It’s August 2022, and the Dallas Stars’ defense needs a new star on the right. Is it time for Thomas Harley to become That Guy?
Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika devoted a new post to examining the case for a young player who should – should – be a big deal, if he’s ready, and if he’s deployed correctly.
It’s weird to think that the Stars may owe the Harley advent to COVID-19, but the 20-year-old blueliner would have had to play in the OHL during the 2020-21 season if not for pandemic rules. Now may be the time to find out if he really is ready for the show:
Could he now be an even better NHL player as he crosses his 21st birthday? It makes sense. The departure of John Klingberg and Andrej Sekera opens up minutes on defense, and there’s a good chance Harley will be able to take some of those minutes.
He’s a skilled defenseman who had 57 points (18 goals, 39 assists) in 59 games for Mississauga in 2019-20, so he clearly has the ability to contribute if the coaches think he’s ready. Harley played almost no special teams last season, but there’s a very good chance he’ll get time on the power play this year. He also will get a chance under a new system with head coach Pete DeBoer and assistant coach Alain Nasreddine. DeBoer’s teams have a history of puck possession and allowing defensemen to help dictate play, which seems perfect for Harley. He’ll get some competition from right-handed veteran Colin Miller, who also is a skilled defenseman, but it sure seems like Harley is set up for a breakout year.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Friend of DBD David Castillo has uncorked another great piece for D Magazine’s new StrongSide section – this one on the very real prospect of Miro Heiskanen Unleashed.
ICYMI: digging super deep into why I think Miro Heiskanen is gonna have the kind of career that has more than Stars fans talking about him in the same sentence as Cale Makar (even if he'll still be saddled on his weakside next to a suboptimal partner). https://t.co/Jb2Md33Qej— David Castillo (@DavidCastilloAC) August 10, 2022
Adam Proteau says what a number of Stars fans have said already, but he’s doing it from a platform.
Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are Dallas' highest-paid players, but are both on the decline.— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) August 14, 2022
They'll need a quick turnaround in 2022-23 if the Stars are going to see any success.
From @ProteauType: https://t.co/aLtMPbEjb9
Around The Leagues
This is the story that broke hockey Twitter late last week.
Oilers teammates Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman and coach Jay Woodcroft talked about the impact 6-year-old Ben Stelter had on them. "He was such a fighter. Just an awful, awful day." https://t.co/mS7Hvqyz82 via @NHLdotcom— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) August 11, 2022
The Stars did their part to honor the six-year-old superfan.
Roope Hintz staring at this list, whispering “Soon....”
NHL Network producers and analysts chose the top 20 centers in the League right now, and they were revealed on Sunday in the first of a nine-part series. Here is the list:https://t.co/sHenv2rgQS— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) August 14, 2022
It’s always time to work on your fantasy roster, and Jason Chen has done sums on the best NHL players coming off their rookie seasons.
Meanwhile, at the #WorldJuniors, the action is, well, heating up – and included a historic upset by Team Latvia.
USA has clinched top spot in Group B, Finland will battle for the top spot in Group A against Canada and Latvia managed to record its first preliminary round game ever during the penultimate day of round-robin action at the #WorldJuniors.https://t.co/xFWXH0rk10— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) August 15, 2022
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars continue to shore up their offense. Justin Ducharme, late of the Laval Rocket, brings Memorial and Kelly Cup playoffs experience to his new role in Austin Metro.
INKED! ✍ We have signed forward Justin Ducharme to a one-year AHL contract through the 2022-23 season. Welcome to Texas, Justin!— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) August 10, 2022
I, for one, welcome our new Stank overlogan. (And somebody should grab r/Stan-Koven right away, because it’s never too soon.) Enjoy.