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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Mavrik Bourque’s Long Game

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The Stars’ newest top pick plans to stay competitive for a long, long time. Plus, winners and losers in the 2020 NHL Draft, Matt Niskanen’s sudden retirement, and more.

Shawinigan Cataractes v Quebec Remparts Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

Mavrik Bourque doesn’t want to be good enough to play in the NHL. He wants to be good enough to play in the NHL for at least 10 years.

The Dallas Stars chose the highly skilled playmaking center from the Shawinigan Cataractes as their first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. And Stars fans should find it affirming that he’s already planning out a path to a top-six role.

Chalk it up to the work ethic Bourque picked up on his family’s small dairy farm in Plessisville, Québec. Joshua Kloke elaborates in a new piece for The Athletic:

“If you don’t go to the barn in the morning to milk your cows, you won’t have a profit,” Bourque said in 2019. “In hockey, the same thing happens if you don’t go to the gym to train.”

So, when Bourque was drafted third overall by the [Cataractes] in the 2018 QMJHL draft, he was ready to put in the work to elevate his game. He is a player who has always wanted more: Ice time, responsibility, goals and to be depended on far more than he had previously.

“At 16, he wanted to be that guy who would play under pressure. He could adapt to any situation,” said former Cataractes head coach Daniel Renaud, Bourque’s first QMJHL coach.

For Stars fans, Bourque’s best feature may be that undefinable quality of playmaking intelligence that marks the most promising prospects:

“Hockey IQ” has become a catch-all term, but it’s still one of the more valuable commodities a young player can possess, especially at a young age.

Offensively, Renaud always felt confident in the way Bourque managed the puck.

“He has a lot of poise. He’s going to draw two or three defenders to him and he’s going to find the open guy,” said Renaud.

There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]


Stars Stuff

There’s never too much info on prospective Stars, so don’t miss Matthew DeFranks’ analysis of the pick.

Here’s what the remote celebration looked like when the Stars called his name.

Steven Ellis and Ryan Kennedy offer their own brief on the player with “one of the coolest names in the draft.”

Meanwhile, it looks as if Mattias Janmark will be moving on. What will the Stars’ forward corps look like next season?

Around The Leagues

Alexis Lafrenière is officially first overall and officially a New York Rangers prospect, and the Big Apple is excited, I think.

It’s never too early to start talking about NHL Draft winners and losers, and Dallas comes out on the good end in this analysis.

The Arizona Coyotes are bringing a beloved logo back to their home ice. Can the Kachina as full-time home sweater be far behind?

Difficult news for the Washington Capitals: Defender Michal Kempny has sustained another season-canceling injury.

So Brenden Dillon won’t be going to free agency after all. The former Stars blueliner has re-signed and is poised to take a top-pair role.

Speaking of the Caps – If they get Henrik Lundqvist a Stanley Cup, will the resulting chain reaction destroy the Atlantic Seaboard?

“He has earned the right to do whatever he wants.” Pandemic-related uncertainty led to former Star Matt Niskanen’s sudden, shocking early retirement from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Finally

A virtual draft does have its advantages – like, say, letting the Ottawa Senators enlist Area Man Alex Trebek to announce their first-round pick. Enjoy.