Photo: Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, who has 23 career NHL games on his resume, has spent most of the 2013-14 season with Texas in the AHL (courtesy of Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
With excellent scouting and drafting, the Stars have had a lot of inexperienced pros force their way into the Texas Stars lineup in recent years. With an experienced coach leading the charge, the Stars have been rather successful despite the youth.
Photo: Winger Alex Guptill has two goals, two assists through his first five games of 2013-14, contributing to Michigan’s 4-1-1 start to the season (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
The Dallas Stars, amid management and coaching changes, have gathered quite an impressive herd of prospects in recent years. The aforementioned front office changes obviously have a trickle-down effect with regard to the on-ice product and as a result, many of these terrific prospects have gotten at least a taste of NHL action.
Photo: Rookie pro Alex Chiasson was sidelined by injury after a great debut in Dallas. Upon his return during the AHL playoffs, other injuries in the Texas lineup forced him to make the difficult shift to center (courtesy of Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
Despite a resolute late push by the now-younger Dallas Stars in the regular season, they were unable to clinch a playoff berth for the fifth consecutive season. And once again, upheaval was afoot. The Stars sacked head coach Glen Gulutzan after two seasons but not before canning general manager Joe Nieuwendyk as well. Conversely, at the minor league level, the Texas Stars enjoyed a very successful regular season and won a playoff round.
Photo: Nate Condon (left), one of Minnesota's top scorers this season, tries to maintain possession against a leaping check from North Dakota's Danny Kristo (MTL). (courtesy of Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI)
The 2008 Entry Draft saw players such as Steven Stamkos, Erik Karlsson, and Jordan Eberle taken in the opening round. The Colorado Avalanche, however, missed out on the first round of the draft having sent their first round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the deal that sent Adam Foote back to Denver.
Photo: Playing in his rookie pro season, Michael Sgarbossa was leading the Lake Erie Monsters in scoring when he was called up to the NHL club on January 29th. (courtesy of Russell Lansford/Icon SMI)
The depth and talent developing at the pro level is an organizational strength for the Colorado Avalanche. Players like Michael Sgarbossa, Mark Olver, and Tyson Barrie got off to strong starts in the AHL and are now making an impact for the Avs in 2013. Meanwhile prospects Stefan Elliott, Brad Malone, and Cameron Gaunce are knocking on the door and are more than ready to step in as injury replacements this season.