The Dallas Stars have drafted Julius Honka from Swift Current of the WHL with the No. 14 overall pick at the 2014 NHL Draft.
The 5-11, 174-pound native of Finland made great trides when he came overseas and really improved his defensive game, which is a pretty good thing considering he’s a defenseman, albeit an offensive defenseman who patterns his game after Erik Karlsson.
He finished with 16 goals and 40 assists to lead all Swift Current defensemen.
“Let’s just say that when you go to a game and you see his name in the lineup, you’re excited to watch the game because he’s got about four or five different gears. You think he’s just skating normally and he puts it in another gear, then another gear. Excellent vision and on-ice awareness. He reads the play so well sometimes he’s two or three steps ahead of his own teammates.”
His height will always be a question mark, but what he lacks in height, he makes up for in speed, acceleration and good vision to make up for his shortcomings. If he can gain some strength over the next couple years and play sound defense on the blue line, he’ll be a top-six defensemen.