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Stars sign Hobey Baker Winner Lessard

Friday, 04.16.2004 / 12:00 AM / News
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Stars sign Hobey Baker Winner Lessard



April 16, 2004

Suddenly, the Stars' pool of prospective talent just got deeper.

That's because the Stars added the nation's best collegiate hockey player Thursday morning when they signed 2003-04 Hobey Baker Award winner Junior Lessard to a one-year contract.

And remember: The last time the Stars signed a Hobey Baker Award winner, his name was Neal Broten.

"Hopefully, your career with us will go like Neal's," Stars General Manager Doug Armstrong told Lessard Thursday, "and we'll see your number up in our rafters."

OK, so that's not much pressure.

Then again, Lessard has never been one to back down from any challenge.

Somehow, he went undrafted when he was the eligible age, and after failing to be chosen by an NHL team, opted to go the collegiate route at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

From that point on, he made his top priority proving those who said he couldn't play in the NHL wrong. He's not a strong skater, they said. Maybe not big enough. Whatever reason, he knew better.

"There were many people who counted me out who never thought I was going to make it," Lessard said. "Today I'm proud I showed a lot of people were wrong."

He started doing that in college for UM-D, increasing his point total in each season of college. As a freshman, he put up 12 points (four goals, eight assists), then upped it to 30 his sophomore season (17 goals, 13 assists). By his junior season, he was a full-fledged scoring machine, putting up 37 points (21 goals).

But his senior season is when he truly became a collegiate star. On his way to earning the nation's top individual honor, he also led the country in both goals (31) and points (61) in just 44 games played. He was selected to the American Hockey Association first team, the All-America first team, and was named both the uscho.com and insidecollegehokcey.com National Player of the Year.

His success, however, wasn't just individual. He also led the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Frozen Four appearance since 1985, where they lost in the national semifinal to eventual national champion University of Denver.

Quite the career. So when it was finally over, Armstrong and the Stars decided to make a push for his services.

"If he won the Hobey Baker Award, you know he's got some scoring talent," Armstrong said. "When someone wins that award, he grabs everyone's attention."

In fact, Lessard said he had several offers to sign a free agent contract, but that Dallas seemed to be the perfect fit for him.

Now, hopefully, he'll prove that's the case by putting up the same kind of numbers for the Stars as he did for the Bulldogs.

"It's been an exciting last couple of weeks," Lessard said. "But today has got to be the biggest day of my life."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 48 32 10 6 143 124 70
2 NSH 46 31 10 5 141 107 67
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 48 30 16 2 151 112 62
5 WPG 49 26 15 8 138 122 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 46 26 17 3 124 118 55
8 CGY 48 26 19 3 140 126 55
9 LAK 48 21 15 12 133 129 54
10 COL 49 20 18 11 128 141 51
11 DAL 47 21 19 7 146 154 49
12 MIN 47 21 20 6 130 138 48
13 ARI 47 16 25 6 108 160 38
14 EDM 48 12 27 9 110 160 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 47 28 25 2 53
J. Benn 47 14 28 -2 42
J. Spezza 47 8 27 -4 35
E. Cole 44 12 11 3 23
A. Goligoski 47 1 22 6 23
A. Roussel 47 11 11 -3 22
T. Daley 44 11 10 -9 21
C. Eakin 44 9 12 5 21
A. Hemsky 44 7 11 -6 18
J. Klingberg 33 6 12 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 19 11 7 .903 2.99
A. Lindback 2 7 0 .875 3.79
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