Top prospects for Dallas Stars

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NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, the top five prospects for the Dallas Stars, according to NHL.com.

 

[Stars 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Behind the Numbers | Fantasy breakdown]

 

1. Joel Kiviranta, F 

How acquired: Signed as free agent on May 31, 2019

2019-20 season: Dallas (NHL): 11 GP, 1-0-1; Texas (AHL): 48 GP, 12-11-23 

The 24-year-old left wing made a big splash in the postseason, when he scored six points (five goals, one assist) in 14 games, including a hat trick to help the Stars eliminate the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round. 

During Dallas’ postseason, which ended in the Stanley Cup Final, Kiviranta (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) said he just wants a chance to be a regular this season.

“I see him as a top-nine kind of a guy who can kill some penalties, maybe contribute on the power play at moments,” Stars assistant general manager Scott White said. “He just fits in to how we like to play. He’s not a big man, but he’s a solid guy. And he’s hard to play against, and that lends itself into the fabric of our group well.”

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: DAL@COL, Gm7: Kiviranta nets hat trick, Game 7 winner

 

2. Nick Caamano, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 146 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Dallas (NHL): 12 GP, 1-1-2; Texas (AHL): 36 GP, 9-14-23

The 22-year-old right wing scored his first NHL goal in his third game against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 8, 2019, but played most of the season in the American Hockey League after being reassigned Nov. 20. Caamano (6-3, 200) returned for the postseason and played four games against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Cup Final, but he’ll benefit from more time in the AHL this season.

“He’s big, he can skate, and he’s heavy,” White said. “That’s how we like to play, and I like the power in his game. There’s offense there, it just hasn’t come to the forefront as of yet. I’m not saying he’ll be a 20-goal scorer, but he’s going to be able to produce in time.”

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

Video: DAL@WSH: Caamano backhands home first NHL goal

 

3. Thomas Harley, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 18 pick in 2019 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Mississauga (OHL): 59 GP, 18-39-57

The 19-year-old was tied for fifth in the OHL among defensemen in goals and seventh in points before joining the Stars for the NHL Return to Play Plan. He made his NHL debut against the Colorado Avalanche in the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, playing 10:58.

Harley (6-3, 190) was one of 46 players invited to take part in Hockey Canada’s national junior team selection camp from Nov. 16-Dec. 13. It is the final step in picking the team that will play at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship

“He’s a smooth-skating, big defender,” White said. “He’s not overly physical. He’s very mobile and he can skate it out of trouble when he needs to. He can take on defenders 1-on-1 and walks the blue line well offensively, as well.”

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

Video: 31 in 31: Dallas Stars 2020-21 season preview

 

4. Ty Dellandrea, F

How acquired: Selected with No. 13 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

2019-20 season: Flint (OHL): 47 GP, 32-38-70 

The 20-year-old center was second on Flint in goals and points last season, and he scored five points (three goals, two assists) in seven games to help Canada win the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. 

The Stars loaned Dellandrea (6-1, 190) to JYP of Liiga, the top professional men’s league in Finland, on Nov. 12. 

“He plays hard, he plays fast, has good hands and a good shot,” White said. “He takes a lot of important draws and he has good character. Ultimately, it will come down to experience. He goes to Europe now, he gets his feet wet in the [AHL], then transitions up. That’s how we’ve had success with a lot of our prospects, and I anticipate the same trajectory for him.”

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

5. Joel L’Esperance, F

How acquired: Signed as free agent on July 2, 2018

2019-20 season: Dallas (NHL): 3 GP, 1-0-1; Texas (AHL): 58 GP, 25-15-40

The 25-year-old center played four seasons at Michigan Tech University, where he scored 98 points (46 goals, 52 assists) in 152 games before signing as an undrafted free agent. L’Esperance (6-2, 215) led Texas in goals in each of his first two professional seasons, including 30 in 54 games in 2018-19. He received a two-year, two-way contract with Dallas on Oct. 11. 

“He’s a good player, strong and protects the puck well,” White said. “He’s a proven goal-scorer at the AHL level, and he’s had his cup of coffee in NHL, playing [21] games. It’s just finding his path to the NHL and sticking. He just has to find his way to add elements to his game to stick. He knows what he has to do, and now it’s up to him to go do it.”

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

Video: CGY@DAL: Hanley, L’Esperance combine for opening goal

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