Top 30 Prospects – Q1 2019

Dallas Stars top-30 prospect rankings updated mid-way through the first quarter of 2019.

The Roe Report will provide quarterly updates on prospects in the Dallas Stars organization throughout the year.  Players will be considered prospects until they have played 30 NHL games or advance past the age of 25.  Below are our prospect rankings just before the 2019 NHL trade deadline.


1) Jason Robertson, LW

  • Previous Rank: 2
  • Stats: 37 goals and 83 points in 44 games
  • Ceiling: First line winger
  • Robertson is dominating the OHL this season in his age 19 season scoring 37 goals in 44 games.  His is on track for his third straight 40-goal season and will likely finish with more than 50 goals.  Robertson is expect to join the Texas Stars at the end of the season and is the clear-cut top prospect in the Stars system.


2) Denis Gurianov, LW/RW

  • Previous Rank: 10
  • Stats: 34 points in 33 AHL games; four points in 16 NHL games
  • Ceiling: Top-6 winger
  • Props to Gurianov for his rapid development since last spring when he was a regular healthy scratch in the AHL playoffs.  Gurianov was an AHL All-Star this season and appears to have a regular spot on the Stars current bottom-six.  Gurianov has always had speed but his production has significantly improved this season equaling the total number of points scored all of last season with the Texas Stars in 41 fewer games.


3) Jake Oettinger, G

  • Previous Rank: 7
  • Stats: 2.68 GAA and .923 save percentage
  • Ceiling: NHL starting goaltender
  • Oettinger is one of the top goaltending prospects in the game.  At 20 years old, he continues to put up strong numbers despite having a poor team in front of him at Boston University.  Good chance Oettinger turns pro after the season and is with the Texas Stars in 2019-20.


4) Ty Dellandrea, C

  • Previous Rank: 6
  • Stats: 17 goals and 52 points in 46 games
  • Ceiling: Middle-6 center
  • Dellandrea has made improvements this season and is putting up more points than last year.  The first round pick from last June is an extremely safe prospect to project as an NHL player.  The Stars are hoping he’s the next Mike Fisher but he reminds me more of Jason Dickinson.


5) Gavin Bayreuther, D

  • Previous Rank: 13
  • Stats: 13 points in 22 AHL games, 5 points in 19 NHL games
  • Ceiling: Second pairing defenseman and power play specialist
  • Bayreuther made my top-5 for one reason: his slap shot.  It’s elite and he’s already demonstrated that it can be a weapon on an NHL power play.  There is still work to be done with his development but Bayreuther looks like a regular on a future NHL blueline.


6) Tye Felhaber, RW

  • Previous Rank: Not Ranked
  • Stats: 53 goals and 91 points in 51 games
  • Ceiling: Top-6 winger
  • Can a prospect really go from undrafted OHL overager to top-10 prospect in an NHL organization?  I might have him a little high on this list but it’s because Felhaber’s upside is a top-6, goal-scoring winger.  That is something the Stars lack in their system outside of Robertson and Gurianov.  Dallas was not the only team trying to sign the 20-year-old as up to 20 teams were reportedly interested.  Felhaber leads the entire OHL is goals and points.  He is on pace to score over 70 goals this season.


7) Colton Point, G

  • Previous Rank: 4
  • Stats:  7 wins, 3.55 GAA, .870 save percentage
  • Upside: NHL starting goaltender
  • Point has struggled in his first pro season after an absolutely dominant season at Colgate University last year (1.74 GAA and .944 save percentage).  The 20-year-old played in six games with the Texas Stars but struggled mightily with a 3.79 GAA and a .857 save percentage.  Point has played better after a demotion to the ECHL putting up 3.31 GAA and a .884 save percentage.  It’s a long, hard road to develop goaltenders and this is just part of the journey for most netminders.


8)  Albin Eriksson, RW

  • Previous Rank: 9
  • Stats: 12 points in 33 games
  • Upside: Second line winger
  • Eriksson is one of the most intriguing prospects in the Stars system with his combination of size (6-4, 207 as an 18-year-old) and speed.  His numbers are up this season but he is expected to need another full season in Sweden in 2019-2020 before potentially coming over to North American for the 2020-2021 season.


9) Joel L’Esperance, RW

  • Previous Rank: 25
  • Stats: 24 goals and 39 points in 45 games
  • Upside: Middle-6 winger
  • L’Esperance is yet another undrafted free agent signing that the Stars seem to have struck gold with.  The 23-year-old has 24 goals with the Texas Stars this year to lead the entire league.  He also made the AHL All-Star team as a rookie.  Maybe most impressively is his play as a two-way forward.


10) Rhett Gardner, C

  • Previous Rank: 11
  • Stats: 8 goals and 11 points in 27 games
  • Upside: Shutdown center
  • The next two players go together but that was not the plan for the Stars organization.  I have Rhett Gardner ranked higher than Riley Tufte in this batch of rankings because they both project to be in similar roles at the pro level – bottom-6 defensive minded forwards – but Gardner is currently better in this role than Tufte is.  He’s one of the captains for his University of North Dakota team, he’s a great faceoff guy, and he’s the reigning defensive forward of the year in his conference.


11) Riley Tufte, LW

  • Previous Rank: 5
  • Stats: 5 goals and 12 points in 26 games
  • Upside: Bottom-6 winger
  • Tufte is one of the biggest disappointments so far in the 2018-19 season and has fallen out of the top-5 prospects in our rankings.  After an encouraging sophomore season where he scored 16 goals and 29 points in 42 games, Tufte has regressed significantly this year scoring just five goals and 12 points in 26 games.  No one is expecting him to be an offensive force at the next level but it’s hard to be anything but disappointed with the former first rounder’s development so far this season.


12) Joseph Cecconi, D

  • Previous Rank: 8
  • Stats: 2 goals and 17 points in 28 games
  • Upside: Second pairing defenseman
  • Cecconi continues serving as a top pairing defenseman for the University of Michigan.  He numbers are down slightly from last year, but point-production is not a big part of his game.  Excitement for Cecconi is tempered for now as rumors persist that he will opt for free agency this summer instead of signing a pro contract with the Stars.


13) Oskar Back, C

  • Previous Rank: 18
  • Stats: 4 goals and 18 points in 37 games
  • Upside: Middle-6 forward
  • Back was the Stars third round pick in last summer’s draft.  He already has great size (6-2, 192) and plays a responsible game in both ends of the ice.


14) Ben Gleason, D

  • Previous Rank: 19
  • Stats: 5 goals and 25 points in 43 AHL games, 1 assist in four NHL games
  • Upside: Third pairing defenseman
  • The Stars have struggled in the draft but have been pretty successful at finding gems in the undrafted free agent market.  Gleason is one of four undrafted free agents in the top-15 of these rankings.  Gleason signed with the Stars after a 48-point season with Hamilton of the OHL last year and a successful showing at the prospect tournament before the season.  Gleason has immediately produced at the AHL level with 25 points this season and a short stint in the NHL.  Still work to be done on the defensive end if he wants to be a regular in the NHL but I expect he will have an NHL career with his offensive skill set.


15) Adam Mascherin, LW

  • Previous Rank: 12
  • Stats: 15 goals and 29 points in 45 games
  • Upside: Middle-6 winger
  • Mascherin is having a solid rookie season with the AHL scoring 15 goals in 45 games.  He has been overshadowed a bit by fellow rookie L’Esperance.  Mascherin has the hockey sense and hands to play at the NHL level, but his size (5-9) and questionable skating ability will hold him back.  It’s tough to project him as an NHL regular without significant improvement to his skating.


16) Nick Caamano, RW

  • Previous Rank: 14
  • Stats: 6 goals and 14 assists in 45 games with Texas of the AHL
  • Upside: Fourth line winger


17) Riley Damiani, C

  • Previous Rank: 26
  • Stats: 20 goals and 59 points in 41 games
  • Upside: Top-6 winger


18) Liam Hawel, C

  • Previous Rank: 28
  • Stats: 28 goals and 57 points in 49 games
  • Upside: Middle-6 forward


19) Jakob Stenqvist, D

  • Previous Rank: 21
  • Stats: 6 goals and 18 points in 44 games with Bjorkloven in Sweden
  • Upside: Third pairing defenseman


20) Landon Bow, G

  • Previous Rank: 23
  • Stats: 2.70 GAA and .902 save percentage in 34 games with Texas of the AHL, 0.00 GAA and 1.000 save percentage in two NHL games
  • Upside: NHL back-up goalie


21) Jacob Peterson, C

  • Previous Rank: 24
  • Stats: 13 goals and 24 points in 42 games with Bjorkloven in Sweden
  • Upside: Middle-6 forward


22) Fredrik Karlstrom, C

  • Previous Rank: 17
  • Stats: 4 goals and 8 points in 32 games with Linkopings in Sweden
  • Upside: Bottom-6 forward


23) Dawson Barteaux, D

  • Previous Rank: 29
  • Stats: 6 goals and 26 points in 50 games with Red Deer of the WHL
  • Upside: Third pairing defenseman and power play specialist


24) Dillion Heatherington, D

  • Previous Rank: 15
  • Stats: 1 goal and 14 points in 44 games with Texas of the AHL, one assist in 5 games in the NHL
  • Upside: NHL seventh defenseman


25) Brett Davis, RW

  • Previous Rank: 27
  • Stats: 16 goals and 40 points in 47 games in the WHL (Kootenay and Red Deer)
  • Upside: Bottom-6 winger


26) Philippe Derosiers, G

  • Previous Rank: Not Ranked
  • Stats: 2.76 GAA and .911 save percentage in 6 games with Idaho of the ECHL, 2.97 GAA and .891 save percentage in 10 games with Texas of the AHL
  • Upside: AHL starting goaltender


27) Curtis Douglas, C/LW

  • Previous Rank: 22
  • Stats: 20 goals and 37 points in 52 games
  • Upside: AHL goal-scorer


28) Jermaine Loewen, RW

  • Previous Rank: 19
  • Stats: 19 goals and 27 points in 42 games with Kamloops of the WHL
  • Upside: AHL grinder


29) Ondrej Vala, D

  • Previous Rank: Not Ranked
  • Stats: 1 point in 9 games with Texas of the AHL, 8 points in 31 games with Idaho of the ECHL
  • Upside: Top-4 AHL defenseman


30) Tony Calderone, RW

  • Previous Rank: Not Ranked
  • Stats: 6 points in 15 games with Texas of the AHL, 14 points in 18 games with Idaho of the ECHL
  • Upside: AHL two-way player



  • Miro Heiskanen, D
  • Roope Hintz, C/W



  • John Nyberg, D
  • Niklas Hansson, D



Brian Roe is the founder and head writer of The Roe Report.  He spent five years working for the Dallas Stars  and has been a contributor at Hockey’s Future, The Hockey Writers, NHL Intel, and more.  Follow Brian on Twitter @brianproe.

Top 30 Prospects – Q3 2018

Pre-season rankings of the top prospects in the Dallas Stars organization starting with the organization’s top ten prospects.

The Dallas Stars will begin their season next Thursday at the American Airlines Center, but a majority of the players in this organization have already started playing in various leagues all over the world.

The Roe Report will provide regular updates on the individual prospects production and health status throughout the season.  Players will be considered prospects until they have played 30 NHL games or advance past the age of 25.  So, for example, since Stars forward Jason Dickinson has now played 38 games at the NHL level he is no longer considered a prospect.

Expect this to be a regular series with updated prospect rankings being released at notable times throughout the year.  With that said, here is part-one of our Top 30 prospects series.


1) Miro Heiskanen

  • Age: 19
  • Position: Defense
  • Shoots: Left
  • League: NHL – Dallas Stars
  • Acquired: 2017 1st round draft choice (Round 1, Pick 3)
  • Summary: Enjoy seeing Heiskanen on this list because it’s the only time he will ever appear.  The 19-year-old will skip the AHL level and jump straight into the Dallas Stars lineup this season.  As a top-3 draft choice in 2017 and an international sensation, Heiskanen is arguably the most heralded prospect to come through the Stars system since Mike Modano.  Expect Heiskanen to begin the season paired with Stephen Johns and to be in the running for the Calder Trophy.


2) Jason Robertson

  • Age: 19
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Shoots: Left
  • League: OHL – Kingston Frontenacs
  • Acquired: 2017 2nd round draft choice (Round 2, Pick 39)
  • Summary: Robertson is ready for the AHL after back-to-back 40-goal seasons in juniors, but due to his age (not yet 20), he will have to play another season in the OHL.  Robertson is one of the few prospects in the Stars system who is an elite goal-scorer and could be NHL-ready in next fall if he can take the next step in his conditioning.


3) Roope Hintz

  • Age: 21
  • Position: Center
  • Shoots: Left
  • League: NHL – Dallas Stars / AHL – Texas Stars
  • Acquired: 2015 2nd round draft choice (Round 2, Pick 49)
  • Summary: Roope Hintz has made quite the impression during the pre-season doing a little bit of everything including scoring goals.  He also scored 20 goals last season in his first season with the Texas Stars.  It appears he made the NHL club with a strong pre-season, but will be the first call-up if he gets sent down and could be first in line to replace Jason Spezza in 2019-20.


4) Colton Point

  • Age: 20
  • Position: Goaltender
  • Catches: Left
  • League: AHL – Texas Stars
  • Acquired: 2016 5th round draft choice (Round 5, Pick 128)
  • Summary: The Stars fifth round magic continues in the form of 6-4, 220-pound goaltender Colton Point.  Point signed this summer after an incredible season at Colgate where he posted a 1.74 goals against average and a .944 save percentage in 33 games.  Point will start the season with the Texas Stars where he is expected to split time with Landon Bow.


5) Riley Tufte

  • Age: 20
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Shoots: Left
  • League: NCAA – University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • Acquired: 2016 1st round draft choice (Round 1, Pick 25)
  • Summary: Tufte is entering his junior season at the University of Minneosta-Duluth after a successful sophomore campaign.  He scored 16 goals in 42 games after scoring nine goals his freshman year.  The Stars would like to sign Tufte after the NCAA season ends and have him continue his development in the AHL.


6) Ty Dellandrea

  • Age: 18
  • Position: Center
  • Shoots: Right
  • League: OHL – Flint Firebirds
  • Acquired: 2018 1st round draft choice (Round 1, Pick 13)
  • Summary: Dellandrea is a solid prospect and it’s not his fault that the Stars drafted him an entire round too early.  The 18-year-old reportedly knows how to work an interview room but has yet to show any type of dominant trait on the ice.  In his defense, he was diagnosed with Celiac disease last season and saw positive results after altering his diet.  Jim Nill projects that Dellandrea will be NHL ready by 2020 so this is an important season for the young center.  Dellandrea has all the intangibles; now he needs to show he can dominate at the junior level by becoming a point-per-game guy in the OHL this season.


7) Jake Oettinger

  • Age: 19
  • Position: Goaltender
  • Catches: Left
  • League: NCAA – Boston University
  • Acquired: 2017 1st round draft choice (Round 1, Pick 26)
  • Summary: Oettinger is another big, college goalie (6-4, 212).  This is a good position to have depth in, but my guess is the Stars would have used this pick on another forward – perhaps Morgan Frost, Eeli Tolvanen, or Shane Bowers, who were three of the four picks after Dallas took Oettinger – if they knew what kind of season Colton Point was about to have.  Oettinger struggled early last season but bounced back finishing with a 2.45 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.



8) Joseph Cecconi

  • Age: 21
  • Position: Defense
  • Shoots: Right
  • League: NCAA – University of Michigan
  • Acquired: 2015 5th round draft choice (Round 5, Pick 133)
  • Summary: Cecconi saw a major uptick in offensive production scoring 27 points in 40 games last season.  Yes, part of that can be attributed to his defensive partner, Quinn Hughes, but Cecconi deserves credit for his development.  One issue with Cecconi is this is his senior year and the Stars only retain his rights until August 2019.  It’s very possible he opts for free agency after college instead of signing with Dallas next summer.


9) Albin Eriksson

  • Age: 18
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Shoots: Right
  • League: Skelleftea AIK (Sweden)
  • Acquired: 2018 2nd round draft choice (Round 2, Pick 44)
  • Summary: Man-child Albin Eriksson goes from the 2018 draft floor to top-10 in the Stars system.  Eriksson, 6-4 and 205 pounds, is a good skater with a great shot.  The development curve could take a little longer, but Dallas does have a history of success with second rounders named Eriksson.


10) Denis Gurianov

  • Age: 21
  • Position: Left Wing/Right Wing
  • Shoots: Left
  • League: AHL – Texas Stars
  • Acquired: 2015 1st round draft choice (Round 1, Pick 12)
  • Summary: Gurianov is a tough prospect to evaluate.  Up until this year’s training camp, most would consider him a bust.  The Stars are mostly to blame for this status because – much like Dellandrea – Gurianov was a second round prospect taken in the top-15 of his draft.  It’s not Gurianov’s fault that he’s not Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, or Brock Boeser (three players Dallas passed on even though they were ranked significantly higher than Gurianov in the 2015 draft class).  On the plus-side, Gurianov had a good training camp and pre-season.  He may have a chance to make his NHL debut later this season if he produces with the Texas Stars.



Brian Roe is the founder and head writer of The Roe Report.  He spent five years working for the Dallas Stars  and has been a contributor at Hockey’s Future, The Hockey Writers, NHL Intel, and more.  Follow Brian on Twitter @brianproe.



How Roope Hintz is Changing the Final Roster Cuts for the Stars

A strong training camp and pre-season has young Stars forward Roope Hintz on the verge of making the Opening Night roster.

With a majority of its roster set, the only real competition for the Dallas Stars this pre-season features seven players looking to fill the final five forward spots.

Devin Shore, Brett Ritchie, Jason Dickinson, Gemel Smith, Remi Elie, Roope Hintz, and Denis Gurianov are the lucky seven fighting for a spot in the Stars lineup.  Three of those players will occupy the fourth line and two would be the Stars healthy scratches heading into the season.

Shore and Ritchie looked to be locks given their NHL experience and higher-dollar contracts.  Dickinson also appeared to have an inside track on one of the five spots.  That left Smith, Elie, Hintz, and Gurianov fighting for two spots.

Barring injury, conventional thinking suggested the Stars would send Hintz and Gurianov to the club’s AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, to start the season because they are both exempt from league waivers.  If any of Smith, Elie, Shore, Ritchie, or Dickinson were sent down to the AHL they would have to clear waivers (meaning any other NHL could claim them and acquire them at no cost).

Remember the waivers process impacted the Stars just before last season when the Colorado Avalanche claimed defenseman Patrick Nemeth off waivers.  After spending years developing the former second round pick, Dallas got nothing in return for losing Nemeth while Colorado got a player who scored 15 points and posted a plus-27 in 68 games on a team who finished ahead of the Stars in the standings.

It may be a good problem to have, but right now Roope Hintz is outplaying everyone else in this group.  You could argue Gurianov is ahead of the others too.  I think Gurianov is a lock to return to the AHL, but it certainly appears Hintz is ready to play in the NHL right now.

Hintz looked like he belonged in last night’s pre-season game centering the top line alongside Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov.  The 21-year-old scored a goal, set up another with an impressive no-look drop pass, and won nine of 14 faceoffs.

Having prospects develop into legitimate NHL players is never a problem.  The problem is this: whose spot does Hintz take and what does Dallas do with said player?

You could try to send one of Ritchie, Elie, or Smith to the AHL and hope no one claims them on league waivers.  But you risk losing a young player for nothing and negatively affecting the club’s forward depth.  You could also look to trade one of the three, but it’s unlikely you get much in return this time of the year.

The Stars have three more pre-season games to evaluate the roster and make a decision, but it certainly seems Roope Hintz is forcing a change in the Stars original roster plans heading into Opening Night next week.


Brian Roe is the founder and lead writer at The Roe Report.  He spent five years working for the Dallas Stars and was a contributor at Hockey’s Future, The Hockey Writers, and NHL Intel.  Follow Brian on Twitter @brianproe.