The Dallas Stars gave Wyatt Johnston a big vote of confidence after their 2022 training camp – and so far, the teenager from Toronto has delivered.
But there’s a lot to consider before the team burns a year of his entry-level contract to keep him in the NHL full time, and with Johnston’s nine-game limit approaching, those decisions are looming larger.
The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf took a look at Johnston’s situation in his latest article – starting with what may be the ideal roommate situation for a 19-year-old who hasn’t spent much time away from home:
Since he arrived in Dallas for training camp, Johnston was living out of a hotel room in Frisco. Nill considered a handful of options but Joe Pavelski made the decision easy. The 17-year NHL veteran volunteered a guest room in his house to serve as Johnston’s new home....
“Oh, Jumbo [Joe Thornton] would do it all the time,” Pavelski said. “I think for us, to have an opportunity like this, you’ve seen it, you’ve lived it, you’ve been a part of it. … This is a decision where you feel very comfortable bringing him into our lives like that.”
Now comes the tension over how long Johnston will need living arrangements in Dallas. The Stars’ front office has some weighing to do, and it’s not as cut-and-dried as you might hope:
The decision on Johnston is a multi-layered one. From a hockey perspective, things are relatively straightforward. Through five games, Johnston has proven he can hang with NHL competition. He hasn’t put his stamp on the league but, physically and mentally, he hasn’t appeared glaringly overmatched. ... [But the] Stars have to weigh the business aspect as well. Johnston has played well but has he been so much better than what the Stars could get out of Jacob Peterson, who has been a healthy scratch for every game so far this season? Could Riley Damiani, [Mavrik] Bourque or Matej Blumel be forward options to call up from the AHL and provide similar contributions on their cheap deals?
If the Stars keep Johnston in the NHL this season, he will be a restricted free agent in 2025. The Stars already have Jake Oettinger due for a big extension that summer. If things get pushed back a year and Johnston begins his full-time NHL career next season, he’ll be up in 2026 with Jason Robertson and Mason Marchment. While the salary cap is expected to rise, it’s hard to project Johnston’s market.
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Happy Monday to everyone, but mostly to Captain America.
On Saturday, Joe Pavelski became the— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 23, 2022
Oldest player in franchise history to record a hat trick
Oldest player in @NHL history to record regular-season hat trick against Canadiens AND as a visitor
AND HAD ANOTHER FOUR POINT NIGHT!
Legend.@trulyseltzer | #TexasHockey pic.twitter.com/HQcipkUEU6
Meanwhile, a friend writes:
Cool find from HFBoards. It's an interview with Miro Heiskanen in Finnish. Apparently:— David Castillo (@DavidCastilloAC) October 23, 2022
-Faksa is the most superstitious.
-Heiskanen would want Hakanpaa to protect him from Ryan Reeves instead of Lindell.
-Finnish wings are better than American wings. https://t.co/Mf3yejBntk
Around The Leagues
In On The #Kill Taker
There was plenty of action in the #MDK over the weekend:
- Mats Zuccarello and Jared Spurgeon got two points each, but the Minnesota Wild dropped a messy 4-3 decision to the Boston Bruins in overtime. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Jordan Binnington got the shutout and the St. Louis Blues remained undefeated in their first three games, blanking the Edmonton Oilers 2-0. [Copper And Blue]
- Dylan Guenther potted his first NHL goal, but the Arizona Coyotes gave up a 6-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. [Five For Howling]
- The Winnipeg Jets hit turbulence early and lost 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are on something of a roll against the Central Division right now. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
- The Nashville Predators are off to an awful start of their own, losing their latest 3-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers. [On The Forecheck]
- The Colorado Avalanche ran into penalty trouble but held onto an early lead to take a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. [Mile High Hockey]
- Are the Chicago Blackhawks supposed to be bad? They’re doing pretty well right now, finishing the weekend with a 5-4 win over the Seattle Kraken. [Second City Hockey]
Your occasional reminder that Valeri Nichushkin was a first-round pick for a reason.
It wasn't that long ago Jaromir Jagr's comment about Valeri Nichushkin one day being one of the NHL's best was a punchline. Now I just want Jagr to give me numbers for the next Powerball. pic.twitter.com/o4FK7T4K55— David Castillo (@DavidCastilloAC) October 24, 2022
The Vancouver Canucks have begun what increasingly seems to be a star-crossed season.
Boos rained down on the Vancouver Canucks as they left the ice on Saturday https://t.co/noggeyTx4M— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) October 23, 2022
Sean McIndoe still doesn’t believe that this year’s Stars are for real, but whaddaya want from a Leafs fan.
In the weekly rankings, it's a full-blown disaster in Vancouver. Plus the five teams having solid starts that I'm not buying quite yet, the top and bottom five, and more...https://t.co/rgh8wAXw20 pic.twitter.com/gCFh7Cu0W6— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) October 24, 2022
Which fantasy players are you sleeping on? Jason Chen takes early-season inventory.
As NHL teams pass the five-game mark, @jasonchen16 looks at which players can benefit your fantasy hockey team now and long-term: https://t.co/3U3sPzfACx— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) October 24, 2022
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Here’s the tweet-length summary of the Texas Stars’ awesome weekend.
Barber and Blumel strike again ✅— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) October 23, 2022
Gleason scores his first goal of the season ✅
Kero lights the lamp in the shootout ✅
Stars sweep the Wild ✅
Check out the highlights from last night's exciting shootout win in Iowa presented by @texasorthopedic pic.twitter.com/vsUVSAH3eu
And here’s the 100 Degree Hockey write-up on a guy who’s increasingly responsible for good news out of Austin Metro.
Matej Blumel sits tied for 1st in league goal scoring and 3rd for overall points. He leads all rookies in both categories as well.— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) October 23, 2022
More: https://t.co/WjybtbqUGP pic.twitter.com/2QVAaKP1V4
Nobody really wants to watch a Pavs natural hat trick on repeat, right?... Haha, just kidding, here are all the Stars goals from Saturday night. Enjoy.
Joe Pavelski lässt beim 5:2 der Dallas Stars gegen die Montreal Canadiens (@canadiensmtl) die Mützen fliegen! #TexasHockey | @DallasStars | @jpav8 | #Pavelski pic.twitter.com/mstyYAHfak— NHL Deutsch (@NHLde) October 23, 2022