Last season the Dallas Stars targeted a couple of undrafted free agents out of the WHL, where the Stars have been able to find a couple of fairly talented players in the past. Brenden Dillon and Matt Fraser both signed entry-level contracts with the Stars last season, with Dillon making a big impression with the Texas Stars once the CHL regular season had ended.
Both players have been staples of the Texas team this season and show good promise in possibly becoming future NHL players, and it seems the Stars are always open to taking a chance on some late-developing players.
Today it was announced that the Texas Stars have signed center Taylor Vause to an ATO (amateur tryout agreement) that allows Vause to play with Texas for the remainder of the season. Vause was the team captain for the Swift Current Broncos this past season and led the team with 37 goals, 46 assists and 83 points in 72 games. Vause played five seasons with the Broncos, yet has not yet turned 21 -- so he's not as much of a "late bloomer" as it would seem at first glance.
Vause seems to be a smart player with a great personality off the ice, who has gotten some notoriety for his abilities in graphic design. It seems he designed his team's breast cancer awareness jerseys and the St. Patrick's Day jerseys, and he has some other interests in the graphic design field as well. More information can be found here at 100 Degree Hockey.
I don't know much personally about Vause other than having seen him play a few times when he was a second and third-year player. His numbers this past season are fairly impressive and he's still at a relatively young age. He's just on a ATO to finish out the season but I'll expect him to sign an ELC with Dallas once the overall contract situation in the organization is worked out.
Word from Austin is that Vause is taking the ice tonight for the Texas Stars.