Rumors flew Wednesday that Dallas Stars prospect Alex Guptill was leaving the University of Michigan and turning pro, and the Dallas Stars confirmed that early Thursday afternoon when they announced they had signed the winger to a two-year, entry-level contract.
Before the news broke, Mark Stepneski had a few more details on the Stars immediate plans for Guptill.
Dallas Stars could announce the signing of prospect Alex Guptill later today. Guptill will join Texas Stars on an amateur tryout contract— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) March 27, 2014
Guptill was a third round pick, 77th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He has spent the past three seasons playing for the Michigan Wolverines.
Guptill is a big bodied winger, 6-foot-3 and 187 pounds, who is known for his offensive ability, though his past two seasons in the NCAA have been marked by periods of ill discipline. These have forced him to be benched on several occasions. Most recently, he missed the season opener because he was being disciplined.
Guptill has the potential to be the latest in a string of good collegiate prospects to join the Dallas Stars and the Texas Stars, including Curtis McKenzie, Alex Chiasson and former Stars forward Reilly Smith.
His most productive season for Michigan was his second season with the Wolverines in which he had 36 points in 38 games. This season has seen a step back offensively but hopefully turning pro will help mold him into an offensive threat at the professional level.
Here is the official press release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed forward Alex Guptill to a two-year, entry-level contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Guptill, 22, has spent the last three seasons with the University of Michigan hockey team. In those three seasons, the native of Newmarket, Ontario posted 94 points (44-50=94) in 110 games, including 25 points this past season (12-13=25). During his freshman campaign, Guptill was named the CCHA Rookie of the Year and was also named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team after posting 33 points (16-17=33) in 41 contests.
"Red Berenson and the rest of Michigan’s coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for preparing Alex for the next level of hockey," said Nill. "He’s developed into a consistent scorer with a quick, hard shot and will continue to develop those skills in the years ahead."
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound forward was selected by Dallas in the third round (77th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft.