At the beginning of the season it was seen as a good thing that Emil Molin was with the big club with Brynas instead of continuing to spend the majority of his time with their J20 team. It quickly became noticeable, and infuriating to Stars fans, that Emil Molin was simply not getting the ice time he needed to develop.
He played, or warmed the bench, 34 times for Brynas this season and played 11 games for their J20 team. During his intermitted games with Brynas J20 he averaged a point per game pace. However when it came to the Elitserien he was no where to be seen with very limited ice time in a deep Brynas roster, especially with top 2013 draft prospect Elias Lindholm jumping ahead of him in the depth chart.
On average, through 34 games, Emil Molin averaged just under 8 minutes of ice time per game. He spent most of the time on a third or fourth lines but was more often than not a healthy scratch for Brynas. After turning 20, and therefore ineligible for the J20, he was loaned to Mora of the Allsvenskan where things clearly didn't click. He spent most of his time on the third and fourth lines again and didn't register a single point in a 7 game stint.
Emil Molin was guilty of making some stupid plays when he was playing with Brynas which was meant to account for the lack of ice time he recieved. This isn't a complete surprise as he has had a relatively quick rise through the Swedish leagues, he was drafted out of the J18 two years ago and spent most of last season with Brynas in the ElitSerien.
He surprised many when he was firstly selected for the Swedish World Junior Championship and secondly when he was slotted on their second line with top prospects Sebastian Collberg and Elias Lindholm. Despite being joint leader of points scored during the World Junior Championship for Sweden, tied with Habs prospect Sebastian Collberg, he received very little fanfare for his achievements.
However he did receive a bump in ice time following the World Junior Championships and joined Brynas' second line alongside Elias Lindholm. This didn't last long, and from I've read his fall down the lineup was due to several defensive miscues and mistakes. It wasn't long after this that he was loaned to Mora of the Allsvenskan, but as I've already mentioned this doesn't appear to have been hugely successful.
So now that Mora will not be in any post season action Emil Molin's season is over and the questions have to be asked about his future and what the Stars want to do with him next season.
At the beginning of the summer in 2012 Emil Molin had an article written about him in the Swedish newspaper Arbetarbladet in which he discusses his future, apologises for google translate that,
'It is quite far to the NHL. I probably need at least two more years here at home. I must above all be rappers and stronger to play over there. I must be harder to meet.'
He has had one of those two seasons that he felt that he needed before he was ready for North America. But with limited ice time would the Stars decide that it might be better for Molin to make the move next season to get ice time in either the ECHL or AHL.
When it comes down to it Emil Molin needs a reasonable amount of ice time in order to develop like the Stars want him to. He didn't get that this year as he wasn't able to break into the lineup. Will this change next year? Its possible.
Firstly its possible that at least two forwards could be going to North America. Calle Jarnkrok, a Detroit Red Wings prospects, and 2013 prospect Elias Lindholm. I do expect Lindholm to stay in Sweden another year but an NHL team might decide he needs to be in the AHL or NHL straight away. Secondly, there are also players whose contracts have expired at the end of the season. So its a possibility but in no way a certainty.
Would the Stars decide to risk it, or wait and see what the situation is with Brynas as the 2013-2014 season approaches. Emil Molin is signed to an entry level contract and therefore could be brought over. The Stars have proved themselves very cautious with prospect development and they might not want him to be playing in North America because he is ready for it.
Whether he would get the ice time in the AHL is also questionable, especially with the players the Stars currently have in Austin. Would bringing him to the AHL simply produce the same situation except within the Stars own farm system?
It's too early to say for certain which way it will go, though I lean towards keep Emil Molin in Sweden for at least one more year. There is an interesting interview with him from the World Junior Championships, though the interviewer displays some ignorance over his ice time issues, in which he is asked directly about the Stars and whether he would be going to North America next season and they had the following exchange:
Interviewer: And yourself, you were drafted by the Dallas Stars. Have they had any contact with you this year?
Emil Molin: Yeah, I keep contact with Richard [Dallas Star's Sweden Scout] a lot, I like him. He's a good guy and I like the organisation there so I'm happy
Interviewer: Do they tell you what they expect of you or if they might bring you over next year?
Molin: No, not really. We haven't talked that so much. I don't know. I can take that after the season
With his season over Stars fans will find out over the next few months what next season holds for Emil Molin and whether he will be in Sweden or North America.