Next up in Mark Stepneski's Prospect Profile series is 22-year-old Brett Ritchie. (You can read updates on Esa Lindell and Jason Dickson here and here.) Injuries kept Ritchie from the Stars' lineup early in the year—which helped pave the way for Mattias Janmark's breakout season—but the winger was still able to make his NHL playoff debut.
He played in two playoff games with Dallas and recorded no points, ending what was an up and down season due to the injuries, especially the wrist issue that sidelined him a good portion of the season and might have cost him a shot at an NHL roster spot.
"Maybe you could say [the wrist injury] was a little bit of bad timing for me, but everything happens for a reason. I knew if I played well down there I would get my shot up here again. I am still young. It's not a huge deal," Ritchie said. "Obviously, I want to be [in the NHL], but there is a lot you can learn down there too. You've just got to make the most of whatever situation you are in."
Here's what assistant general manager Les Jackson had to say about Ritchie and his future with the Stars.
"He's a big man with good puck skills and he has net presence. And he can shoot like a National Leaguer right now," Jackson said. "He's on the verge of becoming an everyday NHL player."
As always, there's more at the link. [Stars]
Also from Sean Shapiro: Should the Stars go after UFA Michael Leighton this offseason? [Today's Slapshot]
Dallas ranks as the 17th best city for hockey fans. [WalletHub]
Mo says thanks for the HBDs.
Mike Modano (@9modano) June 8, 2016
During the 2015-16 season, 8.8 percent of players were Swedish born or trained. That's more than any other European nation. [IIHF]
Daniel Carcillo shares more about the Chapter 5 Foundation, his struggles with depression, and his grief over the death of Steve Montador.
Do superstars matter as much in the NHL as they do in the NFL and NBA? (Hint: They don't.) [TSN]
Former first-round pick Nikita Filatov talks about how his financial troubles led to his leaving for the KHL. He also suggests all players listen to Ken Hitchcock. [THN]
Sean McIndoe looks back on the most obscure playoff overtime heroes. Former Star Brian Skrudland gets a shout (although it's from his rookie days in Montreal). [The Hockey News]
Here's who you can plan on seeing at this year's NHL Awards.
You could say that Guy LaFleur isn't a big fan of scraggly playoff beards: "'They can't see the puck,' Lafleur added with a laugh. 'That's why they're struggling.'" [Montreal Gazette]
Over at Sportsnet, Dimitri Filipovic discusses how a defenseman's performance in the neutral zone affects his team. [Sportsnet]
And finally, I hope everyone remembered to celebrate with their BFF yesterday.