The Dallas Stars will have one Julius Honka patrolling their blueline for the final few weeks of the regular season after the team recalled him from the AHL’s Texas Stars this afternoon, making good on a promise Jim Nill made on Vancouver radio earlier this month.
Honka has been up in Dallas two previous times this season, though he didn’t get into the lineup in the last stretch. He has appeared in 10 total games with four assists and shown real signs of being able to translate his puck-moving skills to the next level of play.
At the AHL level, Honka has 31 points in 50 games and is second on the team with 24 assists. He’s also a big part of the team’s power play with four goals, which puts him 13th among AHL defensemen.
A first round draft pick from 2014, Honka projects to help out the Stars moribund blueline possession game in the very new future. With a playoff possibility officially behind them, it makes sense for the Stars to give him time to adjust. The biggest question may be why they didn’t do it sooner.
Here’s the release from the team:
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Julius Honka from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Honka, 21, currently leads Texas defensemen and ranks fourth among all Texas skaters with 31 points (7-24=31) in 50 AHL contests this season. Honka ranks second on the squad with 24 assists, while his four power play goals this season are tied for 13th among all AHL defensemen and share second among all Stars skaters. The blueliner also made his NHL debut this season, appearing in 10 NHL contests with Dallas and recording four assists (0-4=4).
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound native of Jyvaskyla, Finland was originally selected by Dallas in the first round (14th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, and are currently playing their eighth season at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park. Full season, 24-game, 12-game and six-game ticket packages for the 2016-17 campaign are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.