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Dallas Stars Prospects: When Will Prospects Start Heading To The Texas Stars For The End Of The Season?

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With the NCAA and European seasons nearing their end when do we expect to see Dallas Stars prospects heading to join the Texas Stars for the end of the season?

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With most European leagues finishing their regular seasons within the week and the NCAA finishing up this weekend it's the time of year when prospects start heading to the AHL to taste the North American professional hockey life.

These prospects don't appear all at once and often arrive in dribs and drabs depending on their respective post seasons. These seasons aren't coordinated but the timetable for arrival is generally NCAA, Europe and then the CHL. Who is expected to join the Texas Stars, or maybe the Idaho Steelheads, as they chase playoff positions and when can they be expected to arrive?

The player that is likely to arrive first will be Devin Shore. Playing in the NCAA currently, he doesn't have an entry level contract with the Dallas Stars. Most speculation (using knowledge of similar situations) points toward Shore signing after his junior year finishes in the coming weeks. From a hockey point of view there doesn't appear to be much more Shore can achieve at the NCAA level with the University of Maine. There is a possibility he stays on to do his senior year, so being a mainstay on the Texas Stars may be delayed a year.

If he does decide to make the jump to the AHL, when could Shore arrive in Cedar Park? Hockey East has every team making the post season, with the bottom 5-12 teams playing a best of three series to create the quarter finals. The earliest he'd finish his season would be March 7th. It often takes some time to sign a contract so most likely we'd be looking for him to join later in March. Once the contract is signed it'll probably kick in next year. The remainder of this year will probably be played under an amateur tryout contract (ATO) to avoid burning a year of his entry level contract.

Ludwig Bystrom will probably be the first European player to join the Texas Stars. His regular season finishes on March 5th. With his team at its current standing, he'll enter a best of three series to decide who goes through to the quarter finals. The schedule dates for the best of three series is between the 7th and 10th of March. If Farjestad gets through that they'll enter a best of seven series scheduled to start on the 12th. If they get through the quarter finals the semi finals begin in late March and the finals begin in mid April.

With the struggles Farjestad have had this season it doesn't seem very likely that they'll be heading far into the SHL playoffs. He'll probably head to Texas in mid or late March.

Esa Lindell will likely join the Texas Stars shortly after Devin Shore and Ludwig Bystrom. In Assat's current position in the Liiga they'll play a best of three wildcard series to enter the quarter finals. This would occur shortly after their last game of the season on March 12th. If they get through the wildcard series they'll play a best of seven series. This could push his arrival in North America to late March or early April.

Esa Lindell has been thought of as an early favourite to represent Finland at the World Championship taking place between the 1st-17th of May. It is possible that he could join the Texas Stars for a while before heading to the Czech Republic for the World Championship, but could be just as likely to not see ice time in Texas this season.

Emil Molin will only have one year left on his entry level contract by the end of the season. He's had an unimpressive year in Rogle, having only eight assists through this season. But I expect that he'll head to North America next season and possibly for the end of this year. He is more likely going to join the Idaho Steelheads than the Texas Stars.

HockeyAllsvenskan has an odd playoff system this year with the SHL expanding by two teams. Rogle won't finish in the top two so will have to play a game against each of the other teams ranked between 3rd and 7th. If they get through that the first qualification round will take place starting on March 15th. It is a best of seven series. If he is going to make the jump to North America it will probably be in late March.

Cole Ully's arrival is the easiest to predict; the Blazers look like they'll be out of the playoff picture so his junior career will likely end with his regular season. The Blazers play their final game of the regular season on March 21st. Ully signed an entry level contract with the Dallas Stars earlier this year so there shouldn't be much delay if he's coming to Texas or Idaho. He'll probably sign an ATO contract to cover the end part of this season.

Remi Elie, Jason Dickinson, and Philippe Desrosiers are trickier to predict. All three are on teams that are heading to the playoffs, barring last minute collapses, and could go a couple of rounds. The playoffs are unpredictable, however, so they could arrival much later or earlier than expected. Their regular seasons end around the 22nd of March, so going one or two rounds would put their estimated arrival at mid April or even later depending on how far into the playoffs they go.

The last prospect who could be heading to Texas is Dmitry Sinitsyn. The Russian defenseman, who has plyed his trade in the NCAA, WHL, and KHL in the last three years, could have the opportunity to join the Texas Stars. The blueline in Cedar Park is looking a lot thinner than it did at the beginning of the season with Jyrki Jokipakka and John Klingberg in Dallas so Sinitsyn might have the chance to seize a starting spot.

There are issues however. Generally players with KHL contracts stay there and can't get out of them, unless there is an agreement that the player can leave if they get a contract elsewhere. With Sinitsyn signing for two years with Dynamo Moscow, and not having an entry level contract with Dallas, this makes the likelihood of him going to North America much slimmer.

The Dallas Stars have, I believe, until the summer of 2016 before losing Sinitsyn's playing rights. This is due to him being drafted out of the NCAA. With that time, coincidentally the same time his KHL contract is up, it is possible he'll stay in Russia until then and not join the Texas Stars for the end of the season.

All of these estimates are just that -- estimates. A lot of factors go into where players go after their seasons end, like postseason play, national team play, injuries, and the needs and preferences of the Dallas Stars staff for the players' personal and system development.

To sum up in brief table form:

Player Position Team - League Est. Date To Join Texas Stars/Idaho Steelheads
Devin Shore C University of Maine (NCAA - Hockey East) Mid March
Ludwig Bystrom D Farjestad (SHL) Mid March
Esa Lindell D Assat (Liiga) Late March
Emil Molin C/W Rogle (HockeyAllsvenskan) Late March
Cole Ully LW Kamloops Blazers (WHL) Late March (After 21st March)
Remi Elie LW Erie Otters (OHL) Mid April or later
Jason Dickinson C Guelph Storm (OHL) Mid April or later
Philippe Desrosiers G Rimouski Oceanic (OHL) Mid April or later
Dmitry Sinitsyn* D Dynamo Moscow (KHL) Late March or later

* No guarantee that Sinitsyn is able to go to North America