The Dallas Stars went to St. Paul, Minnesota looking at physical tools and going after players with size in the 2011 NHL Draft.
With the playoffs underway, the Dallas Stars have proven adept at acquiring top-shelf NHL talent under General Manager Jim Nill, who has now been at the helm for three years. Other avenues of procurement have yet to pay such immediate dividends, but the Stars have some good players in every major league – including college hockey and the European leagues. Although some of the players are off the radar for the casual fan – and perhaps even management – others put together some encouraging work in the 2015-16 season.
The 2015 NHL Draft saw six defensemen from Finland selected for only the second time since the draft was reduced to seven rounds in 2004. Though none of those players were selected in the top two rounds — as current Pittsburgh Penguin Olli Maatta was in the 2012 draft class that was previously the largest — the 2015 draft class has increased the number of NHL-drafted defensemen playing in Liiga. This has helped to expand this list to a top 10 after listing just five players last year. Read more»
With the addition of former Mestis club KooKoo, Finland’s Liiga in 2015-16 will feature 15 teams for the first time in league history. But, while the Kouvola-based squad should enjoy an intense rivalry with neighboring SaiPa Lappeenranta in southeastern Finland, things aren’t likely to change at the top of the league standings. Read more»
It has been a trying year for many in the Stars’ minor league affiliates. In the AHL the high amount of roster turnover and personnel changes has left Texas a lesser group than the Calder Cup champions of a year ago. Derek Laxdal is struggling to get ideal hockey out of this group and the frustration has been evident at times. Many prospects have not taken major steps forward in the first half of the season, but as adaptation occurs, the potential still exists for this talented group to emerge.
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