JESSE Hogan has the potential to be "a genuine star of the competition", Melbourne forward line teammate Chris Dawes says.
Despite the hype surrounding him, Hogan is yet to play an AFL game after being sidelined by a debilitating back injury in 2014.
But the good news for Demons fans is that the 19-year-old is fighting fit and is expected to be ready to make his AFL debut in round one next year.
Dawes said Hogan, who re-signed with the Demons until the end of 2017 late last year, had all the hallmarks of being one of the best forwards in the AFL in years to come.
"The thing that makes me so confident that he's going to be a genuine star of the competition is that he's got that competitiveness, that aggression and willingness to use his body against big guys that you usually see key-position players take a few years to develop," Dawes said on Tuesday.
"He's almost got that innate in him."
Dawes said Hogan's work-rate for such a young player was exceptional and it was in that area that he separated himself from his contemporaries.
Dawes made a point of having regular conversations with Hogan throughout last year and he said the pair had developed a strong relationship.
Hogan is likely to feature as the Demons' focal point up forward in 2015, and Dawes said he was obliged to take some of the heat off his younger teammate.
With highly-rated draft prospect Patrick McCartin a strong chance to join the club with pick No. 2 in Thursday's NAB AFL Draft, Dawes' role will only take on greater significance.
"That's part of my role, particularly in the years going on from now," Dawes said.
"[On-field and] off-field mentoring Jesse and potentially another high draft pick who's a key position forward, that's another role for me… to protect them on field a bit so they can find their feet."
Dawes said coach-in-waiting and current assistant Simon Goodwin had settled in well to his new role.
Goodwin's responsibility will revolve around development before transitioning into assisting midfield coach Ben Matthews.
He will take the reins when Paul Roos steps aside as senior coach at the end of 2016.
Dawes is an ambassador for the 'Walk against Family Violence', and he joined teammates in a march through Melbourne's CBD on Tuesday afternoon.