Having one of your prospects claim a league’s “player of the week” honors doesn’t exactly happen all the time.
Having it happen to two prospects in the same week? That’s downright rare.
But that’s exactly what happened for the Dallas Stars on Monday. With news stories breaking about an hour apart, Jason Robertson was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week, right before Ty Dellandrea was named the OHL “On the Run” Player of the Week:
The power forward Robertson had three goals and two assists in three games. The busy weekend on the scoresheet helped boost him into the top spot on the team’s scoring chart, with 18 points in 25 contests.
Robertson needed some time to adjust to the AHL after finishing up his OHL career in the spring, as many top prospects do, but he’s really come on strong as of late. His hockey sense looked pretty special during his junior days, and it also seems to be helping him settle in to his first season in a professional league.
As for Dellandrea, his stat line for the week was nothing short of ridiculous: six goals and five assists for 11 points, along with 13 shots and 94 face-offs taken, all in just three games. That’s right — just three games.
On Thursday he scored his second hat trick in two weeks, and came within a goal of making it his third on Sunday. And 46 of those face-offs came in the same game — but Dellandrea still won 29 of them, for a success rate of 63 percent.
There will be no time to rest, however, as Hockey Canada began their selection camp for the upcoming World Juniors yesterday in Oakville, Ontario. Dellandrea is a strong favorite to make the team after being cut from the camp last year, and it’s safe to assume that his performance last week helped boost his chances.
After graduating Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov to the NHL full-time in the past calendar year, the odds of the Stars doing the same with Robertson and Dellandrea in the next couple of seasons currently look pretty good. For a team that has struggled a bit with drafting and development in recent history, it’s an encouraging sign to see many of the team’s top prospects trending in the right direction.
When you’re feelin’ it, you’re feelin’ it.
That must be the kind of vibe in the Texas Stars locker room right now, as the team skated away with wins in all three of their games last week.
And don’t look now, but that’s six wins in their past seven games. That’s quite a remarkable turnaround considering they were on a 12-game winless streak just before this recent stretch of seven strong games.
They kicked things off with a 5-1 win over the Milwaukee Admirals on Tuesday. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, as the Admirals finished with a 40-20 shot advantage, but goaltender Jake Oettinger played the hero with 39 stops.
Things were closer in Friday’s match against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, but Joel Kiviranta’s two goals turned out to be big difference-makers in a 4-3 win. As did Nick Caamano’s tally in the third, which stood up as the game-winner.
Texas completed the week’s trifecta with a 5-3 win over the same Penguins on Saturday. Robertson’s two goals started things off before the Penguins fought back to take a 3-2 lead, but goals by Joel L’esperance, Kiviranta and Caamano sealed the deal.
The Stars’ offense has really started to come around as of late. In their past 10 games each, the following players have produced the following points: L’Esperance has 11, Caamano has 10, Robertson has 10, and Kiviranta has nine.
Winger Tye Felhaber’s rookie professional season didn’t get off to the start that was hoped, with the Ontario native scoring just one assist in 18 games and recently finding himself as a healthy scratch. Instead of letting him sit in the Nacho Box for too long, he was instead assigned to the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, where he got a little mojo back for himself by scoring a goal and an assist in his first game.
To this point, Felhaber had 1-1=2 last night for Idaho in a 6-5 OT win. https://t.co/aJgqGbIunU— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) December 7, 2019
A pair of 19-year-old Swedish forwards in Albin Eriksson and Oskar Back are off to the World Juniors as part of their home nation’s roster for the tournament. It will be a rare opportunity for Stars fans to get a better look at two of the team’s top prospects, who both currently play in Europe. Expect both players to play more of a defensive/penalty-killing role in the event.
North American Juniors
The Stars’ other top prospect heading to the World Juniors, defenseman Thomas Harley, had a point-per-game week as well, with three in three. He still leads his Mississauga Steelheads club in points on the season, with 30 in 27 games.
A rocky start to the season for 2019 draft pick Nicholas Porco just got even rockier. After being traded from Saginaw to Barrie in October, the winger was recently dealt the tragic news of the death of his grandfather. As if that wasn’t enough adversity to handle already, he was then diagnosed with mononucleosis, which is expected to keep him out of the lineup for the next month or so. Here’s hoping that there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for Porco in the back half of the season.
Blueliner Dawson Barteaux had a nice week in the WHL after I led off this column with my profile on him last week. He had four points in three games as his Red Deer Rebels squad won two of three, with both of the wins coming in decisive fashion. He is currently tied for his team’s lead in scoring, with 20 points in 29 games.
For a full database of the organization’s prospects and their stats, check out the Stars’ “In the System” page on Elite Prospects.