Once again the Dallas Stars organization were one of the 8 teams participating in the Traverse City Prospect tournament. This year, the prospects have struggled again early on, meaning they are unlikely to win it.
In their opening game the Stars faced off against Columbus, falling 7-2. Nick Caamano and Niklas Hansson provided the scoring, but the team overall struggled. Landon Bow needed more help in net stopping just 21 of the 27 shots he faced and despite scoring Hansson was still a -4 in the game. The Stars started the game with a top line of more premier draft picks in Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov and Nick Caamano on the top line, eventually switching this years second round pick Jason Robertson up for Caamano. The talent disparity between them and some of the invitees was apparent, but they still left some to be desired in the loss.
On Saturday, the Stars once again allowed 7 goals, but this game was a different story. After dominating play early, Dallas held a 6-3 lead at one point in the third period, before falling apart on special teams and allowing the St. Louis Blues prospects to win in overtime. Landon Bow once again struggled in net, stopping just 20 of 27, the first round pick of Jake Oettinger this offseason is looking like he has the best chance to be the goalie that next makes the jump to the NHL with the struggles of all the other Stars prospect goaltenders. Offensively it was a better showing. Goals came from all around, with Sheldon Dries and Nick Caamano putting in good performances yet again, looking like the most consistent players to this point in the tournament. The top line once again left their play to be desired, this time being the ones who struggled the most in the game.
Dallas looks to bounce back Monday against the 1-1-0 Minnesota Wild, and will likely play another team that has struggled Tuesday, when they face-off in seeded play. With just 39 shots in the tournament Dallas has by far the least, but one of the better-shot efficiencies. The teams .745 save percentage is also near the bottom of the standings, so the real goals for the next two games should be trying to clean it up on the defensive end rather than trying to control the game through offense. The younger Dallas line-up has been apparent, but there have been some bright spots in unlikely players.