Photo: Florida Panthers' forward Jonathan Huberdeau formed a potent trio in February with Peter Mueller (R) and Drew Shore (courtesy of Juan Salas/Icon SMI)
With the lockout-shortened season, most teams will reach the midway point of their 48 game season sometime over the next week. In terms of the race for the 2013 Calder Trophy, most of the front-runners from the season's opening month continued to shine.
Photo: Defenseman Brendon Dillon (right) is among the top rookie defensemen in the NHL this season. Dillon was signed by the Stars as an undrafted free agent in March 2011. (courtesy of Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Welcome to the February 2013 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various competition levels who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind. This edition features a number of defensemen who have asserted themselves recently, both offensively and in their own zone. We also check in on a pair of WCHA netminders who are experiencing opposite fortunes as their season winds down.
Photo: After notching 37 tallies a season ago, Matt Fraser is again leading the Texas Stars in the goal-scoring department in 2012-13. (courtesy of John Rivera/Icon SMI)
Another season, another bench boss in Cedar Park, Texas, where the Dallas Stars top minor league affiliate hones its skills and patiently waits. On their third coach in as many seasons, some of the more seasoned Stars have seen a number of different looks, schemes, and systems while a talented group of rookies is learning the professional game for the first time. Past the quarter pole, the Stars seem more than competent. They stand second in the division and fifth in the tight Western Conference.
Photo: The off-season acquisition of center prospect Cody Eakin, pictured here with the Washington Capitals, strengthened the the Dallas Stars' organizational depth down the middle. (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI)
After a series of very promising drafts, the Dallas Stars prospect pipeline is glowing radiantly as hockey seasons across the Northern Hemisphere begin to get their respective sea legs before the ponds freeze over this winter. Still lacking a stable full of blue-chip stallions, the club from Dallas can trot out an impressive lineup of high quality players at any position.
Photo: Acquired from Sarnia during the 2011-12 season, Brett Ritchie is expected to be a key cog in the IceDogs' offense in 2012-13. (courtesy of Terry Wilson / OHL Images)
With terrific drafting and progressing development, the Dallas Stars have quietly amassed one of the finest prospect pools in the National Hockey League. While it might be “standing room only” to start out in the minor leagues and some European pro leagues, the Stars will ultimately prevail with a stable full of exciting prospects who will garner heavy focus throughout the season.