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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 33 21 7 5 97 89 47
2 CHI 32 22 9 1 100 64 45
3 STL 31 21 8 2 94 72 44
4 NSH 30 20 8 2 81 59 42
5 VAN 31 18 11 2 89 88 38
6 SJS 32 17 11 4 90 82 38
7 WPG 32 16 10 6 78 75 38
8 LAK 32 15 11 6 84 78 36
9 CGY 33 17 14 2 97 90 36
10 MIN 30 16 12 2 86 78 34
11 DAL 30 12 13 5 87 103 29
12 COL 31 10 13 8 78 99 28
13 ARI 31 11 16 4 72 100 26
14 EDM 32 7 19 6 66 106 20

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 30 23 15 7 38
J. Benn 30 8 18 0 26
J. Spezza 30 6 18 -9 24
A. Roussel 30 7 9 -3 16
T. Daley 30 6 9 -14 15
A. Goligoski 30 1 12 2 13
C. Eakin 27 6 5 4 11
S. Horcoff 30 4 7 0 11
E. Cole 29 5 5 -5 10
R. Garbutt 23 5 5 -5 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 12 7 5 .906 2.97
A. Lindback 0 5 0 .861 4.63
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