Top 10 Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars Draft Busts

(Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

The Dallas Stars can’t afford another draft bust, but draft busts are inevitable in the NHL. The Stars aren’t a perfect team. The Dallas Stars and Minnesota North Stars have had some draft busts in Texas and the Twin Cities.

That being said, I’d like to share my top ten Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars draft busts with you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

10. Scott Glennie
I’ll start my list with one of the biggest draft busts in the modern hockey era. The Dallas Stars drafted Scott Glennie eighth overall in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft. At the time, Glennie was a good pick. After all, Glennie, who played for the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, was ranked seventh among North American skaters by the Central Scouting Service.

Glennie signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Stars worth $4.95 million on July 13, 2010. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native made his NHL debut in 2011-12 but recorded zero points and was sent down to the AHL’s Texas Stars, where he scored a career-high 43 points (15 goals and 28 assists) in the regular season and ten points (six goals and four assists) in the postseason during the Texas Stars’ Calder Cup championship run, which led to a one-year, $650,000 contract.

Glennie’s contract, however, wasn’t renewed after 2014-15, as he only played in one regular season game for the Dallas Stars. Glennie was so disappointing.

9. Martin Vagner
Veteran defenseman Martin Vagner still plays professional hockey, but for the Chance Liga’s Královští Lvi and not in the NHL. Vagner was drafted 26th overall in the first round of the 2002 NHL Draft by the Dallas Stars. Previously, Vagner had a solid first season with the QMJHL’s Hull Olympiques, scoring 34 points (six goals and 28 assists) in 64 regular-season games and one point (one assist) in eight postseason games.

Vagner, however, was never signed by the Dallas Stars. The Czech Republic native re-entered the NHL Draft in 2004 and was selected 268th overall in the ninth round by the Carolina Hurricanes, but never played in an NHL game. How sad.

8. Janos Vas
Veteran forward János Vas is another Dallas Stars draft bust. Vas was drafted 32nd overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2002 NHL Draft.

Despite being a second-round draft pick, Vas never played in an NHL game. The Hungary native played for the AHL’s Iowa Wild in 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08, and the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads before playing professional hockey abroad. Vas’ current team is the Erste Liga’s DVTK Jegesmedvék. Not good.

7. Tobias Stephan
Former Swedish goaltender Tobias Stephan played 11 regular-season games for the Dallas Stars — one in 2007-08 and ten in 2008-09. Stephan split his time between the Dallas Stars and the Iowa Wild from 2006 to 2009 before having a brief stint with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2008-09 and playing professionally abroad for the NLA’s Genève-Servette HC, the NLA/NL’s EV Zug, and the NL’s Lausanne HC from 2009 to 2023.

Stephan announced his retirement from pro hockey on February 6, 2023. The Zurich, Switzerland, native was better known for his three tenures in his native Switzerland than in the South, but it is what it is.

6. Valeri Nichushkin
You probably know Russian right winger Valeri Nichushkin won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2022. But did you know Nichushkin was drafted 10th overall by the Dallas Stars in 2013? That’s right.

Before the 2013 NHL Draft, Nichushkin played for the KHL’s Traktor Chelyabinsk and Dynamo Moscow. The Russian native scored his first career goal against the Ottawa Senators on October 3, 2013, and had a solid freshman/rookie season with 34 points (14 goals and 20 assists) in 79 regular-season games and two points (one goal and one assist) in six postseason games. Nichushkin then suffered from hip and groin soreness before his sophomore season in 2014-15 and only recorded one point (one assist) in eight regular-season games. Nichushkin’s luck wasn’t much better with the Texas Stars the same year and the Dallas Stars the following year.

Nichuskin returned to Dallas in 2018-19 on a two-year, $5.9 million contract, and while he recorded 10 points (10 assists) in 57 regular-season games, his return was rather disappointing.

5. Julius Honka
Before today’s Finnish mafia, there was the OG Finn in Julius Honka. The only issue was that Honka wasn’t good. Honka was drafted 14th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2014 NHL Draft. Previously, the Finland native played for the JYP’s Finland men’s national under-18 and under-20 teams and the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos.

Honka currently plays for the NL’s SC Bern. But in Dallas, he played three seasons with the Dallas Stars, recording just 13 points (two goals and 11 assists) in 87 regular-season games after recording 108 points (26 goals and 82 assists) in 201 regular-season games, along with three points (one goal and two assists) in three postseason games with the Texas Stars in Cedar Park, Texas.

Honka was a healthy scratch in the final 35 Dallas Stars games in 2018-19 and reportedly requested a trade at the end of the season and refused to re-sign with the Stars as a restricted free agent, which wasn’t a surprise.

4. Jack Campbell
Jack Campbell is currently a goaltender for the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors while under contract to the Edmonton Oilers. Campbell began his professional hockey career in Dallas after the Dallas Stars drafted him 11th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. The Michigan native was reportedly inspired by his cousin, Marshall, to become a goaltender and initially committed to play hockey for the University of Michigan.

Campbell saw a 0-1 record in one game played for the Dallas Stars in 2013-14, and his records with the Texas Stars were better, such as a 14-14-5 record in 35 games played in 2014-15, but nowhere near his previous records with the OHL, the US National Under-18 team, and the US National Development Team. It’s safe to say Campbell’s play has decreased over his pro hockey career.

3. Brian Lawton
Brian Lawton is a former NHL player, agent, and general manager. Lawton, a center born in New Jersey and raised in Rhode Island, was drafted first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1983 NHL Draft and played in 438 regular season games between 1983 and 1993.

Lawton’s tenure in Minnesota got off to a fast start when he set the North Stars’ record for the fastest two goals scored by a rookie, at 19 seconds, in 1983, then fizzled when he didn’t record more than 44 points in a single season as a North Star. Lawson reportedly refused to report to the North Stars’ minor league affiliate and was traded to the New York Rangers in 1988. Lawson was basically a journeyman who played in eight cities over the next four years.

2. Richard Jackman
Former NHL defenseman Richard Jackman impressed a lot of scouts with 42 points (13 goals and 29 assists) in 66 regular season games and one point (one goal) in four postseason games during his rookie season with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1995-96.

The Dallas Stars apparently took note of Jackman and drafted him fifth overall in the 1996 NHL Draft. Jackman increased his point totals with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1996-97 and 1997-98. But the Toronto native didn’t see ice time in the NHL until 1999-2000 when he recorded three points (one goal and two assists) in 22 regular season games and played in 16 more regular season games in 2000-01 before being traded to the Boston Bruins in 2001. This Stars draft pick was a total disappointment.

1. Jason Botterill
Jason Botterill currently serves as the GM for the Seattle Kraken, but his NHL career wasn’t so memorable, especially as a left winger for the Dallas Stars in 1997-98. The Stars drafted Botterill 20th overall in the 1994 NHL Draft. Previously, Botterill played hockey at the University of Michigan and helped the Wolverines to the 1996 NCAA national championship. In addition, Botterill was the only Canadian to win a gold medal in three consecutive World Junior Hockey Championships.

As you can see, the expectations were high for the former Wolverines standout and Western Canada native. Botterill played four games with the Dallas Stars in 1997-98 and another 17 in 1998-99. The Stars later gave up on Botterill and traded him to the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999.

Botterill’s pro hockey career unexpectedly ended in 2004 after he suffered a concussion during a Rochester Americans game against the Syracuse Crunch. Botterill’s career ended in one of the worst ways possible, but at least he recovered and succeeded as a hockey executive.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
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Ana Kieu

Ana Kieu is a journalist by trade. Her love for sports shows in her writing, editing, and podcasting work. She writes about the NHL for Inside The Rink.

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