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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Wyatt Johnston Comes Of Age

May 13, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Dallas Stars center Sam Steel (18) reacts with center Wyatt Johnston (53) after scoring an empty net goal in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche in game four of the second round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Victory Green Gang’s golden child turned 21 on Tuesday – and he’s celebrating on a national stage.

Some of us are old enough to remember when Wyatt Johnston was just a kid scoring his first playoff goal. And on Monday night, on the eve of his majority, there he was leading the Dallas Stars to a dominant Game 4 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

The star forward made the transition from promising rookie to franchise cornerstone in what seems like a heartbeat, as Friend of DBD Robert Tiffin points out:

…Johnston is no longer simply a character in a great story, but the title of the anthology. The just-turned-21-year-old has become the Stars’ top forward and centerman, and an elite one at that. He has been one of the primary reasons Dallas is on the cusp of another Western Conference final. 

But his dominance as a player was there to be seen even before his two-goal performance against Colorado on Monday night, which included a host of beautiful highlights. Johnston was fearless, dominant, and efficient, scoring goals and setting up an empty-netter while effortlessly controlling the ice during his shifts. 

The best part? This kid is only going to get better:

Hockey IQ is a nebulous stat, but it’s often used to describe players who make good plays despite lacking any obvious physical gift over their counterparts. Johnston, at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, does not strike anyone as a behemoth of an NHL center. But despite how tough it’s supposed to be to get to the net in the playoffs, he leads all NHL skaters in shots this postseason. It’s not just the shots, though. It’s the fact that they’re going in, and whom he’s doing it against. Vegas was a heavy team defending a championship, but it didn’t matter to Johnston, who became one of only eight players in NHL history to score 10 playoff goals before turning 21.

There’s much, much more at StrongSide. [D Magazine]

And because this may be the news you came here for, here’s the latest from Heika.


Stars Stuff

Watching national broadcasts with the sound on can be a chore. The Dallas Stars social media team sees you, and they’ve heard you, too.

Surely this means he’s a future Vezina finalist. Someday. If the hockey media can quit being salty because they don’t get to part-time live in Las Vegas for two months again.

Remember this guy? He’s doing…he’s doing good.

The Story So Far – Round 2

You mean there are other series going on? Impossible….

  • After being pushed to the brink by the President’s Trophy winners, the Carolina Hurricanes have rallied to two consecutive wins over the New York Rangers. [ESPN]
  • Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins have staved off their own early elimination with a 3-2 Game 5 win over the Florida Panthers. [Stanley Cup Of Chowder]
  • And the Edmonton Oilers pulled out a 3-2 Game 5 win against the Vancouver Canucks to their their series 2-2. [CBC]

Around The Leagues

Of all the top moms in hockey, Jason and Nick’s mom is emphatically one of them.

One of the bigger stories from the 2024 #MensWorlds is Poland’s return to the top division after a two-decade absence. The IIHF has the story of how they made it back, and how they plan to stay there.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park – And Beautiful Boise

The Texas Stars lost a heartbreaker of a division semifinals series to the Milwaukee Admirals – but they still left us with a lot to cheer for.

Meanwhile, Stephen Meserve is watching I-35 for black-ace sightings.

The Idaho Steelheads had a great run, but they’ve made their playoffs exit as well.

Finally

So let it be written. So let it be done. Enjoy your day.

Talking Points