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Dallas Stars Daily Links: How Wyatt Johnston Became a Star

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Although he didn’t play in 2020-21, Dallas took a gamble on Johnston with their first round pick. Plus, the Evander Kane drama, the Blackhawks will make their investigation findings public, and more.

2021 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As you all know by now, the Dallas Stars selected Wyatt Johnston 23rd overall in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. This was despite Johnston having only played eight games in the past year and a third, thanks to COVID-19 shortening the OHL’s 2019-20 season and wiping out the 2020-21 season.

Such a move was naturally controversial, but here’s the thing — had Johnston played a full season, he might have gone much, much higher. After all, he was lighting it up with the Windsor Spitfires before the stoppage:

In the second two-thirds of his rookie season, Johnston took on a more prominent role...he racked up 28 points in Windsor’s final 36 games to somehow finish eighth among all under-17 OHL players in scoring.

“As a 16-year-old coming in, the expectations from a coaching standpoint are often not very high,” said Windsor associate coach Jerrod Smith. “But once he did get an opportunity [head coach Trevor Letowski] and I often looked at each other and were like ‘jeez, what were we thinking not giving this guy more of an opportunity right away?’”

While Johnston did get to play for Team Canada at the World Juniors for a few games, he was more or less unable to play competitive hockey after that point. Instead, Johnston resolved to improve himself in other manners, such as private drills or hitting the weight room:

“He was very, very focused on improving and trying to accomplish his goals. He was able to do really well considering he was training at home because it’s not as easy when you don’t have the environment to go see somebody. To have his own discipline at home, I thought that was impressive,” said [Spencer] Wight, who has trained Johnston since the seventh grade.

“His mindset is very much elite, whether it’s being on time every single day or the first kid in line for every single drill or knowing that he has weaknesses in his game and really not shying away from them. It has been a really cool experience to watch him.”

You can read more from Scott Wheeler behind the paywall here.


Stars Stories

With the Stars having seemingly filled up their remainder forward spots via Free Agency, RFA Adam Mascherin is taking his talents over to Sweden:

As a result, Mascherin moves to the Stars’ Reserve List, meaning the Stars’ technically signed their last RFA when they inked Joseph Cecconi to a deal:


Around the League

This is wonderful news:

Here’s everything you need to know about the Evander Kane gambling allegations:

To add further fuel on the fire:

Did you expect the Seattle Kraken to take Carey Price in the NHL Expansion Draft? Because his wife sure did:

Move over, Sedin twins: there’s a new Swedish pair on the horizon:

This is... something:

Finally...

Let’s end on some good news: the Chicago Blackhawks have pledged to make the findings of their sexual assault investigation public: