The new era of Stars hockey has hit us. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin aren’t the guys anymore, John Klingberg has left, and Ben Bishop has retired. The one thing saving them from a rebuild is a rise in young talent that has already replaced those four. But Jason Robertson, the new best player on the team, needs a new contract. Some really bad contracts are preventing them to take the step from fringe playoff team to legitimate contender. New coach Peter DeBoer has taken teams to the next level before. Dallas is his next challenge.
Offseason additions: F Mason Marchment, D Colin Miller, D Will Butcher.
Offseason subtractions: D John Klingberg, F Michael Raffl, F Alex Radulov, G Braden Holtby, F Vladislav Namestnikov, D Andrej Sekera.
Dallas might have been a one line team last season, but that one line was dominant. Robertson scored 41 goals in his sophomore season after finishing second in Calder voting. He added 38 assists for 79 points in 74 games. Robertson was ninth among all skaters with at least 1000 minutes of ice time in xGF%, at 59.6 percent. Both of his linemates were in the top-20. Even in his age 37 season, Joe Pavelski set a new career-high in points, with 81. He was nominated for the Lady Byng and Selke awards, but should’ve finished higher than 22nd in the latter. Pavelski was top-20 in xGA/60 and 21st in xGF/60. In the second category, he was just behind Roope Hintz. After a breakout year in the shortened season, Hintz returned and scored 37 goals with 72 points. When the three of them were on the ice together at five-on-five, they had a GF% over sixty.
Seguin missed all but three games in 2020-21, so it was a relief to see him miss just one game in 2021-22. Unfortunately, he was nowhere near the player that got injured. Seguin scored 24 goals with 49 points, which is the lowest that he had in a full season since he was 19. He was on the ice for less than two goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five, although an on-ice shooting percentage of roughly 6.5 percent played into that. Seguin still produced more than Jamie Benn, who has scored under 20 goals in each of the past three seasons. Dallas paid Mason Marchment after he transitioned from depth piece to top-six winger. In 54 games for the Panthers last year, he scored 18 goals with 47 points. Marchment had a 64.75 xGF%. Only Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand can say that they played as much as Marchment and were better.
The Stars are still tied to Radek Faksa for three more years to be their third line center, and the results were not good last season. He had just 19 points last year with a team-low 44.24 xGF%. Denis Gurianov set a new career-high by one point, although he played in 18 more games than in his 30-point 2020-21. He had the best GA/60 among top-six forwards. A first-rounder in 2018, Ty Dellandrea only played in one NHL game last season, but he was second on the AHL’s Texas Stars in points. Dellandrea had 23 goals and 50 points in 68 games.
Dallas folk hero Joel Kiviranta played in a career-high 56 games, but had four less points than his 26-game 2020-21 season. Playoff success aside, Kiviranta was never expected to score. But you would’ve liked more than one goal and six assists. He was sneakily great defensively, with a 2.11 xGA/60. The only Stars forwards with an expected goals for percentage better than Kiviranta were the three on the top line. Longtime Red Wing Luke Glendening scored nine goals in his first year as a Star, while playing in 82 games for the first time since 2014-15. He won 58.7 percent of draws, raising his career percentage to 55.4%. Rookie Jacob Peterson broke camp with the team last year and scored 12 goals in 65 games. Peterson came from the Swedish league, just like Frederik Olofsson, who is in the competition for a role after having 42 points in 49 games overseas. Marian Studenic played in 16 games for the Stars after they claimed him off waivers from New Jersey. He had three points.
For the second time in his four-year career, Miro Heiskanen was nominated for the Norris Trophy, finishing twelfth both times. Heiskanen had 36 points in 70 games, the former a career-high. His 2.23 xGA/60 was the best on the defensive core. A good share of his time was spent with veteran Ryan Suter, a 37-year-old who is still under contract for three more seasons. Suter had 32 points last year, with four of his seven goals coming on the power play.
As Klingberg departs to Anaheim, the Stars will have a lot of big defensive defensemen. Esa Lindell was second on the team in total ice time behind Suter, as he played in six more games than Heiskanen. Lindell has been a steady presence on the Dallas blue line since his rookie season of 2016-17. In the last six seasons, he has at least 1000 minutes of ice time and 100 blocked shots in each of them. The Stars didn’t give Jani Hakanpaa a lot of ice time in his first season with the team, but he still managed 248 hits. Hakanpaa doesn’t contribute much offensively, but he was on the ice for the least shots against per 60 among Dallas defensemen.
Former top pick Thomas Harley debuted in 2021-22, with four assists in 34 games. The underlying results were certainly positive, as Harley’s xGF% was matched only by Heiskanen among defenseman. He also led them in xGF/60. Colin Miller only got into 38 games for the Sabres last year, but he added 14 points. His 2.75 GF/60 was the best on the team’s blue line. Journeyman Joel Hanley finally scored his first regular-season goal at age 30, while playing in 44 games. He averaged less than 12 minutes of ice time a game, so the Stars don’t trust him.
The full season for Jake Oettinger actually wasn’t anything special. In his sophomore season, the former first-rounder had a .914 save percentage with a 2.53 GAA. He is high up on many goalie rankings not only because of his youth, but also one of the best playoff series by a goaltender ever. The Stars didn’t end up winning because they couldn’t score against Calgary, but Oettinger had a .954 save percentage and a 1.81 GAA. When Anton Khudobin missed most of last season, the Stars sent a pick to Arizona for Scott Wedgewood. In eight games, Wedgewood had a respectable .913 save percentage, similar to what he had on an awful Coyotes team.
Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Mason Marchment
Denis Gurianov – Radek Faksa – Ty Dellendrea
Jacob Peterson – Luke Glendening – Joel Kiviranta
Scratched: Frederik Olofsson, Marian Studenic
Ryan Suter – Miro Heiskanen
Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpaa
Thomas Harley – Colin Miller
Scratched: Joel Hanley