With the Stanley Cup officially canceled, the next big event in the NHL — besides the NHL Awards — is the 2019 Entry Draft. But while Derek breaks down the top prospects to keep an eye on, it’s hard for fans to not think about the young talent the Dallas Stars already have at their disposal.
For instance, Denis Gurianov seems to finally be on the cusp of a full-time role in Dallas (although I’d personally argue he should have had one already). After all, there’s not much left for him to prove in the minors:
Gurianov dominated the AHL last season. He had 48 points (21 goals, 27 assists) in 57 games and helped control games with how he attacked the neutral and offensive zones with speed. Gurianov’s hockey IQ is occasionally lacking; he takes longer to “get it” than some of his peers. But if he can find consistency in the NHL, he’ll be able to shed that “bust” label from the 2015 draft.
Another interesting name to keep an eye on is 2018 first rounder Ty Dellandrea. The plan is for him to stay in the OHL this year, but don’t be surprised if he ends up sticking around in the big leagues:
[Dallas] could play Dellandrea in nine NHL games before making a decision and burning a year of his contract. If Dellandrea is ready for the NHL, the Stars would have their best solution for a fourth-line center during the 2019-20 season, and it could be an ideal launching pad for their long-term depth down the middle.
You can read more about the Stars’ prospect pipeline from Sean Shapiro here.
Around the League
Mike Modano is going to work for the Minnesota Wild. I’m going to cry.
Speaking of new hires, the Ottawa Senators have hired D.J. Smith as their new head coach. There’s a 90% chance you have no idea who that is:
Welcome to Ottawa, D.J.! Bienvenue!— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) May 23, 2019
News Release: Ottawa Senators name D.J. Smith head coach: https://t.co/jubv1CDahH
Communiqué: Les Sénateurs d’Ottawa nomment D.J. Smith au poste d’entraîneur-chef : https://t.co/wx1safhoOe #Sens pic.twitter.com/naxejtxuTH
I know I joked about the Stanley Cup Finals getting canceled earlier, but in all seriousness here are the favorites to take home the Conn Smythe this postseason:
Conn Quest: It's no secret Tuukka Rask is in the running for post-season MVP, but who joins the Bruins goaltender at the head of the class?https://t.co/XbAV3T5QK9— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) May 24, 2019
Phil Kessel could be on the move... to Minnesota? Really?
Finally, an arbitrator has upheld Slava Voynov’s one-year suspension, but has given him credit for 41 games served. In other words, he didn’t actually uphold it and instead just picked the halfway point like every other NHL arbitrator ever: