In today’s edition of Stars News & Rumors, Dallas closed out their 2021 prospect tournament, the NHL announced their national television schedule for the 2021-22 season, and more.
Stars Prospects Grow at Prospect Tournament
The 2021 prospect tournament ended on Monday after the Stars played four games in Traverse City, Michigan. While the team lost three of the four games, the growth of their young players was far more important.
“To me, there have been a lot of positives. To see some of the growth even from Game 1 to Game 2, it’s been impressive to see guys grab it a little bit more. Everyone is so nervous that first game, so it’s good to see the improvement.”– Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham
A few players have stepped up during these games, while others struggled to find their footing. Among those who excelled are Ty Dellandrea, Riley Tufte, and Riley Damiani, who are close to cracking the NHL lineup, and youngsters Jacob Peterson, Wyatt Johnston, and Maverick Bourque. Dellandrea is the only player in this group with NHL experience, while Johnston (23rd overall in 2021) and Bourque (30th overall in 2020) are recent draft picks.
“I definitely think some of the players from these past two draft classes have looked good. Bourque, he jumped off the page the first night. Johnston was excellent the second night.”– Neil Graham
Unfortunately, not all players lived up to the hype. Since he signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Stars in April out of the University of North Dakota, expectations have been high for rookie goaltender Adam Scheel. With Jake Oettinger set to battle for an NHL role, Scheel needs to step up to earn important minutes in the American Hockey League this season. In his two starts at the tournament, he struggled, allowing 11 goals in five periods. He was pulled in the second period of both games.
Overall, there is a lot for the prospects to improve on after the prospect tournament, but there were also many positive signs of things to come.
Stars Prospect Tournament Scores
- Detroit Red Wings 5, Dallas Stars 4
- Columbus Blue Jackets 5, Dallas Stars 4
- Toronto Maple Leafs 7, Dallas Stars 3
- Dallas Stars 7, St. Louis Blues 3
The Three Swedes: Back, Karlstrom, and Peterson Adjusting to North America
Peterson was among the most impressive players at the tournament. However, he is only one of three Swedish players, including Oscar Back and Fredrick Karlstrom, who are trying to adjust to the smaller North American rink for the first time.
“That’s such a challenge for them, and that’s really the purpose of a tournament like this. You want to give them reps in competitive situations and let these guys acclimate and adjust. You see it some people adjust very quickly and some guys take a little longer. There’s no crystal ball on that, so you just have to work every day and every game and try to make progress. It’s all about getting used to different spatial awareness.”– Neil Graham
Peterson scored three goals in four games, while Back and Karlstrom have shown their potential. All three must continue to adjust to the spacing and style of play on the smaller rink as they look to play their first season in the AHL.
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Stars to Play 11 Nationally Televised Games
Heading into the first season of a new television contract with ESPN, the NHL recently announced the full schedule of nationally televised games. The Stars will be in the spotlight 11 times this season, among the most in the league. Nationally televised games will be shown on ESPN/ESPN+, Hulu, and TNT.
Stars National TV Schedule
- Oct. 22 vs Los Angeles Kings
- Nov. 16 vs Detroit Red Wings
- Nov. 23 vs Edmonton Oilers
- Dec. 8 at Vegas Golden Knights
- Dec. 17 at St. Louis Blues
- Dec. 29 at Colorado Avalanche
- Jan. 25 at New Jersey Devils
- March 6 at Minnesota Wild
- March 24 at Carolina Hurricanes
- April 12 vs Tampa Bay Lightning
- April 14 vs Minnesota Wild
The Stars begin the regular season in 24 days. Next up is training camp in Frisco, beginning on Sept. 23, when many of the team’s biggest questions will be answered.
Sam Nestler is a Dallas Stars contributor for the ‘The Hockey Writers’. Growing up in New Jersey, Sam has been playing hockey since he was 7 years old. Developing a love for writing in college, Sam uses his hockey knowledge to create analyses and articles on every aspect of the game. Sam also hosts his own podcast on Spotify, the “Slapshot Sammy’ podcast, breaking down action across the NHL and NCAA. Check out the podcast here, and give his latest article a read!