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Lovejoy on Heiskanen: 'Like nothing I've ever seen'

Recently retired Stars defenseman offers plenty of praise for former teammate, Montgomery's system

by Staff Report @DallasStars /

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Since his debut last season, Miro Heiskanen has been no stranger to rave reviews league-wide -- and deservedly so.

The third overall pick in the 2017 draft, Heiskanen backed up his hype with sparkling play on the Stars' blueline, leading all rookies in average time on ice (23:07) and all first-year defensemen with both 12 goals and 182 shots on net in 82 games. For his efforts, the 20-year-old earned a nod to All-Star Weekend in San Jose and a place on the NHL's All-Rookie Team.

While Heiskanen's play and future potential has been compared to the likes of Hockey Hall of Famers, his former teammate in Dallas, Ben Lovejoy, may have recently dealt the highest praise yet to the young Finn in his new role as a studio analyst on NHL Network.

Tweet from @RevLovejoy6:

"Miro Heiskanen is gonna win six Norris Trophies," said Lovejoy, who retired late last month following a career that spanned across 11 seasons and concluded with a 20-game stint with the Stars in 2018-19.

"He's honestly like nothing I've ever seen. He plays like Nick Lidstrom, but he skates like Connor McDavid, and he is just so cool, so collected, so fast. ... He has so much more fun than any other defenseman out there and he's never cracked a smile. He's just the perfect defenseman for the modern NHL. It was just so fun to watch him play."

In addition to Heiskanen, Lovejoy complimented John Klingberg, Esa Lindell and Ben Bishop for their stellar play. He also credited Stars head coach Jim Montgomery for establishing a strong, "all-in" structure in the dressing room that helped lift Dallas to the second round of the playoffs.

"Ben Bishop, I didn't appreciate how good of a goaltender he was," said Lovejoy, who joined the Stars as a veteran leader in a midseason trade with New Jersey. "I knew he could go back and play the puck with the best of them, he has better hands than I ever did. ... In my opinion, he should have won the Vezina Trophy. He was that good."

For more on Heiskanen's offseason, including a behind-the-scenes tour of his hometown, watch "Sophomore Summer" below:

Video: Day in life of Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

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