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Dallas Stars Prospect Update: Let The Games Begin!

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Hockey seasons are now underway in North American junior leagues and all over Europe

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds v Mississauga Steelheads Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images

Ahhh, the summer: warm weather, fresh air, plenty of time spent outdoors...

Awful, isn’t it?

I jest, of course. But I must say: as a hockey fan, it feels pretty darn good to once again be able to hunker down in a cold arena or in front of a digital screen to watch a bunch of people slap the ol’ vulcanized rubber around.

While the start of the NHL regular season is still a few weeks away, leagues all over the world have already begun to play. A number of Dallas Stars prospects are plying their trade in these leagues.

We here at Defending Big D, like we always do, will be offering weekly updates on the performance and progress of these prospects. This season I’ll be taking over these duties from the great Huw Wales, who made the executive decision to move on from the site. His prospect insight will be greatly missed.

Let’s get started, shall we?

North American Juniors

OHL

Nick Caamano generated quite a lot of buzz recently during the Stars’ training camp, impressing head coach Ken Hitchcock enough to see some preseason action.

He was ultimately cut from the camp and reassigned back to junior, but that’s not really a bad thing, as the 19-year-old’s long-term development will be better off by spending this season as a go-to player for the Flint Firebirds and playing tons of minutes.

Click here for some highlights of his first OHL game this season, putting his dominating power-forward abilities on display with a three-assist effort.

Elsewhere in the OHL, Jason Robertson continued the torrid pace that he ended last year’s OHL season with, scoring three goals through his first two games for Kingston.

Video of his third goal of the year, a beautiful wrist shot, can be found here.

WHL

Both Brett Davis and Ondrej Vala have each played two games for their WHL clubs, but both have been held pointless so far.

Europe

Sweden

Fredrik Karlstrom is with a new team this season, leaving the Allsvenskan’s AIK for Linkopings in the higher-level SHL. He has no points through three games with his new club.

Defender John Nyberg has now entered his fourth season with the SHL’s Frolunda (minus a couple of loans to other teams sprinkled here and there). He’s held pointless through three games so far, but he does, however, lead his team in average ice time, at 18:29 per game.

Jakob Stenqvist had had a nice start to his Allsvenskan season with Bjorkloven IF, with three points in two games and plenty of powerplay time. Highlights of his two-assist second game can be found here (he’s #26 in green). The silky-smooth defender is averaging 18:03 of ice time, second-most on his team.

Finland

The 3rd overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, defenseman Miro Heiskanen, continues to sit out of play, including missing the entire Dallas Stars training camp, because of a concussion that he suffered during the Champions Hockey League tournament in Europe. It is unclear at this point as to when he is expected to return to play.

Towering blueliner Miro Karjalainen is back in Finland after a brief, unsuccessful stint with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads last season. He has two assists and 29 penalties in four games for HPK in the Liiga.

2018 NHL Entry Draft Watch

This will be a new feature for the Prospect Update, where I include a few brief words about prospects that could be great fits for the Stars and will be worth keeping an eye out for in the 2018 draft.

The inaugural player of note for this section is Jesperi Kotkaniemi, a center with Assat in the Liiga. He has six points in seven games so far this year, which is a pretty impressive start for a 17-year-old playing in one of the world’s best men’s leagues. He’s tall and fast, possesses a powerful shot, and is very tenacious on the puck.

That tenacity can be seen below as he beats Stars goalie prospect Markus Ruusu for this goal.

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 2 0 3 3 2 3
Liam Hawel - C Guelph Storm 2 1 0 1 0 1
Jason Robertson - LW Kingston Frontenacs 2 3 0 3 2 0
WHL
Brett Davis - RW Kootenay Ice 2 0 0 0 0 -2
Ondrej Vala - D Kamloops Blazers 2 0 0 0 6 -1
NCAA
Joseph Cecconi - D U. of Michigan 0
Rhett Gardner - C U. of North Dakota 0
Michael Prapavessis - D R.P.I. 0
Riley Tufte - LW U. of Minnesota-Duluth 0
Sweden
SHL
Fredrik Karlstrom - C Linkopings HC 3 0 0 0 2 0
John Nyberg - D Frolunda HC 2 0 0 0 4 0
Jacob Peterson - C Frolunda HC 1 0 0 0 0 -1
Allsvenskan
Jakob Stenqvist - D Bjorkloven IF 2 0 3 3 0 1
J20 SuperElit
Jacob Peterson - C Frolunda HC J20 3 0 3 3 0 -1
Finland
Liiga
Miro Heiskanen - D HIFK 0
Miro Karjalainen - D HPK Hameenlinna 4 0 2 2 29 1
Juniors / NCAA / European Goalies Team GP Record G.A.A. Save % Shutouts
Jake Oettinger Boston University (NCAA) 0
Colton Point Colgate (NCAA) 0
Markus Ruusu Ilves (Liiga) 1 0-1-0 6 0.807 0
North American Pro Skaters Team GP Goals Assists Points PIMs Plus-Minus
AHL
Gavin Bayreuther - D Texas Stars 0
Ludwig Bystrom - D Texas Stars 0
Jason Dickinson - C Texas Stars 0
Remi Elie - LW Texas Stars 0
Denis Gurianov - RW Texas Stars 0
Niklas Hansson - D Texas Stars 0
Dillon Heatherington - D Texas Stars 0
Roope Hintz - C Texas Stars 0
Chris Martenet - D Texas Stars 0
Mark McNeill - C Texas Stars 0
Gemel Smith - C Texas Stars 0
Cole Ully - LW Texas Stars 0
North American Pro Goalies Team GP Record G.A.A. Save % Shutouts
AHL
Landon Bow Texas Stars 0
Philippe Desrosiers Texas Stars 0