A lot can happen between when a prospect is drafted and when it’s time for that prospect to sign his entry-level contract with the NHL organization that selected him.
For the Dallas Stars and their 2019 5th-round pick Nicholas Porco, both sides are probably hoping that Porco’s second post-draft season is a mirror opposite of his first one.
The 2019-20 season has been nothing short of a nightmare for Porco so far. As I wrote about in this column in December, in the span of one month the power winger was traded from the Saginaw Spirit to the Barrie Colts, was dealt the tragic news of the death of his grandfather, and then was then diagnosed with mononucleosis.
Things haven’t gotten any better since then.
Two weeks ago he suffered this awful hit from behind into the boards, which caused a concussion:
If Porco was feeling frustrated from how things have gone this season, it’s hard to blame him. Perhaps that frustration reached a boiling point, as he returned to the Colts lineup after his concussion only to leave it again immediately after, getting punished for a slew foot.
Nicholas Porco handed 2 games for a slew foot in Thursday’s loss to Sudbury. It could be longer after a further review by the league.— Gene Pereira (@GenePereira1) February 1, 2020
Porco is definitely a player with talent. He was selected 4th overall in the 2017 OHL draft, and can use his powerful skating strides to beat defenders wide and go hard to the net. His most recent goal, from January 25th and at the 0:26 mark of this highlight package, is a perfect example of what he can do when things are clicking for him.
He also serves as a good example of the complicated process that is drafting and developing prospects. It’s a long, winding, sometimes arduous path to the NHL, and much of what happens along the way is out of the control of the NHL organization that makes the selection.
Here’s hoping that things get better for Porco moving forward in his career.
North American Juniors
Riley Damiani had his eight-game point streak snapped on Friday, but then he came right back with two assists on Saturday, although they came in a defeat at the hands of Ty Dellandrea’s Flint Firebirds. He continues to lead his Kitchenr club in scoring, with 61 points in 47 contests.
It was another solid week for center Curtis Douglas of the Windsor Spitfires, picking up two tallies and two helpers in three games. He has a whopping eight goals in his past 10 games, bumping him up to 21 on the season.
Thomas Harley: still very good at hockey. Check out this beautiful goal from the weekend:
Speaking of nice goals from Stars defense prospects, Dawson Barteaux scored this snipe against his former Red Deer Rebels team on Friday. He has 11 points in nine games since being moved to the Winnipeg Ice.
It was an uncharacteristically slow week for the Texas Stars, as the AHL wrapped up it’s All-Star break and then took the day off for Superbowl Sunday.
The Stars’ only match came on Friday against the state-rival San Antonio Rampage, and the Rampage continued to dominate the season series between the two teams, skating away with a 3-2 win. San Antonio is 5-1 versus Texas this year.
Jason Robertson had two goals (tying him with Joel L’Esperance for the team lead in that category) and Landon Bow had some doozies in his 26 saves, but a Rampage goal with 3:51 remaining in the 3rd wound up being the decider. Nick Caamano was also good in the game for the Stars, and with an assist has picked up seven points over his last eight.
Defenseman Jakob Stenqvist had two assists in two games for Assat, giving him seven points over his past seven games.
Forward Jacob Peterson continues to miss time for Frolunda in the SHL due to a groin injury.
For a full database of the organization’s prospects and their stats, check out the Stars’ “In the System” page on Elite Prospects.