Ottawa Senators Official Website FRANÇAIS Official Site of the Ottawa Senators
Great seats still available TICKETS TICKETS

DRAFT: Bloodlines help, hinder scouts' view

Youngest of Staal hockey family, Jared offers up an intruiging study

Tuesday, 05.6.2008 / 10:36 AM ET / Features
Share with your Friends

DRAFT: Bloodlines help, hinder scouts\' view
Being the youngest Staal brother can either a boon or a burden. Nobody is quite sure how it will play out for Jared Staal when the 2008 NHL Entry Draft rolls around.

Jared Staal registered 21 goals and 49 points in 60 games played with the OHL's Sudbury Wolves.
Jared Staal, the 17-year-old forward for the Sudbury Wolves, is a bit of a cautionary tale for scouts.

To whom, exactly, do you compare him?

Do you examine his strengths and weaknesses as compared to the other top 2008 NHL Entry Draft-eligible forwards, like Steven Stamkos, Kyle Beach and Colin Wilson? Or do you measure him against one of his three NHL-playing older brothers, Eric, Marc and Jordan?

“We caution to not weigh it too heavily,” said Central Scouting director E.J. McGuire of the Staal family name. “I think it’s a factor that should be brought in, but how far into the inner ring do you bring it?”

That will be the question facing the 30 NHL teams when they convene at Scotiabank Place on June 20-21 for the 2008 entry draft.

Jared, the youngest of four brothers from Thunder Bay, Ont., had a strong second season in the Ontario Hockey League. In 60 games, he led the Wolves with 21 goals and was second with 49 points on a team that scored the fewest goals in the OHL. He also was selected to play in  the OHL All-Star Game.

The numbers aren’t quite as impressive as the ones put up by Eric or Jordan in their draft years. In 2002-03 with the Peterborough Petes, Eric had 39 goals and 98 points in 66 games, and was taken second overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2003. Jordan had 28 goals and 68 points in 68 games in 2005-06 for Peterborough and then was taken second overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006.

Marc, the only defenceman in the family, had 26 points in 65 games in 2004-05 with Sudbury before being selected 12th overall by the New York Rangers in 2005.

All three older brothers are already in the NHL. Eric has already won a Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes. Jordan is still alive in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, playing third-line centre for the Penguins as they enter the Eastern Conference final against Philadelphia. Marc, in his first year, made it to the second round of the playoffs before being knocked out, ironically, by Jordan and the Penguins.

Physically, Jared measures in at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, slightly smaller than Eric (6-3, 200), Marc (6-3, 196) and Jordan (6-4, 215). But at age 17 -- he won’t turn 18 until August -- and with just two junior seasons under his belt, both his numbers and size could grow.

“Visually, genetically, he looks like (his brothers),” McGuire said.

Scouts, though, have been trying to treat Jared more like a Smith than a Staal. Al Jensen, who follows the OHL for Central Scouting, said regardless of Jared’s last name, he would be a very well-regarded prospect, with some projecting him to be chosen late in the first round or early in the second.

When you look at a guy like that, when you’ve got the size like that, he’s got the smarts, he’s got decent puck-handling skills. … I see a big upside (and) not just because he’s a Staal. - Al Jensen
“When you look at a guy like that,” said Jensen, “when you’ve got the size like that, he’s got the smarts, he’s got decent puck-handling skills. … I see a big upside (and) not just because he’s a Staal.”

While being judged against three well-known NHL-playing brothers can be tough, McGuire believes there are more pluses than minuses. He points to one significant off-ice advantage.

“He’s got his summer time when the (Staal) boys go out and say; ‘If you want to make it, Jared, you don’t do that.’ Whereas Joey Smith goes out with the boys, and one is a baseball player, so they’re athletes, but they don’t have that depth of advice. And that’s significant.”

In total, having the Staal name certainly helps Jared, but Jensen says the proof has to come on the ice. Big name or not, talent trumps all.

“Obviously you know his brothers have been successful,” said Jensen. “Obviously, maybe you keep a little bit in the back of your mind, but you can’t totally rely on that. You have to see the kid perform (and) I saw the kid perform. He drove to the net, he’s a big kid, he’s strong. Maybe he’s not a top-end guy like his brothers are, but he definitely has potential.”

Contact Adam Kimelman at

Author: Adam Kimelman | Staff Writer




1 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
3 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
4 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
5 BOS 73 36 25 12 193 190 84
6 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
7 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
8 BUF 73 20 46 7 138 245 47


E. Karlsson 72 19 40 10 59
B. Ryan 68 18 35 11 53
K. Turris 72 21 31 1 52
M. Stone 70 18 33 16 51
M. Hoffman 69 26 20 23 46
M. Zibanejad 70 19 24 5 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 53 13 13 -10 26
A. Chiasson 66 11 15 -3 26
D. Legwand 70 9 17 3 26
A. Hammond 14 0 1 .946 1.67
C. Anderson 14 12 7 .925 2.44