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Counting the Stars - Number 29

This was actually a bit of a toss up..  On one hand you have Dean Prentice who played a little over two seasons with the Minnesota North Stars in the early 70's and put up respectable numbers, and in the other corner you have Steve Ott who all Stars fans are quite familiar with at this point.  While Prentice did score 48 goals in 168 games played with Minnesota, his best years were with other teams including the Rangers and Penguins.  Steve Ott on the other hand is going into his 7th season with the team and has steadily gotten better each year, though his numbers aren't quite as impressive as Dean's, in the end we go with the present over the past mostly because of what we hope to see in the future:

#29 - Steve Ott

Otter had posted a very solid first season with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL playing on a line with Jason Spezzawhen the Stars drafted him 25th overall in the 2000 draft.  His prolific scoring ways in junior continued even as Spezza had left and on top of the scoring ability Ott's knack for agitating his opponents made him a valuable depth player  on the 2000 and 2001 Canadian junior teams.

Ott's pro career started in 2002 as he split time between the Stars and their AHL affiliate in Utah.  After that first season though he was a full-time NHLer playing mostly a third line grinder role.  He did miss most of the 2006-07 season with a evere ankle injury.  He did happen to see time back in the AHL during the locked out season of 04-05 when he joined the Hamilton Bulldogs for the full season.  With the Bulldogs he had a pretty solid season scoring 18 times in 67 games and also adding 279 penalty minutes which still stands as a team record.

Since then while he's been with the Stars his game has gotten better each year.  His numbers up to this point sit at 337 games played, 40 goals, 73 assists and 678 penalty minutes.  Of course if the last stretch of games this past season when he wore an assistant's A on his shoulder and nearly dragged the Stars into the playoffs based on his outstanding play and leadership alone, then it might not be long until we're considering Ott one of the best Stars of all-time, not just at #29.