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: Goaltender Jack Campbell put together a strong rookie AHL season playing behind the Texas Stars, which captured the best record in the AHL’s Western Conference during the regular season (courtesy of Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
In the second edition of the Dallas Stars
prospect awards we find a repeat winner on the blue line, another Stars prospect graduates into the NHL with a boom, and last year’s breakout prospect becomes this year’s most improved – much to the relief of Stars fans across the globe.
Photo: Senior winger Curtis McKenzie finished the 2012-13 season third in points and first in penalty minutres for the Miami Redhawks (courtesy of Tim G. Zechar/Icon SMI)
The Dallas Stars are not afraid to delve into the European ranks at the pro or junior level. In fact, many of the Stars best defensive prospects were drafted out of Europe and have worked their way up the ranks fairly quickly. Former Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk, a Cornell alum, did not at all mind going for NCAA or NCAA-bound players. As a result, the Stars boast a pretty impressive pipeline coming in from the college ranks.
Photo: Detroit’s signing of Western Michigan defenseman Dan DeKeyser has improved the team’s breakout and transition game (courtesy of Steven King/Icon SMI)
Below is the middle section of the Hockey's Future Spring NHL Team Rankings, the staff's ranking of each NHL team's system based on the strength of the entire prospect pool. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The ranking is done twice a year, with this edition being an update to the Fall ranking.
Photo: Goaltender Jack Campbell (left) and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak remain the top two prospects in the Stars' pipeline. Oleksiak is one of several young guns who have seen time in the Dallas lineup this season (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Despite a bit of flux in recent years from ownership on down, the Dallas Stars have made it a point to restock their organizational depth with quality prospects. They continually bolster one of the better prospect stables in the league and have a great mix of talent and player types that can fill virtually any role that opens up in the organization in the near future.