In this edition of Stars News & Rumors, Tyler Seguin is feeling great, Braden Holtby was impressive in the preseason opener, and more!
Seguin Feeling Great
Seguin had not played a home game in Dallas in 568 days. He hit the ice for his first preseason game on Wednesday night, the first true test after rehabbing both hip and knee injuries for most of last season. Not only did he tally an assist on the first Stars goal, but he looked comfortable and effective overall. The most important news, however, is that he is doing so with no pain.
“I’m feeling good, I don’t really think about the injuries as much anymore, which is great,” Seguin said. “After a few hard days at camp, I was laying on the couch, and I was like, `I don’t feel anything anymore, I don’t feel any pain.’– Stars forward Tyler Seguin
Following the injuries, things have changed a bit for Seguin. While he used to poke fun at veterans such as Jamie Benn and Andrew Cogliano for their lengthy warm-up routines, he has now been forced to join them in the process.
“I used to chirp Jamie and some of the older guys for their 45 minute to hour-long warm-up and I am part of that group now,” Seguin laughed. “I need more treatment than I have in the past and the warm-up is longer, but I feel pretty good.”– Stars forward Tyler Seguin
Seguin will continue to work to improve his strength and mobility along with his timing on the ice. He has been an elite scorer and two-way center for Dallas in the past and is looking to return or exceed that level. If he can do so, he will be a top player to watch this season.
Holtby Strong in Preseason Opener
Braden Holtby is a Stanley Cup and Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender. He was among the NHL elite for years with the Washington Capitals before struggling the past two seasons. Now, he has a fresh start with the Dallas Stars, a team with a strong defensive structure capable of bringing out his best hockey. It was important for the coaching staff to see him in games as soon as possible, explaining why he started the first preseason game on Monday against the St. Louis Blues.
“He wants to play, he wants to get in and get a feel for the game, and we want to see him in game action as quick as we can,” Stars head coach Rick Bowness said. “That’s a pretty good lineup they’re throwing at us tonight, I think there are eight regulars, so it’ll be a good test for everybody.”– Stars Head Coach Rick Bowness
Holtby answered the challenge, stopping 15 of 16 shots faced in two periods of action before the Stars fell to the Blues in overtime. While this is only the first test of many, it is an important step and confidence boost for him amongst the goalie battle as we near the NHL regular season.
“He played very well, he handles the puck really well, which is a big advantage,” said Bowness. “He looked really poised in the net. He’s a veteran, he knows how to play, and it showed tonight.”– Stars Head Coach Rick Bowness
Stars Sign 2021 Draft Picks
The Stars announced the signing of two of their 2021 draft picks in Wyatt Johnston and Logan Stankoven on Tuesday. Both players signed three-year, entry-level contracts that will take them through the 2023-24 season. Johnston was a first-round selection, 23rd overall, while Stankoven was a second-round pick at 47th overall. While both players are likely to spend this season outside of the NHL, Johnston has impressed early and is keeping his name on the minds of the coaching staff.
“He’s at a good spot in his career,” said Stars general manager Jim Nill. “He’s got very good skills, he’s showed that, but he’s also a very responsible player. At the Under-18s, the coaches put him in a third-line role, and he accepts that and played well, and he still got power-play time. He’s got a lot of different tools to work with. We just think he’s a very well-rounded player who has a lot of upside.”– Stars General Manager Jim Nill
Johnston and Stankoven are the first players from the 2021 draft class to sign contracts. The Stars have yet to sign any of their eight other picks from this summer.
Each day, we learn more about how this team will shape up for this season. After two preseason games, we have seen players exceed expectations while others have struggled on the quest to securing a roster spot. With five more preseason games to go before the season opener, there is still plenty of work to be done.
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!