FRISCO, Texas -- As with all NHL teams, the Dallas Stars' annual development camp is where prospects from various nations unite each summer to hone their skills.
At this year's camp, three players from South Korea -- forward Jinhui Ahn, defenseman Wonjun Kim, and goaltender Kye Hoon Park -- participated alongside Stars prospects.
Dallas general manager Jim Nill invited them at the request of Jim Paek, the first Korean to play in the NHL. Paek, who debuted with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990 and was part of their Stanley Cup winning team in 1991, is the director of hockey with the Korean Ice Hockey Association and coaches the South Korean National Team.
Paek spent nine seasons as an assistant coach for Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, which is where he met Nill, a longtime assistant general manager with the Detroit Red Wings. So, when Paek asked for a favor, Nill was receptive.
"Well, it's a great story. Jim Paek gave me a call back last November," Nill said. "They have the Olympics that they're hosting [in PyeongChang 2018] and it's his task to get them into the Olympics. So he gave me a call and said, 'I've got three kids I'd like to bring to camp. They need to get the experience, learn what it takes to make the next step.' So I said, 'Hey, we'd love to help you out.'
"They're great kids, great people off the ice. But on the ice, they've been as good as everybody else and played very well."