After 6 years with the Dallas Stars organization, Jamie Oleksiak is now officially a Pittsburgh Penguin, thanks to the trade on Tuesday that netted the Stars a 2019 fourth round pick.
Though many fans are upset about how Oleksiak developed with the Stars, it’s worth remembering that the blame shouldn’t rest solely with the young defenseman:
To be fair to Oleksiak, very little of this is his fault. He didn't pick himself 14th overall in 2011. He didn't decide to shoehorn a litany of young defensemen into the organization at the same time. He didn't engineer a run that produced two playoff teams in nine seasons
Of course you could argue that the Big Rig didn’t take advantage of the opportunities he was given, but the Stars organization is at fault as well. Radek Faksa is the only remaining first round draft pick from the Joe Nieuwendyk era. Dallas also doesn’t have a great track record for developing defensemen:
Dallas drafted defensemen in the first round for three straight seasons in the mid-2000s, taking Mark Fistric, Matt Niskanen and Ivan Vishnevisky. Niskanen is still in the league, but he did most of his developing after he left the organization. Once upon a time, he, Fistric, Trevor Daley and Vishnevskiy were supposed to be the future.
Let’s just hope the Stars fare better with Johns, Honka, Heiskanen, and the rest of them.
You can read more in Mike Heika’s piece here.
Oleksiak says his goodbyes to the Stars family on Twitter:
Thank you to the @DallasStars for everything over the past 6 Years and for all the support and memories from people within the Austin and Dallas organization, the fans and of course teammates. Best of luck the rest of the season.— Jamie Oleksiak (@jamieoleksiak) December 20, 2017
...and welcomes his new opportunity with the defending two-time champions:
You can hear more from the Big Rig on the trade and his new team here: [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Mark Stepneski has you covered with the post game quotes. [Between the Blue Lines]
And here’s the Carcast Podcast from after the game:
NEW CARCAST: Stars fall to Capitals, trade away Jamie Oleksiak— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 20, 2017
SOUNDCLOUD: https://t.co/YaVQ89DNXA up in iTunes soon
Stars prospect Riley Tufte played on the first line for the Americans at the World Juniors yesterday, and he had a good showing:
Stars prospect Riley Tufte scored two goals as USA beat Belarus 14-0 in a World Juniors Pre-Tournament Game— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) December 21, 2017
Martin Hanzal has had a rocky start to the season, but he’s still pressing forward despite his injuries. [NHL]
Everyone thought the Vegas Golden Knights were going to be awful this year, so can you really blame David Perron here?
But even if they’re a good team, does that mean the Golden Knights are cup contenders? Jared Clinton investigates. [The Hockey News]
Apparently everyone loves writing about Vegas; he might be a polarizing figure, but Greg Wyshnyski got a lot of praise for this piece on Vegas’ success at home. [ESPN]
It’s official: the New York Islanders have a future home:
Elliotte Friedman discusses the big announcement plus more in his 31 Thoughts. [Sportsnet]
Clayton Keller might have started the season as the best rookie, but Brock Boeser is the king now:
John Klingberg slots in at #4 and Esa Lindell at #47 in this ranking of the top fantasy defensemen in the league. [NHL]
Congratulations to Antoine Roussel and his wife for their newest addition to the family: