal and 2 assists. He should continue his career there and gain experience. Next August, he will wear the colors of the Swiss team during the junior world championship and will be closely watched by the staff of the Stars. He will also be invited to development camp, rookie camp and probably main camp for the Stars.
The Stars General Manager Jim Nill also had a watchful eye on the Swiss. Even if the Stars could have selected a striker, the club had plenty of them in the last draft, they needed defenders.
« It was a big discussion because we had two strikers that we had rated high, but I told my staff not to get stuck on position, » Nill said. « He’s got a nice size, a good skater for his height and for his age. He’s very competitive, and we think there are more attacking advantages that will develop. He’s in a really good position, he plays in a men’s league and he’ll be playing for the Swiss team at world juniors, so he’ll have a lot of hockey to come. »