It wasn’t hard to pick out Dallas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak at the team’s practice in Frisco Thursday morning. At 6-7, 254 pounds he stands out in a crowd. But there’s more to Oleksiak than just size, and that’s why his NHL debut on Friday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at American Airlines Center is creating a buzz.
“He’s gifted for a big man,” said Stars assistant coach Paul Jerrard. “He’s got size, he’s got strength, he can skate well and he’s got really good hands for a big man. You don’t see that combination come along too often.”
And the Stars think now is the time for Oleksiak – probably the team’s top prospect – to come along and see if he can help out on the blue line.
“We want to get a little heavier in some of these games on the backend, and he’s played so well in the American Hockey League,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Like our other young defensemen, he deserves an opportunity. We want to give him a chance to see what he can do.”
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