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30 in 30

Top prospects for Dallas Stars

Defensemen Julius Honka, Esa Lindell, centers Devin Shore, Jason Dickinson eye NHL roster this season

by Steve Hunt / Correspondent is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 30 teams throughout August. Today, the Dallas Stars.

A youth movement is underway with the Dallas Stars. Six players each made his NHL debut last season. Three -- centers Radek Faksa and Mattias Janmark and defenseman Stephen Johns -- were getting regular ice time by the end of the season.

Stars 30 in 30: Season outlook | Burning questions, reasons for optimism | Fantasy outlook

More prospects likely are on the way this season, thanks to a well-stocked organization.

Here are the Stars' top five prospects, according to

1. Julius Honka, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 14 pick in 2014 NHL Draft

Last season: Texas (AHL): 73 GP, 11-33-44

Honka, 20, has played two full seasons with Texas of the American Hockey League, and Stars general manager Jim Nill said his time in the minors is nearly over.

"I believe he is knocking on the door," Nill said. "[He] has improved both years [with Texas]. I think he's a big part of our future."

A member of the Finland team that won the gold medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, Honka (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) has proven durable during his first two AHL seasons, playing 73 of a possible 76 games last season.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

2. Esa Lindell, D

How acquired: Selected with No. 74 pick in 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Dallas: 4 GP, 0-0-0; Texas (AHL): 73 GP, 14-28-42

Lindell, 22, made his NHL debut on Jan. 19 against the Los Angeles Kings and played four games with the Stars.

Like Honka, Lindell (6-3, 215) won gold with Finland at the 2014 WJC, and silver at the 2016 World Championship. He will play for Team Finland at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 in September. 

"He's another guy that we're excited about," Nill said. "I think it's his time. I think he's going to be a steady, reliable player for many years."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

3. Devin Shore, C

How acquired: Selected with No. 61 pick in 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Dallas: 3 GP, 0-0-0; Texas (AHL): 23 GP, 15-11-26

Shore, 22, had a six-game goal streak and a 10-game point streak in the AHL last season and made his NHL debut at the Boston Bruins on Nov. 3, 2015.

He had 26 points through 23 games with Texas but sustained a shoulder injury in December that required season-ending surgery. Shore (6-1, 205) returned to the ice in July at Stars development camp, and Nill was impressed.

"He's a character player," Nill said. "He's got leadership capability. We've got high expectations for Devin. He's going to be a big part of our team moving forward."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

4. Jason Dickinson, C

How acquired: Selected with No. 29 pick in 2013 NHL Draft

Last season: Dallas: 1 GP, 1-0-1; Texas (AHL): 73 GP, 22-31-53

Dickinson's NHL debut on April 7 against the Colorado Avalanche couldn't have gone better; he scored a goal, but returned to the AHL the following day.

Dickinson, 21, played his first season in the AHL after a successful junior career with Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League, where he averaged almost a point per game with 231 points (84 goals, 147 assists) in 253 games.

Dickinson (6-2, 200) remains part of a talented group vying for regular NHL minutes this season.

"It's time now for some of these younger players to start grabbing some of the ice time and the responsibility," Nill said. "For us to have continued success, it's up to these young players."

Projected NHL arrival: This season

5. Denis Gurianov, LW

How acquired: Selected with No. 12 pick in 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Lada Togliatti (KHL): 47 GP, 4-1-5

Gurianov, 19, is expected to get his first exposure to the North American game this season in the AHL. After spending last season in the Kontinental Hockey League, Gurianov (6-3, 200) participated in his first Stars development camp in July and earned solid reviews.

"[We're] going to let him adapt and just go from there," Nill said. "It's going to be interesting to watch him in training camp. He's been over here for six weeks training with the guys, he's starting to get comfortable."

Naturally, Stars fans want to know how Gurianov's game compares to fellow Russian forward Valeri Nichushkin, who was selected by the Stars with the No. 10 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

"They're different players," Nill said. "They've got different skill sets. [Nichushkin] is more of the power forward in the corners where Gurianov has more 1-on-1 skills and [is] probably more [of] a shooter."

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

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