2022-23 NHL season preview: Dallas Stars young core ready to shine
For the previous entry in this series of 2022-23 season previews where I cover the Columbus Blue Jackets, click here.
Dallas Stars' Joe Pavelski celebrates goal in the playoffs (Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
Dallas' young stars (no pun intended) got a taste of the playoffs last season, and look to adjust and take the next step. After being eliminated by the Calgary Flames in seven games in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, they turned to the offseason to make some changes and hopefully put a pep in their step.
Dallas brought in 27-year old forward, Mason Marchment, who posted 47 points on 18 goals and 29 assists last season with the Florida Panthers. Marchment signed a 4-year, $18 million contract with the Stars. Dallas also brought in defenseman Colin Miller, and hired a new head coach in Peter DeBoer, who coached the Vegas Golden Knights for the last three seasons.
But perhaps Dallas' biggest offseason pickup this year was young and upcoming defenseman, Nils Lundkvist. Lundkvist, drafted 28th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers, was one of the Rangers top prospects and has a lot of hype surrounding him. Lundkvist requested a trade from New York after not making the team over the last few years. The 22-year old Swedish defenseman feels that he is NHL ready, and desired to go to a team that would have room for him on their NHL roster.
Dallas hopes that the arrival of Lundkvist will help fill the hole left by John Klingberg when he signed with the Anaheim Ducks over the offseason.
Speaking of departures, Dallas also lost Vladislav Namestnikov, Braden Holtby, Michael Raffl, Alexander Radulov, Blake Comeau, and Andrej Sekera over the offseason. Fortunately for Dallas, none of these losses seem super impactful on their upcoming season.
Dallas needs to come to terms with RFA Jason Robertson. The Stars are opening up training camp without the 23-year old star (again, no pun intended) after his breakout season where he scored 79 points on 41 goals and 38 assists. Robertson is the future of this Dallas team, and will be the centerpiece to any Stanley Cup championships that the Stars may win in the near future. They need to figure out a way to get this kid signed long term, as the regular season opens up in less than a month from now.
Other than that, the Stars nucleus remains mostly intact. They signed goalie Jake Oettinger to a 3-year, $12 million contract, they still have Roope Hintz and Miro Heiskanen, and just added Mason Marchment and Nils Lundkvist. Add that to the veteran leadership of Captain Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Joe Pavelski, throw Jason Robertson into that mix, and you have a recipe for a team that could make some serious noise in the Western Conference this season.