Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google

On the Radar: Back to the Future

Thursday, 07.17.2014 / 9:41 AM / On the Radar
By Josh Bogorad
Share with your Friends

On the Radar: Back to the Future
The recent events on the Stars calendar serve as a good reminder that with all the excitement about the present of this team, the future also remains a huge source of confidence for the Stars organization.

On Monday the Dallas Stars inked Julius Honka, their first round pick in last month’s NHL draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract. The signing came just days after Honka and 33 other players took part in the Stars development camp in Frisco. The recent events on the Stars calendar serve as a good reminder that with all the excitement about the present of this team, the future also remains a huge source of confidence for the Stars organization.

With Honka included, the Stars are very excited about their entire 2014 Draft class, as well as their lengthy list of 2013 draftees, whose progress has been well monitored throughout the summer. Many experts predict the Stars have a few different guys who could have solid NHL careers when their time comes. It’s just that that time is not quite here yet.

When the Stars selected Honka with the 14th overall pick, a number of fans asked when they could expect to see him in Victory Green full time. Some expressed frustration upon hearing that it was most likely two to three years down the road. It’s important to remember, however, that this is much more the norm than some realize.

Many could be fooled by the impact that then-18-year-old Valeri Nichushkin had for Dallas after being selected 10th overall last year. However, the fact is that of the 201 players selected outside of the Top-10, only two played in the NHL last season, and they combined for just eight regular season games. Furthermore, if you look at the 2012 Draft, only six total players drafted after the first round have made it to the NHL. That’s two seasons of hockey, and only 3 percent of those selected in rounds 2-7 who have played in the NHL. It’s just the way development in this sport works. If you’re still not convinced, take solace in the fact that current top-end defensemen like Erik Karlsson, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson all were selected in the top half of the first round, and none of them played in the NHL the year they were drafted.

The good news for fans who still can’t wait to see the Stars “next big thing” is that while the time is not yet here for this summer’s draft class, it might be for those picked a few years ago. Just as two, three and four years from now, we will be anxiously awaiting the arrival of Honka, Brett Pollock and Alex Peters in Dallas, we are months away from potential unveilings that could turn a lot of heads this season. Stars draftees from 2010 like Patrik Nemeth and John Klingberg will be in Fort Worth in two months fighting for roster spots. If you followed the Dallas or Texas Stars late this season, chances are you know all about Nemeth’s ability to perform at the NHL level or clinch championships with incredible goals. Klingberg, who is coming off of a splendid season in Sweden, could wind up being a key offensive cog from the blue line as the lone right-hand shot among the current NHL-ready Stars defensive corps. The 2011 draft provided 6’7” defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, and talented power-forward Brett Ritchie who will both have the chance to earn opening day roster spots in Dallas. They are joined by 6’3” defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka who is someone else to keep an eye on in the preseason. Training camp will be rounded out with additional names like 2009 selections Scott Glennie and Curtis McKenzie, the latter of whom was last year’s AHL Rookie of the Year.

The Stars are happy with who they currently have on their NHL roster. They are excited about their newly drafted players whom they expect to be ready in a couple of years. And they are ready to see breakout seasons from the next wave of players who can make the jump to the NHL this year. The front office has already made a splash and strengthened their team this summer. And the sight of Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky in Stars jerseys will certainly be the marquee story on opening night. But there are still roster spots to be won and impressions to be made.

The majority of focus is where it should be. On the nucleus of a Stars roster that all of a sudden has been labelled as contenders. However, with the signing of Honka and Stars development camp in recent days, we should all be reminded that the future remains vital no matter how good the present looks. And now comes the time where yesterday’s future merges with today’s present. The result will be on display for all to see.

Training camp is 64 days away.

Josh Bogorad is the Pre-Game, Post-Game, and Intermission host for the Stars radio broadcasts. He can be heard 30 minutes before face-off and immediately after games all season long on SportsRadio 1310AM and 96.7FM The Ticket. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshBogorad.




1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46


J. Benn 61 23 37 -1 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 61 14 37 -3 51
E. Cole 56 18 14 4 32
J. Klingberg 47 10 22 4 32
T. Daley 58 16 15 -11 31
A. Hemsky 55 9 17 -7 26
A. Goligoski 61 2 24 4 26
C. Eakin 58 12 13 -3 25
A. Roussel 59 11 11 -11 22
K. Lehtonen 25 13 9 .906 2.96
J. Enroth 13 24 2 .900 3.31
#LONESTARSSTATE GAMEDAY FAN is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Corporate Partnerships | Contact UsPrivacy Policy | AdChoices | Job Opportunities | Terms of Use | Site Map | Find us on Google+