FRISCO, Texas -- Ty Dellandrea said he's ready to contend for a roster spot with the Dallas Stars this season following his first taste of professional hockey with Texas of the American Hockey League at the end of last season.
"I've got to work extremely hard and take the stuff I learned from a bit of pro experience," the 19-year-old center prospect said at Stars development camp in June. "I've got to come in, do everything I can and give myself the best shot to make the team."
Dellandrea, selected by the Stars with the No. 13 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, had three points (two goals, one assist) in 11 AHL games and caught the eye of Texas coach Derek Laxdal.
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"I thought that Ty really stepped in at a young age," Laxdal said, "and we got a chance to see that he's a 200-foot player, he's got some offense, he's got some bite to his game, he skates well, and he thinks about the game well. For him, it's about experience and getting more games under his belt so he can build that base and we can build that book on him.
"You could see why he got drafted as a first-round pick because he's a well-rounded player."
Prior to his pro debut, Dellandrea (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) led Flint of the Ontario Hockey League with 63 points (22 goals, 41 assists) in 60 games for a team that finished second-to-last in the OHL standings. He used that experience to grow his leadership skills in his quest to take the next step in his hockey career.
Video: Stars draft F Ty Dellandrea No. 13
"It was a tough year and I really wanted to get some more team wins and be a good leader," Dellandrea said. "I think I've always been a bit of a natural leader. … I had a bit more weight on my shoulders with that. Coming in both before and after I was drafted, I always tried to be the best leader I could and be a good role model for the younger guys. I didn't really think about it as more, because I've always thought about it that way."
Because the NHL has an agreement with the Canadian Hockey League, Dellandrea can only play in the NHL or OHL next season because he is not yet 20 years old (his AHL stint began after his OHL season ended). He can, however, play up to nine NHL games before Stars management decides on his status.
There may not be a vacancy for Dellandrea in Dallas, but he believes he's taken the necessary steps to earn a full-time job in the NHL.
"I think I still need to work on all areas, but it was cool to play with Texas at the end of the year," Dellandrea said. "I learned a lot from that. I worked a lot on my speed last year and I think that will show this year."