In a few years, we may be calling this "the Johns trade." That's what we keep hearing, and telling ourselves, about new Dallas Stars D prospect Stephen Johns, who came as a combo pack with Patrick Sharp in Jim Nill's annual blockbuster deal.
But what does Johns say about himself, and about the trade that brought him to Texas? Mark Stepneski shared some answers in a new article posted yesterday:
"Obviously, being part of an organization for five years, it was a little bit of a shock and a little bit of a whirlwind of emotions," Johns said. "Now that I have let it sink in, I couldn't be more excited to come to an organization like the Dallas Stars."
The Stars are excited about the potential of Johns, a 23-year-old defenseman who is listed at 6-4, 233 pounds, shoots right and plays a physical game.
"He can skate. He plays the game hard. We've got a lot of skill in our lineup and we don't have a lot of that presence," Stars GM Jim Nill said. "You need to have some of that size and different dimension in the back end and I think he brings that. The other thing that I love about the young man is he's a leader on and off the ice."
DBD's Josh Lile has written in detail about Johns' acumen here. Here's how Johns describes his game, and it will probably make some Stars fans salivate.
"I am a defensive defenseman first. I think this season I gained some confidence to be more offensive at times," Johns said. "At the higher levels, I think my first focus is as a defensive defenseman, a shutdown guy, a reliable guy that a team can depend on in any situation."
Will he make the Stars roster out of camp? Jim Nill wants to know the answer to that question, too.
Johns is one of several Dallas defense prospects who are on the cusp of playing in the NHL. Nill said he expects Johns to come in and push for an NHL roster spot when training camp opens in Cedar Park in September.
"I told him to come into camp and I want to see you compete for a job up top. It's wide open," Nill said. "We want the best. It's about winning now."
There's much more at the Stars' website. [Stars Inside Edge]
In case you missed it, Jim "Hypnostache" Nill went on BaD Radio (KTCK) yesterday afternoon to discuss how the Sharp trade happened. Short version: Dallas is now a short-list city (and team) for the league's established and rising talent.
Did you know there's now a Hockey Emoji guide? Yes, there is. Yes, there is.
How much will it really cost for an NHL expansion starter pack? Ken Campbell says it'll probably depend on where you want to put it. (Seattle or Québec City? Bargains. Toronto or Las Vegas? Not so much.) [The Hockey News]
Speaking of which, Josh Lile — we mentioned him up top, remember? — discussed why Houston needs an NHL franchise with "Houston Matters" yesterday. [Houston Matters]
A weak free-agent class and budgets so tight they squeak have turned the 2015 offseason into the NHL's sensible summer, says Wayne Scanlan. [Ottawa Citizen]
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Another day, another great post at The Players' Tribune. Former Dallas Star Sheldon Souray reflects on his 13 years in the NHL as "a wannabe who got to be." [The Players' Tribune]
Ever wondered what it's like to be on the load end of a Zdeno Chara slapshot? Sports Illustrated breaks it down for you. [Sports Illustrated]
Team Jamaica update: SportsNet has put together a video on the island's first ice hockey squad, which made its tournament debut during the July 4th weekend. It even plays in U.S. America, which is a nice bonus.
The Lottery Line. The Cold War Kids. Crosby, Skills & Smash. Sports Illustrated has taken a shot at naming some of the best proposed new lines in the league, and I can't imagine that anyone here would like to beat them at their own game. [Sports Illustrated]
Are you in Austin today? Do you want to be? The Texas Stars will be at Palmer Events Center as part of Keep Austin Playing. You should go.
Finally: More joy for Texas hockey courtesy of the 2015 Kelly Cup-winning Allen Americans. All hail!
The Americans received a proclamation tonight at City Hall proclaiming that 2015 is the year of the Allen Americans. pic.twitter.com/ZQJBGQGRR3— Kelly Cup Champions (@AllenAmericans) July 15, 2015