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Patrick Sharp, Ales Hemsky could return to Stars next season

GM Jim Nill will meet with veteran forwards, who missed much of 2016-17 with injuries

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill plans to talk with unrestricted free agent forwards Patrick Sharp and Ales Hemsky next week and isn't ruling out bringing back one or both players next season.

"I want to sit down with both of them," Nill said Saturday at United Center after the 2017 NHL Draft presented by adidas. "Really, both situations were injury situations. If they weren't injured, they are guys we may have signed last year."

Sharp missed extended time after an early-season concussion, then had season-ending hip surgery on March 28. The four-time 30-goal scorer finished with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 48 games. Sharp has been recovering from the surgery in Dallas, and Nill said he plans to get a better update on the 35-year-old's health.

Hemsky, 33, missed more than four months with hip and groin injuries. He played 15 games and had seven points (four goals, three assists).

Video: DAL@NSH: Sharp sweeps a rebound into the cage for PPG

The Stars made two major changes after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in three years. Ken Hitchcock was hired as coach to replace Lindy Ruff, and Dallas acquired goaltender Ben Bishop from the Los Angeles Kings.

"We've got some of the key things done this offseason, and that started with our coaching staff and signing Ben Bishop," Nill said. "Now we just have to fill some holes in our lineup."

The Stars will focus on filling those holes after a draft when they made three picks in the top 39.

On Friday, the Stars selected defenseman Miro Heiskanen with the No. 3 pick, then traded up from No. 29 to No. 26 to take Boston University freshman goalie Jake Oettinger.

Heiskanen is the highest pick the Stars have had since they moved from Minnesota to Dallas in 1993.

"It's something I don't want to get used to doing, but it puts you in a nice position," Stars director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell said of having the third pick in the draft. "We had him first on our list. Even if we were drafting first [overall] I think we would have picked him."

Selecting Oettinger, the top-rated North American goaltender in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking, was part of the long-term plan for the Stars. Dallas signed Bishop to a six-year contract soon after acquiring him from the Kings on May 9, so there's no pressure on Oettinger to play right away.

Video: Steve talks to Jake Oettinger

"My goal is to be the starting goalie for the Dallas Stars someday," Oettinger said. "It's a good fit with what they have now. I think it's a good spot to be as a goalie."

Dallas selected left wing Jason Robertson from Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League with their second-round choice (No. 39). McDonnell had projected him as a first-round pick.

"I wasn't nervous, more anxious to see where you're going to go," Robertson said. "I didn't meet with Dallas at the [NHL Scouting] Combine, so I didn't know they were going to pick me."

The Stars also took centers Liam Hawel (No. 101), Jacob Peterson (No. 132) and Brett Davis (No. 163), and goalie Dylan Ferguson (No. 194).

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