2010-11: Julius Honka played for the JyP Jyvaskyla U16 team and was an assistant captain for Finland’s U16 team. He scored 6 goals with 22 assists in 35 regular season games for JyP with 38 penalty minutes and in three playoff games was scoreless with 4 penalty minutes. In seven international contests for Finland he had five assists.
2011-12: Honka skated for the JyP U18 team as a 16-year-old and played for Finland’s U17 team. In 35 regular season games he scored 8 goals with 7 assists and had 32 penalty minutes. Honka scored 2 goals with 5 assists and had 6 penalty minutes in 13 games for the Finland U17 squad.
2012-13: Honka joined JyP’s U20 team and played for Finland’s U18 team in both the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial and 2013 World Junior Championship tournaments. Playing in 42 regular season games for JyP’s A junior squad he scored 4 goals with 11 assists and was -4 with 47 penalty minutes. In five games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament he had 2 assists and was +2 with 4 penalty minutes. Skating for Finland’s bronze medal-winning team in Sochi, he scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes. Honka was selected by the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos in the first round (34th overall) of the 2013 CHL Import Draft.
2013-14: Honka made a successful jump from Finland to North America — skating for Swift Current in the WHL — and played for the gold medal-winning Finland U20 team at the World Juniors. He got off to a fast start with the Broncos, scoring 12 goals with 24 assists in his first 35 games prior to the World Junior Championship. Honka scored 16 goals with 40 assists and was +10 with 52 penalty minutes in 62 regular season games. The Broncos finished second in the East Division and lost to Medicine Hat in the first round of the playoffs. Honka scored 2 goals and was -5 with 6 penalty minutes in six playoff games. In seven games at the WJC he had 1 assist and was +1 with 6 penalty minutes. Finland defeated Sweden, 3-2, in overtime in the gold medal game. Honka was selected for Team Orr in the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He was ranked 11th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Dallas in the first round (14th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Stars in July 2014.
Honka is a slick, puck-moving defenseman. With a hard, accurate right-handed shot he is a threat from the point and is masterful on the power play unit. Honka can dominate in offensive situations, but also understands positional play. He handles physical play despite his lack of bulk and stature.
Honka impressed at the Traverse City rookie tournament and in the Stars training camp before being assigned to AHL affiliate Texas to start the 2014-15 season. Making his North American pro debut as an 18-year-old, he has skated in every game for the defending AHL champions and has seen his role increased with the recall of John Klingberg. He was chosen to play for Finland in the 2015 World Juniors. Still a bit thin and undersized for the NHL level, his skills and instincts suggests he can be a top-four offensive defenseman as he grows and matures.