Dustin Jeffrey Looks for Fresh Start with Stars

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:02 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Dustin Jeffrey Looks for Fresh Start with Stars

Forward Dustin Jeffrey, claimed off waivers by the Stars on Sunday, went through his first practice with the team Tuesday morning in McKinney. Jeffrey, who has been in and out of the lineup with the Pittsburgh Penguins this season, said he is excited about the opportunity in Dallas.

“I’ve been looking forward to a fresh start for a little bit,” Jeffrey said. “It was frustrating playing only half the games and I feel like I could have contributed more to the lineup. So coming in here and hopefully getting to play every night, I am welcoming that fresh start and looking forward to the opportunity to prove myself.”

Jeffrey played in ten of Pittsburgh’s games this season, registering one assist. He’s played for Pittsburgh the last four seasons, picking up 28 points (15 goals, 13 assists) in 100 games. Cracking a deep Pittsburgh lineup on a regular basis was tough for Jeffrey, a sixth round pick in the 2007 NHL draft. But he picked up a lot playing with one of the top teams in the league.

“They taught me a lot about being a pro, what I need to bring every night to stay in the NHL,” Jeffrey said. “I credit that a lot and I am going to try to bring that with me here and put it in the lineup.”

Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski, who played with Jeffrey in Pittsburgh, offered a scouting report on the 25-year-old Ontario native.

“Good two-way guy, he can move up and down the lineup. He’s responsible. Good shot, good vision. Just a really smart player,” Goligoski said. “He’s a good pickup for us.”

Stars coach Lindy Ruff is familiar with Jeffrey, as well.

“I saw him a little bit in the East. He’s a good skater,” Ruff said about Jeffrey. “You can never have enough depth. We’ll watch him in practice and we’ll make a judgment or a call of when we are going to get him in a game.”

The 25-year-old Jeffrey is listed at 6-1, 205 pounds. He is a left shot who can play center or left wing, and he can play in a lot of different situations. Jeffrey said that versatility helped keep him an option for the Penguins the past four seasons.

“I think that is the one thing in Pittsburgh that helped me stay with the team and jump in the lineup,” Jeffrey said. “I can play up and down the lineup, play center or wing and power play or penalty kill. I took on a lot of different roles in the American League and in Pittsburgh. So, coming in here, whatever role the coaching staff wants to use me, where ever I can pick up the quickest, I hope to contribute that way and hopefully my role will grow as I stay longer here.”

Jeffrey had a tough time cracking a deep Pittsburgh lineup on a regular basis, but he said he learned a lot playing for one of the top teams in the NHL.

The Stars like Jeffrey’s versatility and he adds more depth, which is important over the long grind of the NHL season.

“He’s fallen behind some pretty good players (in Pittsburgh),” Ruff said. “Our scouts feel he can be a good addition to our team. Knock on wood, we haven’t run into too much in the injury department, but depth is always a real good thing to have.”

Injury notes

*Forward Erik Cole did not practice Tuesday. He was given a maintenance day.

“We gave him an extra day,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “He got a little banged up late in the game in Vancouver.”

*Stars forward Ray Whitney, who has missed the last three games with a groin injury, practiced Tuesday. His status for Thursday’s game against the New York Rangers is still up in the air.

“Ray is coming,” said Ruff. “I wouldn’t call today a hard practice, but it’s the first practice where he has gone through the full paces almost at full speed. We’d like to get him in some more compete stuff and see where he is later in the week.”

Practice lineup

Here’s how the Stars lined up at times in Tuesday’s practice in McKinney.

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Rich Peverley
Cody EakinAlex Chiasson
Lane MacDermid
Shawn HorcoffAntoine Roussel
Dustin Jeffrey
Vernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt
Ray Whitney

Brenden DillonStephane Robidas
Alex Goligoski
Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn
Sergei Gonchar
Aaron Rome

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

Not skating: Erik Cole (maintenance day)

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.




1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
J. Benn 13 5 10 2 15
J. Spezza 13 5 8 0 13
C. Eakin 13 1 7 -4 8
A. Goligoski 13 4 3 -6 7
P. Sharp 13 4 2 -4 6
P. Eaves 9 3 3 3 6
R. Faksa 13 3 2 2 5
M. Janmark 12 2 3 -3 5
C. Sceviour 11 2 3 1 5
J. Klingberg 13 1 3 -5 4
K. Lehtonen 6 3 0 .899 2.81
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .865 3.29
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