Stars Prospects Have Hot Starts
Prospects have stand out performances in major junior hockey and Europe
Several Dallas Stars prospects began play this weekend as the regular season kicked off in major junior hockey. Here are a few of the standout performances by Dallas prospects:
Center Radek Faksa had two goals, including the game-winner, as the Kitchener Rangers defeated the Mississauga Steelheads Friday night in the Ontario Hockey League season opener for both clubs. Faksa, Dallas’ first round pick (13th overall) in 2012, came up big Sunday as well, scoring the shootout-winning goal as Kitchener won 3-2 over the Sarnia Sting.
Center Gemel Smith, the Stars’ fourth round pick (104th overall) in 2012, registered one goal, two assists and a plus-three rating as the Owen Sound Attack defeated the Windsor Spitfires 6-1 in OHL play on Thursday.
Center Mike Winther, a second round pick (54th overall) in 2012, had two assists as the Prince Albert Raiders defeated the Saskatoon Blades 5-2 Saturday in Western Hockey League play. Stars prospect Matej Stransky, a sixth round pick (165th overall) in 2011, had an assist for Saskatoon.
Play has been underway in the European leagues for just under two weeks, and some Dallas prospects are making their marks there.
Defenseman Ludwig Bystrom, a second round pick (43rd overall) in 2012, has cracked the lineup of MODO in the Swedish Elite League. According to Swedish media reports, the 18-year-old Bystrom is the youngest player ever to make the MODO roster. During the 2010-11 season, he became one of the youngest players ever to suit up for a Swedish Elite League game when he played for MODO at the age of 16. Bystrom had played three games through Sunday and had no points and an even rating.
Defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka, Dallas’ seventh round pick (195th overall) in 2011, is logging big minutes in Finland’s top league. Jokipakka is averaging 24:34 of ice time through the first five games of the season for Ilves in the SM-Liiga. The 21-year-old Jokipakka ranked seventh in the league in ice time through Sunday’s games.
Goaltender Henri Kiviaho has stopped 91 of 100 shots in his first four games playing for KalPa in Finnish junior hockey. Kiviaho, a fifth round pick (144th overall) in 2012, has a 2-2 record, 2.47 goals against average and .910 save percentage through Sunday.