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2010 NHL Entry Draft: Jack Campbell - “This is a dream come true.”

Image (1) Campbell-thumb-200x300-11507.jpg for post 2301

Jack Campbell knew he was going to be picked by the Dallas Stars. He may have been a bit unsure about it when defenseman Cam Fowler dropped unexpectedly to the Stars, but all along he just had the feeling that this was the organization he was going to.

He couldn’t be happier.

Campbell had a big smile on his face after he was picked by the Stars are #11, as he stated several times how excited he was to be able to be a part of an organization with a history of turning out quality NHL goaltenders. He did admit that that he was a bit worried, however, when the Stars pick came up and two of the top defensemen in the draft were still on the board.

“I had no idea where I was going to end up,” Campbell said. “Fowler kept dropping, and this really is the true definition of the draft. You just don’t know what’s going to happen and you really just have to enjoy the process. To be picked by the team I wanted to be [picked by] the most, it’s really a dream come true.”

Some may have been caught off guard by Campbell going this high and to the Dallas Stars, but depth at goaltender was a big need for the Stars as they have just two young goaltenders in the system and neither of them considered to be elite.

General manager Joe Nieuwendyk says that even with Fowler there, the Stars were going after Campbell.

“Our guys felt most strongly about this kid,” said Nieuwendyk. “After Hall and Seguin, the next player that had the best chance to be an impact, franchise player was Jack Campbell. He was the one guy right from the start, and when he was there at #11 we took him.”

The Dallas Stars now have the best young goaltender as part of their system, a player who should be with the NHL within just a few years. Campbell is a tremendously gifted goaltender, who thrives on the pressure that is on his shoulders when his team needs him most.

“I love the pressure moments and when the game is on the line I love to be the one in net,” Campbell told Pro Hockey Talk after he was drafted. “I love that pressure, I want to be in there when I’m 18 years old and show the Stars what I’m capable of in the NHL. I know I have a lot of work to do and Dallas has a plan for me and I’m going to do everything I can to be ready.”

Campbell was the first American picked in the draft, something he certainly wasn’t expecting with Cam Fowler supposed to go ahead of him. With Fowler being picked by the Anaheim Ducks at #12, Campbell said that he’s looking forward to some divisional games against the defenseman.

Campbell is chomping at the bit to make a difference for the Stars as soon as possible, as he knows what the depth of the position was like in Dallas before he was drafted. With the history the Stars have with goaltenders, and the fact that Campbell has idolized Marty Turco, he knows he has the potential to be the franchise goaltender for the Stars sooner than later.

“Dallas is a great organization but the goaltending depth in Dallas was what was really appealing to me and something I noticed before the draft,” Campbell said when asked what it was about Dallas that he liked. “I want to make sure I jump at this opportunity and make the best of it.

“My goal is to be a franchise goalie in the NHL. I know I have a long way to go to get there, but playing night in and night out in Windsor will be a great experience and I’m really looking forward to it.”

That’s certainly a bit of a ways off. Despite his talent and his desire to start winning games in a Stars jersey as soon as possible, he’s likely on his way to go play with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL.

Of course, Stars fans are questioning this pick considering that Dallas just signed Kari Lehtonen to a three-year contract. He was supposed to be the franchise goaltender, and now the Stars passed up a defenseman and grabbed another “franchise goaltender”.

The reality is that Campbell won’t be with the Stars for a few years, and now the Stars have a legitimate backup option for Lehtonen before he eventually takes over as the starting goaltender. By the time he’s there, he’ll be just 22 or 23 years old -- the perfect age for a young player to start his time as the long-term, franchise goaltender.

That’s exactly what Campbell is prepared to be ready for.

“I’m going to be working as hard as I can so that when [Dallas] calls me I’m ready to step in and play and I’ll be ready.”