Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Future is Now

Jake Oettinger will no longer be waiver exempt after tonight’s game — he’s here to stay. Plus, why 2017 might be the best draft in Stars’ history, a check-in on Cedar Park, and more.

Ever since the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Jake Oettinger has been heralded to be the Dallas Stars’ goaltender of the future. Now that future has officially arrived — tonight’s start against the Winnipeg Jets will shed Oettinger’s waiver-exempt status, locking him into the NHL for good:

“At the start of the season, obviously I had to get my way back here and fight to get to this position that I wanted to be in,” Oettinger told The Athletic. “It’s exciting (to not be) waivers-exempt. It’s nice for me and it’s a big step in my career. I feel like I’ve earned my place here and hopefully, I can keep showing that.”

Oettinger has had a solid start to the season, and continues to improve. He currently sits in T-9th in league-wide SV% despite being the third youngest goalie with at least 10 games played. His performances have earned him the praise of his teammates, including fellow goaltender Ben Bishop:

“You’ll see at this stage, a lot of players have the skill set but I think what makes Jake special and why he’s done so well is because he’s got such a good head on his shoulders,” Bishop said. “He’s able to control his emotions, the ups and downs. … He’s obviously very mature for his age. Extremely mature. That’s part of the reason why he’s had so much success.”

You can read more about Oettinger and how he got to this point from Saad Yousuf here.

Around the League

The Stars aren’t the only one who’ve noticed Oettinger as of late:

Of course, Oettinger was only one of several picks from the 2017 draft that have blossomed for Dallas:

As for the Star’s youngins still in Cedar Park, Matthew DeFranks had a chat with Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham:

Around the League

From the Central Division last night:

  • The Nashville Predators snapped a four game losing streak as they outgunned the Florida Panthers 6-4. [On the Forecheck]
  • Meanwhile the Minnesota Wild couldn’t get it done against the Ottawa Senators, falling 4-3. [Silver Seven]
  • Finally, the St. Louis Blues actually did what they were favored to do, winning 4-1 against the Philadelphia Flyers. [Broadstreet Hockey]/

Speaking of the Central, Nathan MacKinnon will not be disciplined after striking a referee with his stick:

From Calder Trophy favorite to AHLer and now back in good graces, Cole Caufield has had quite the rollercoaster of a season:

Everyone keeps track of the NHLers who might get traded at the deadline, but what about the prospects?

The IHHF comes down on Ukrainian hockey player Andri Denyskin due to racist incident on ice:

This is just brutal — Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Rodion Amirov has been diagnosed with a brain tumor:

Finally, on a more positive note, the NHL is working to expand access to hockey for kids, even if it’s not on ice: