Dallas Stars Prospect Update: Mavrik Bourque Remains Red-Hot After Pause
Elsewhere: Texas Stars split weekend series, SHL playoffs coming into focus
By now, Mavrik Bourque must be sick of all the starting and stopping in his schedule.
To be fair, the 2020 Dallas Stars 1st-rounder has been one of the lucky ones, overall, because he’s been getting to play at least some hockey in the QMJHL. The OHL has been suspended all season, and the WHL only just recently began playing. The QMJHL, meanwhile, started their season in October, before shutting down a few weeks later. The league resumed in January, and the process has been rocky: protected environments for some teams here, individual clubs shutting down there, as the provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick all handle their COVID-19 situations separately.
Bourque and his Shawinigan Cataractes squad played almost a full month of hockey, from January 22nd to February 18th, but then paused again for more than a week as they prepared to enter a play bubble. That action kicked off this past weekend, and it’s safe to say that Bourque was prepared — he picked up five points in two dominant wins over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. You can find highlights of those games here and here.
As before, Bourque’s playmaking has been his main meal ticket. He has offensive talent around him, and his ability to work with his teammates to dissect opposing defenses is exceptional. He’s now up to 27 points in 18 games.
This clip below isn’t from this past weekend, but it still goes to highlight how well he can protect the puck and find ways to get it to his mates.
Watching Xavier Bourgault (#98) tonight and found this clip. Bourgault passes to the point, sees three Huskies diverting their attention to the puck and discreetly goes right around them to the net. Smart read. #2021NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/Ig0t01vpPK— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) February 24, 2021
After having to postpone their third and tiebreaking match in a small series against the San Jose Barricuda due to the winter storm that hit the state, the Texas Stars were back in action this past week for as pair of games against the Iowa Wild. They were upended 5-3 on Friday but managed to return the favor with a 3-2 win on Saturday.
The club is getting contributions from up and down the lineup, but it’s a trio of prospects atop the roster’s scoring stats. AHL rookie Riley Damiani, who is still a few weeks away from being able to legally drink alcohol in the United States, has the lead with eight points in seven games. He had a big performance on Saturday, posting the primary assists on the game-tying and game-winning goals in the second period. Right behind him for points is Adam Mascherin, who has seven in six games played, including goals in both games over the weekend. Thomas Harley sits in third, with six points in seven games.
Two other young blueliners in Ben Gleason and Ryan Shea have been making a mark offensively, with five points and four points respectively. They’ve been finding opportunities to jump up into the rush and help generate some scoring pressure.
Tye Felhaber is also having a nice little start to his season, with three goals and a helper in seven contests. The former OHL scoring star didn’t have a great freshman campaign in the AHL, but he seems more well-adjusted to the pace and challenge now, putting his offensive instincts to good use.
The SHL is gearing up for its final month of the regular season, and the Stars prospects involved are beginning to look ahead to the playoffs.
Fredrik Karlström and his Växjö club are sitting pretty, at second place in the league’s standings. The fast winger has slowed down a little bit production-wise over the last while, though he’s still a trusted member of the group and did pot an overtime game-winning goal a few days ago.
MÅÅÅL 🚨🚨— Växjö Lakers (@VLHlive) February 25, 2021
Växjö Lakers avgör i overtime och slutresultatet blir 2-1!
Målskytt nr.81 Fredrik Karlström💥 pic.twitter.com/PoCOyByuWt
Despite currently sitting in 8th place, Färjestad —which boasts all of Jacob Peterson, Oskar Bäck and Albin Eriksson — is sitting six points away from earning a bye in the opening round of the playoffs, and might need to engage in a best-of-three series to against another team in the 7-10 range, as per SHL rules. Peterson picked up three points in his last two games, while Bäck had a four-game assist streak snapped on Thursday. Eriksson hasn’t played since February 6th and it’s most likely that he’s been a healthy scratch, as he hasn’t passed 10 minutes of ice time in a single game since late December
For a full database of the organization’s prospects and their stats, check out the Stars’ “In the System” page on Elite Prospects.