From a starring role in the OHL playoffs to being a Black Ace for the Texas Stars’ run to the 2018 Calder Cup Final, Jason Robertson is on trajectory to realize his dream – playing in the NHL, for the Dallas Stars.
But first things first – Robertson, who signed his ELC in May, has set his sights on a Team USA roster spot in the 2019 World Junior Championships. Mark Stepneski caught up with one of the Stars’ hottest forward prospects during the offseason:
“It’s a priority,” Robertson said. “My No. 1 priority is to play for the Dallas Stars eventually, but (the World Junior team) is a separate goal and something I am going to work to be on. I’ve talked to the head coach, and he personally invited me there, so I think that is a good start.”
Robertson isn’t the only Stars prospect who will attend the World Junior Summer Showcase July 23 to August 4 – Ty Dellandrea and Oskar Bäck are already on roster for Canada and Sweden. But he’s working with an elite NHL trainer and clearly wants to continue his momentum from a great season with the Kingston Frontenacs:
“He’s taken a huge step. The door has been kicked open for him to be a professional hockey player,” [director of player development Rich] Peverley said. “He’s training with Gary Roberts this summer, which is a huge commitment on his part. He’s living up there by himself. He’s training with other guys that are taking that big step, and that is ultimately going to make him a better player next year.”
Mark has more. [Stars Inside Edge]
Martin Hanzal is back on the ice, says The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro. He also points out that Hanzal starting the season on IR could mean waivers exemptions for fellow forwards Gemel Smith, Remi Elie, and Jason Dickinson.
Martin Hanzal has started skating and is still on track with his recovery from back surgery. If everything goes according to plan the target return for him is late November or early December according to Jim Nill.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) July 24, 2018
Plus, Sean’s latest Film Room is all about new guy Blake Comeau.
The Stars signed Blake Comeau to reinforce a tough, productive third line. What led them down that road - and how does Comeau fit in here? @seanshapiro found time to dive in and tell us between long stints of caring for his newborn daughter.https://t.co/t06yPw0qmd— The Athletic (@TheAthleticDFW) July 24, 2018
Tyler Seguin // Dallas Stars pic.twitter.com/SSVPrPWFsu— NHL Players With Hearts (@hckyhearts) June 16, 2018
Not directly Stars-related, but if you’re a longtime DFW hockey fan, you might know someone who knows someone.
We have acquired the majority of the championship banners from the defunct hockey teams in the Metroplex. We are only missing one from the 1979 Dallas Black Hawks. Anyone know where that may have gone? #TexasOnIce— Jeremy Rasmussen (@txhockeynerd) July 23, 2018
Around the League(s)
Which NHL teams have done the best job of building with players under 27 years of age? Emily Kaplan of ESPN has done the sums.
Some summer hockey stuff: Ranking which NHL teams have the best locked-in young core https://t.co/MATKSwc8hV— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) July 19, 2018
JUST IN: After being traded to the #Avalanche and then bought out earlier this off-season, veteran defenceman Brooks Orpik is returning to Stanley Cup champion #Capitals on a one-year, $1 million contract.— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) July 24, 2018
MORE: https://t.co/5LCoFJ9QoB pic.twitter.com/4nAcJmmIBh
Will Artemi Panarin play the entire season with the Columbus Blue Jackets? Will the Florida Panthers bounce back into the playoffs? NHL.com’s Dan Rosen takes on these questions and others in his latest mailbag. [NHL]
CCM shot a new ad with a 360 camera so you can feel what it must be like to get embarrassed by Connor McDavid.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are “going to try and not lose good players for nothing in free agency.” So where does that leave Jake Gardiner, especially as the team takes on John Tavares’ massive payday?
The Maple Leafs have had discussions regarding a possible contract extension for Jake Gardiner: https://t.co/u3yPeIJIRD— Pro Hockey Rumors (@prohockeyrumors) July 25, 2018
Kevin Papetti at Pension Plan Puppets would like to remind everyone that Gardiner is pretty good at hockey.
Jake Gardiner had 47 assists last year. Here are the defencemen who have done this over the past five seasons:— Kevin Papetti (@KPapetti) July 9, 2018
Karlsson, Klingberg, Hedman, Keith, Carlson, Gostisbehere, Letang, Doughty, Yandle, Burns, Josi.
Trade Gardiner, they said. It will be fun, they said. pic.twitter.com/ym3MnBq8Cy
The Hockey News podcast did so well with their last all-readers episode that they’ve done another. Let the Montreal Canadiens pile-on continue!
THE HOCKEY NEWS PODCAST:— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) July 24, 2018
Another all-reader question edition! Including:
– Who will be next season’s most improved team? Who will regress most?
– Early Calder Trophy picks for 2018-19
– Is the Canadiens franchise at an all-time low point?
And more!https://t.co/MIysQA9iWM pic.twitter.com/5ZrbCcGs5t
Also at THN: Jared Clinton lists five 2018 RFAs whose contract negotiations might get contentious – from Dylan Larkin to Noah Hanifin. [THN]
Blake Coleman of the New Jersey Devils has a new side hustle, and it’s kind of a big dill.
Blake Coleman’s pickle juice adventures continue https://t.co/ZwXT0krwXN— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) July 25, 2018
Here’s one good thing about the offseason: PhotoShop artists who like hockey have plenty of time to do things like this. Check out Patrik Laine’s porn ’stache and P.K. Subban’s Mod Squad hair, and enjoy.