The Dallas Stars ice breaker is tomorrow at the Galleria in Dallas at 11:00am, and then later in the day Stars prospects will take on Carolina Hurricanes prospects at the Traverse City tournament at 3:00pm central. It's not quite as good as regular season hockey by any stretch of the imagination, but it's the official start of a busy month of September and we've been waiting five long months.
Unlike the last few seasons, one of the Traverse City games will be telecast on NHL Network thanks to the New York Rangers and their MSG Network. The Stars will take on the Rangers at 5:00pm Central on Sunday and the game will be carried live on NHL Network in the U.S. and replayed later at 8:00pm.
We're going to have a gameday thread here at Defending Big D and lots of chatter during the game so be sure to join in the fun as we watch our first hockey action of the year.
The Traverse City Roster will be as follows...
Dallas' last three first round draft choices (Jack Campbell, Scott Glennie, Jamie Oleksiak) should all be on display along with some other familiar names in the system like Ondrej Roman, who will be with the Texas Stars once again this year, and Matt Fraser who had a sensational year in the WHL and Memorial Cup last season.
Defense and goaltending is where this roster really intrigues. Tyler Beskorowany is coming off a great year that saw his development accelerated when Brent Krahn went down at the AHL level. Besko stepped up and backed up Richard Bachman for Texas, contributing valuable minutes and helping the team reach the post season for the second time in as many years of existence.
Everyone knows Jack Campbell well and the compete level he brings to these tournaments. On defense most Stars fans are going to get their first ever chance to watch Jamie Oleksiak, Troy Vance, and Brenden Dillon. The latter is already thought to be near NHL ready after a strong year in juniors, finished in Cedar Park with Texas. Oleksiak and Vance are newly drafted and both are working on filling out their gargantuan frames, but the three of them together has the fan in me salivating just writing this. They are, at least in my mind right now, the future of this defense at the NHL level.
And then there is Scott Glennie.
Stars fans have been waiting, perhaps entirely too impatiently, for Scott Glennie to show a spark when with the big club in September and this tournament could finally be a great launching pad for him as he enters that critical first pro year of his development...
Chosen eighth overall in 2009, Glennie has been on a very standard development curve for players coming out of Canadian juniors.
He was chosen at 18 years old, he put in his full four years required at the junior level, and now he is making the jump to the AHL with the Texas Stars and his first full professional season on his way to someday claiming an NHL roster spot. There's nothing wrong with any of that.
Except that when a player is taken that high and by a franchise in a..."transitional period" like Dallas is, sometimes there is a desire to see a little more than a typical path. Spoiled by Jamie Benn and his short two season stint in the CHL, Stars fans have peppered us with questions in each of the last two Septembers about Scott Glennie's ability to nab an NHL roster spot out from under someone and break out in a big Jamie Benn kind of way.
It's at this point that it should be noted: James Neal played a full four years at the junior level and one at the AHL level before having that monstrous camp/preseason with Dallas in 2008. There is still, as we say, plenty of time.
Glennie been hampered by a series of unfortunate injuries including a broken elbow and an injured groin that caused him to miss his very first would-be NHL training camp and preseason in 2009. He had to miss some of this July's development camp as well with a nagging injury.
He also missed out on representing Canada in the World Juniors this last year because of a slower start to his season, though he finished with 91 points in 70 games, a career year thus far. He tallied a stellar 308 points in four years with Brandon of the WHL. The tools are there.
Is this the September he gets off to a hot, injury free start? We'll take a peak on Sunday night and find out.