Over the course of the past five NHL seasons, the Dallas Stars have become an offensive juggernaut.
Led by Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, the Stars have averaged a whopping 2.94 goals per game since the 2013-14 campaign — a rate which ranked Dallas as the league’s fifth-most potent force during that period of time. However, despite this massive output, the Stars have regularly failed to reach the postseason. Mired by thin defending and a seemingly perpetual turnover in the crease, Dallas’ inability to keep the puck out of their own net has left the franchise searching for credibility through their wealth of elite talent.
Fortunately for the Stars, a number of their top young prospects are well-suited to aid the franchise in these particular areas of need.
Stanley Cups: One
2017-18 Record: 42-32-8; 92 Points
2017-18 Top Scorer: Jamie Benn ; 36G, 43A, 79PTS
Farm System Grade: B+
Top 10 Prospects:
- Miro Heiskanen
- Ty Dellandrea
- Denis Gurianov
- Roope Hintz
- Jake Oettinger
- Colton Point
- Jason Robertson
- Riley Tufte
- Adam Mascherin
- Liam Hawel
The State of the Stars’ Farm System
The Stars boast an extremely intriguing and promising farm system, primarily due to the fact that the organization is overflowing with depth at each and every position of the ice.
In terms of prospective forwards, Dallas features two potential studs in Ty Dellandrea and Denis Gurianov. In Dellandrea, the Stars hold an impeccable two-way forward who is as lethal offensively as he is responsible in his defensive zone. With great size and strength, Dellandrea could prove to be the steal of the 2018 NHL Draft given his professional playing style and 13th overall selection.
Moreover, Dallas holds Gurianov — the team’s first round choice in the 2015 NHL Draft. Although his development has been slow and steady, Gurianov’s ability to influence the outcome of any given game will have been well worth the wait once he arrives at the the NHL-level. Set to embark upon his third AHL campaign this season, a quick and lethal start from Gurianov could command ice time with the Stars in the near future.
For Dallas, the strength of their farm system only grows when we inspect their developing defencemen.
Leading the way on the Stars’ blue line for years to come will be Miro Heiskanen, the team’s first round choice in the 2017 NHL Draft. As the third-overall selection in the event, Heiskanen brings poise, composure, and confidence to the ice on a nightly basis. Already known for his devastating offensive abilities, Heiskanen will surely become an unstoppable force once capable of playing a sound two-way game at the NHL-level.
Following closely behind Heiskanen on the Stars’ blue line is Roope Hintz, Dallas’ second round choice in the 2015 NHL Draft. Following three seasons of excellence at the Liiga-level and an additional campaign of seasoning in the AHL, Hintz now appears ready for the rigours of the NHL. Fresh off of a 20-goal season with the Texas Stars, Hintz is a dynamic offensive defenceman slowly yet surely polishing his all-around game.
Finally, there is the Stars’ crease.
Rounding out Dallas’ positional depth are goaltenders Jake Oettinger and Colton Point — two elite and consistent netminders who will surely battle for the Stars’ starting role in the immediate future.
Oettinger, the 26th overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft, is an intimidating netminder given his 6-foot-4 frame who has been remarkably consistent with Boston University in recent years. Then, there is Point, a Hobey Baker Award finalist last season owing to his work with Colgate University who stands poised to make the jump to the AHL-level this season.
Further, mix in the likes of Riley Tufte, Jason Robertson, and Adam Mascherin, and the Stars’ prospect pool can be viewed as not only extremely deep but insanely talented.
One Stars Prospect to Watch
He’s one of the Stars’ most promising prospects, and, one of the organization’s more NHL-ready players.
Dallas truly did steal Dellandrea at 13th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, as he was long projected to be made a late first or early second-round pick. However, the Stars saw a player of immense skill and ability in Dellandrea, and as such did not hesitate in adding him to their growing yet already impressive prospect pool.
In Dellandrea, Dallas added a mature two-way player capable of playing a strong all-around game. Although he is not an elite offensive player, Dellandrea is remarkably consistent in his production and can be counted on to drive his team’s offensive attack. Set to enter his third season of play with the Flint Firebirds of the OHL, an impressive season from Dellandrea will speak volumes with regards to his NHL potential given the dismal state of the Firebirds’ roster.