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Dallas Stars 2013 Season Review: Jordie Benn

Jordie Benn was given the chance to play at the NHL level with injuries on the blue line. As an unrestricted free agent this summer, the Stars have a choice to make as to where he fits in long-term.

Ronald Martinez

Coming into training camp this season, there was a chance to make the NHL roster as a number six or seven guy. The Stars looked at Jamie Oleksiak, Brenden Dillon and Jordie Benn during a compact training camp. Benn's strong play in Texas during the lockout had him in better conditioning shape than guys like Aaron Rome and Philip Larsen, who didn't play during the lockout, leading to the opportunity for a spot to open up in the bottom pairing.

Benn's play in Dallas was typical of a number seven guy. When nagging injuries to Rome and Larsen occurred, Benn stepped in and played about 15 minutes on average on the ice. He had a few memorable moments. Benn scored his first NHL goal this season playing on the same team with his brother -- which is a pretty high note on the season. He also had some typical rookie mistakes with the puck, causing turnovers and defensive gaffes that ended up in his own net more often than not. Those things are not unexpected from a rookie at the NHL level, however, especially with the number of rookies the Stars played on the blueline this season.

After the trade deadline and the Dallas Stars season had ended, Benn was sent back to Texas to get some playoff experience. When he got back to Austin, the blueline was a lot crowded than before. The additions of Kevin Cannauton, Joe Morrow, and Cameron Gaunce at the trade deadline along with John Klingberg coming over from Europe had Texas carrying up to 11 defensemen at one point. Benn, with veteran experience in the AHL, played seven of Texas' nine playoff games.

Looking to this summer, Benn becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Stars will have to decide what to do with their glut of defensive prospects. The common theory is that at least a few of them will be traded in return for assets. If an established NHL defensemen is traded away, Benn has proven that he is a serviceable number seven guy that is capable at the NHL level. If he is re-signed, I would imagine it would be to a short term two-way deal as a depth signing for Dallas.