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Dallas Stars Prospect Update: Miro Heiskanen returns to action

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Also: Texas Stars season begins, NCAA goalies start hot

2017 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It was a scary way for a much-anticipated season to begin, but hopefully the worst is now behind Miro Heiskanen.

Heiskanen, the Finnish defenseman that was selected 3rd overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, suffered a concussion while playing in the Champions Hockey League tournament, causing him to miss the first 11 games of the regular season for HIFK in the Liiga.

He returned to action last week, playing two games, and the good news is that it looks like he hasn’t missed a step. He had one goal, one assist and a team-high 23:06 of ice time in a 3-1 win over Lukko Rauma.

His goal was a beauty, too, breaking the ankles of an opposing defender before rifling the puck top corner.

Considering how dangerous concussions can be, it’s great to see Heiskanen back on the ice and making such a strong impact for his team.

AHL

The Texas Stars began their season over the weekend, which means that many of the Stars’ top prospects were all in game action.

As David Castillo touched on the other day, Jason Dickinson, Roope Hintz, Gavin Bayreuther and Cole Ully all had big opening weekends for Texas. Dickinson had four points in the two games, the biggest reason why his team came away with two wins.

Remi Elie had a good weekend as well, scoring a goal and displaying his signature hustle, and that likely played a role in why he was recalled by Dallas after they waived Adam Cracknell.

North American Juniors

NCAA

Jake Oettinger stopped 22 of 24 shots as Boston University defeated Quinnipiac 3-2 in overtime on Sunday afternoon. He now improves to 2-0 on the season.

The Stars’ other NCAA goalie prospect, Colton Point, also continues to be undefeated. He stopped 38 of 39 shots in a win on Friday, and then 28 of 30 in a tie (yes, the NCAA still has those) on Saturday. He’s 2-0-1 on the season with a stellar .960 save percentage.

Riley Tufte scored goals in both of his first two games to start his NCAA season. They both came from doing the dirty work in the trenches in front of the net, so it’s an encouraging sign that Tufte continues to learn how to maximize his 6’5” frame.

OHL

Jason Robertson, unsurprisingly, continued his scoring ways over the past week, picking up a goal and an assist in one appearance. Highlights of that game can be found here.

Center Liam Hawel returned from injury for the Guelph Storm, and while he didn’t register anything on the score sheet, he’s already back to playing an important role for his team. He took 25 faceoffs for Guelph on Saturday (he won 14), so he’s being trusted to play big minutes for his club.

WHL

Brett Davis scored his 3rd goal of the season, a nice wrist shot from a tough angle down the wing. Unfortunately, it came as his team was already losing 5-1 and wasn’t enough to get them back into the game. Video of the goal can be found here.

Europe

Sweden

John Nyberg picked up his first two points of the season, nabbing assists in back-to-back games for Frolunda in the SHL.

Jakob Stenqvist added another assist for Bjorkloven in the Allsvenskan, taking his totals to four points in six games. Video of the assist, an impressive keep-in at the blueline, can be found here.

Finland

Markus Ruusu recorded his first two wins of the season in Finland’s top league. The first came in relief, making 4 stops in the 3rd period as his Ilves team erased a 4-3 deficit to win 5-4. The second win, though, was much more impressive, recording a 27-save shutout. Highlights of that game can be found here.

2018 NHL Entry Draft Watch

Forward Akil Thomas, of the Niagara IceDogs, is the focus of this week’s 2018 draft watch. Thomas is a small but crafty and skilled forward that can play either wing or center. He’s known for his terrific release on his shot, but he also possesses some underrated playmaking abilities. His skating needs some fine-tuning, but he’s slippery in tight spaces. He has 10 points in seven games so far, the most on his team, and he’s making a strong case to be a 1st round selection come draft time.

Dallas Stars Prospect Stats 2017-18

Junior / NCAA / European Skaters Team GP Goals Assists Points PIMs Plus/Minus
Junior / NCAA / European Skaters Team GP Goals Assists Points PIMs Plus/Minus
OHL
Nick Caamano - RW Flint Firebirds 6 2 4 6 13 2
Liam Hawel - C Guelph Storm 4 1 0 1 0 0
Jason Robertson - LW Kingston Frontenacs 6 5 1 6 8 -1
WHL
Brett Davis - RW Kootenay Ice 7 3 1 4 4 -3
Ondrej Vala - D Kamloops Blazers 8 1 3 4 10 -7
NCAA
Joseph Cecconi - D U. of Michigan 2 0 1 1 0 -3
Rhett Gardner - C U. of North Dakota 2 0 2 2 0 1
Michael Prapavessis - D R.P.I. 0
Riley Tufte - LW U. of Minnesota-Duluth 2 2 0 2 2 2
Sweden
SHL
Fredrik Karlstrom - C Linkopings HC 8 0 0 0 2 -4
John Nyberg - D Frolunda HC 6 0 2 2 6 1
Jacob Peterson - C Frolunda HC 1 0 0 0 0 -1
Allsvenskan
Jakob Stenqvist - D Bjorkloven IF 6 0 4 4 2 2
J20 SuperElit
Jacob Peterson - C Frolunda HC J20 9 4 5 5 4 -2
Finland
Liiga
Miro Heiskanen - D HIFK 2 1 1 2 0 0
Miro Karjalainen - D HPK Hameenlinna 7 0 2 2 29 -1
Juniors / NCAA / European Goalies Team GP Record G.A.A. Save % Shutouts
Jake Oettinger Boston University (NCAA) 2 2-0-0 1.45 0.946 0
Colton Point Colgate (NCAA) 3 2-0-1 1.30 0.960 0
Markus Ruusu Ilves (Liiga) 4 2-2-0 2.27 0.900 1
North American Pro Skaters Team GP Goals Assists Points PIMs Plus-Minus
AHL
Gavin Bayreuther - D Texas Stars 2 1 2 3 0 4
Ludwig Bystrom - D Texas Stars 1 0 0 0 0 -1
Jason Dickinson - C Texas Stars 2 3 1 4 2 3
Remi Elie - LW Texas Stars 2 1 0 1 4 3
Denis Gurianov - RW Texas Stars 2 0 1 1 0 -1
Niklas Hansson - D Texas Stars 2 0 0 0 2 -2
Dillon Heatherington - D Texas Stars 2 0 2 2 0 -1
Roope Hintz - C Texas Stars 2 1 1 2 2 2
Chris Martenet - D Texas Stars 0
Mark McNeill - C Texas Stars 1 1 0 1 0 1
Cole Ully - LW Texas Stars 2 0 2 2 2 2
North American Pro Goalies Team GP Record G.A.A. Save % Shutouts
AHL
Landon Bow Texas Stars 0