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Dallas Stars Sign Denis Gurianov To Entry-Level Deal; Expected to Play In North America Next Season

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Next season started today, as the Dallas Stars announced a signing that is likely to impact their minor league affiliate.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars announced today that they have signed young forward prospect Denis Gurianov to a three-year, entry-level deal. Gurianov was the Stars first round pick in 2015 (12th overall).

It's not entirely unexpected news, with word coming down earlier in the week that Gurianov had terminated his contract with his KHL team. The expectation would be that the young forward would try to make the AHL Texas Stars roster out of training camp next season in his first North American season. With anticipated promotions from the AHL to the NHL of forwards like Radek Faksa, Gurianov would be likely to start his season in Cedar Park.

He's a prospect that will most likely require a few seasons of development before he comes close to sniffing the NHL. Various scouting reports indicate he has a lot of raw talent but still needs to refine aspects of his game. At just 18 years old, and with depth available to the Stars organization, Gurianov will have plenty of time to marinate and work on taking his game to another level on top of becoming comfortable with the smaller North American ice surface.

While it's nice to dream of Valeri Nichushkin having a Russian friend on the roster with him in Dallas, one thing is fairly certain for next season: it won't be Gurianov riding shotgun with the other young Russian power forward.