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Prospect Report: Heiskanen takes bronze in Finnish League playoffs

The Stars' defense prospect is expected to play for Finland at IIHF World Championship in Denmark

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars defense prospect Miro Heiskanen wrapped up his season in Finland's top league on a winning note, helping HIFK secure a bronze medal with a 3-2 win over TPS on Friday.

Heiskanen played a game-high 23:24 in Friday's game, which was a one-game playoff between the two teams that lost in the semifinals of the Finnish League playoffs.

 

[RELATED: Texas Stars survive double-overtime thriller at Ontario for series lead]

 

Heiskanen, Dallas' first-round pick (third overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft, finished the playoffs with nine points (three goals, six assists) in 14 games. Through Sunday, Heiskanen was tied for the lead in playoff scoring among defensemen and was tops in ice time among all players at 26:16 per game.

The 18-year-old defenseman is expected to play for Finland at the upcoming IIHF World Championship in Denmark. This will be the third time Heiskanen will play for Finland internationally this season. He also suited up at the Olympics and World Junior Championship.

Heiskanen, who will make the jump to North America next season, tallied 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 30 regular season games. He tied for eighth in goal scoring among league defensemen despite missing half his team's games due to injuries and international play. He also led the league in average ice time during the regular season (25:06/game).

"It's been a pretty good season for him," said Stars GM Jim Nill. "He's been in the World Juniors, Olympics, regular season, playoffs and World Championship. Pretty banner year for a kid that is 18-years-old.

"Our plan is to bring him over. He's a big part of our foundation moving forward."

Heiskanen Stats: HIFK (Liiga) | 30 GP | 11 G | 12 A | 23 PTS | +17 | 8 PIM 

Playoffs | 14 GP | 3 G | 6 A | 9 PTS | +6 | 18 PIM

Here are updates on other Dallas prospects still playing in juniors and Europe fared over the past week.

 

North American Juniors

RW Nick Caamano (5th round/2016) tallied two goals and two assists in three games as Hamilton took a 3-0 series lead over Kingston in the Eastern Conference Championship Series in the Ontario Hockey League. Caamano recorded one goal and one assist in each of the first two games, but he did not score in the third game -- the first time he has failed to register a point in his 13 playoff games this season. Caamano has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 13 playoff games and is tied for tenth in OHL postseason scoring.

Caamano Stats: Hamilton/Flint (OHL) | 64 GP | 25 G | 32 A | 57 PTS | +9 | 94 PIM 

Playoffs | 13 GP | 6 G | 11 A | 17 PTS | +10 | 18 PIM

LW Jason Robertson (2nd round/2017) tallied one goal in three games as Kingston lost the first three games of the OHL playoff series against Caamano and Hamilton. Robertson has 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) in 14 games and is tied for seventh in playoff goal scoring in the OHL.

Robertson Stats: Kingston (OHL) | 68 GP | 41 G | 46 A | 87 PTS | +8 | 36 PIM 

Playoffs | 14 GP | 8 G | 7 A | 15 PTS | -3 | 6 PIM

D Ondrej Vala (Free agent/2016) did not score as Everett split the first two games with Tri-City in the Western Hockey League's Western Conference Championship Series. Vala has five points (one goal, four assists) in 12 playoff games. His plus-12 rating is tied for ninth among all players in the WHL playoffs.

Vala Stats: Kamloops/Everett (WHL) | 59 GP | 7 G | 21 A | 28 PTS | +17 | 48 PIM 

Playoffs | 12 GP | 1 G | 4 A | 5 PTS | +12 | 12 PIM

 

Europe

LW Valeri Nichushkin (1st round/2013) recorded no points in two games last week for CSKA during the KHL's Gagarin Cup Final and then missed the final two games of the series with an upper-body injury as CSKA fell to AK Bars, 4-1, in the championship series. Nichushkin finished the playoffs with nine points (three goals, six assists) in 19 games. On Sunday, Nichushkin was invited to join Russia's national team to prepare for the 2018 World Championship.

Nichushkin Stats: CSKA (KHL) | 50 GP | 16 G | 11 A | 27 PTS | +11 | 14 PIM 

CSKA (KHL Playoffs) | 19 GP | 3 G | 6 A | 9 PTS | +4 | 4 PIM

D John Nyberg (6th round/2014) registered no points in three games for Sweden's national team at the Carlson Hockey Games in Czech Republic and Russia. Nyberg has no points in five games for Sweden's national team since wrapping up his season in the Swedish Hockey League.

Nyberg Stats: Frolunda (SHL) | 52 GP | 2 G | 11 A | 13 PTS | E | 40 PIM 

Playoffs | 6 GP | 0 G |2 A | 2 PTS | -2 | 4 PIM 

Sweden (Intl) | 5 GP | 0 G | 0 A | 0 PTS | -2 | 4 PIM

 

Season Finished

Here are brief recaps on the prospects who have concluded their seasons in college, juniors, and Europe.

LW Riley Tufte (1st round/2016) tallied 29 points (16 goals, 13 assists) in 42 games for Minnesota Duluth, which won the NCAA championship. Tufte, a sophomore, led the Bulldogs in goal scoring and shots on goal (131).

Tufte Stats: Minnesota Duluth (NCHC) | 42 GP | 16 G | 13 A | 29 PTS | +11 | 36 PIM

G Colton Point (5th round/2016) finished his sophomore season at Colgate with a 16-12-5 record and ranked second in the nation in goals against average (1.74) and first in save percentage (.944). His six shutouts ranked fourth.

Point Stats: Colgate (ECAC) | 16-12-5 | 1.74 | .944

G Jake Oettinger (1st round/2017) finished his sophomore season at Boston University with a 21-13-4 record, 2.45 goals against average and .915 save percentage. Oettinger tied for fifth in the nation with five shutouts.

Oettinger Stats: Boston University (Hockey East) | 21-13-4 | 2.45 | .915

D Joe Cecconi (5th round/2015) recorded 27 points (five goals, 22 assists) in 40 games for the University of Michigan, which advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four. Cecconi, a junior, ranked second among Michigan defensemen in scoring.

Cecconi Stats: Michigan (Big Ten) | 40 GP | 5 G | 22 A | 27 PTS | E | 43 PIM

RW Tony Calderone (Free agent/2018) signed as a free agent with Dallas after concluding the season with the University of Michigan, where he tallied 45 points (25 goals, 20 assists) in 40 games, leading the Wolverines in goal scoring and ranking fifth nationally. Signed an amateur tryout with the Texas Stars of the AHL after signing with Dallas.

C/LW Rhett Gardner (4th round/2016) tallied 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 33 games with North Dakota. Gardner, a junior, won 58.6 percent of his faceoffs (459 of 783).

Gardner Stats: North Dakota (NCHC) | 33 GP | 7 G | 13 A | 20 PTS | +6 |48 PIM

D Michael Prapavessis (4th round/2014) finished his senior season with 19 assists in 37 games for RPI. He signed an amateur tryout contract with Cincinnati of the ECHL.

Prapavessis Stats: RPI (ECAC) | 37 GP | 0 G | 19 A | 19 PTS | -10 | 18 PIM

C Liam Hawel (4th round/2017) tallied 41 points (14 goals, 27 assists) in 41 games for Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League. Hawel won 53.4 percent of his faceoffs (512 of 958).

Hawel Stats: Guelph (OHL) | 62 GP | 14 G | 27 A | 41 PTS | -5 | 31 PIM 

Playoffs | 6 GP | 3 G | 3 A | 6 PTS | -1 | 4 PIM

C Brett Davis (6th round/2017) finished the regular season with 58 points (25 goals, 33 assists) in 72 games for Kootenay of the WHL, tying for second on the team in goals and ranking third in points.

Davis Stats: Kootenay | 72 GP | 25 G | 33 A | 58 PTS | -20 | 25 PIM

D Jakob Stenqvist (6th round/2016) played primarily in Sweden's second league where he tallied 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 46 games and, as a defenseman, was the highest scoring junior player in the league. He ranked eighth among all league defensemen in scoring.

Stenqvist Stats: Bjorkloven (Allsvenskan) | 46 GP | 5 G | 17 A | 22 PTS | -3 | 16 PIM 

Frolunda (SHL) | 2 GP | 0 G | 0 A | 0 PTS | E | 2 PIM  

Bjorkloven (Postseason) | 5 GP | 0 G | 3 A | | 3 PTS | +3 | 2 PIM 

Frolunda (Jr, Postseason) | 2 GP | 2 G | 0 A | 2 PTS | -3 | 0 PIM

C Jacob Peterson (5th round/2017) played at three different levels this season in Sweden, including juniors, the second league, and the Swedish Hockey League. He played primarily in juniors where he tallied 34 points (13 goals, 21 assists) in 33 games and he recorded five points (three goals, two assists) in 10 games in the second league.

Peterson Stats: Frolunda (Sweden, Jr.) | 33 GP | 13 G | 21 A | 34 PTS | +3 | 26 PIM 

Frolunda (SHL) | 9 GP | 0 G | 0 A | 0 PTS | -1 | 0 PIM 

Bjorkloven (Allsvenskan) | 10 GP | 3 G | 2 A | 5 PTS | +2 | 2 PIM 

Bjorkloven (Postseason) | 5 GP | 1 G | 1 A | | 2 PTS | -1 | 4 PIM  

Frolunda (Jr, Postseason) | 2 GP | 1 G | 2 A | 3 PTS | -3 | 0 PIM

LW/C Fredrik Karlstrom (3rd round/2016) played primarily in the Swedish Hockey League where he had five points (two goals, three assists) in 35 games. He didn't play towards the end of the season due to a shoulder injury which had plagued him earlier in the season as well. Karlstrom also played at the 2018 World Junior Championship, recording three assists in seven games as Sweden took home the silver medal.

Karlstrom Stats: Linkoping (SHL) | 35 GP | 2 G | 3 A | 5 PTS | -2 | 6 PIM 

Linkoping (Sweden, Jr.) | 4 GP | 2 G | 0 A | 2 PTS | -3 | 4 PIM

G Markus Ruusu (6th round/2015) played at three different levels in Finland, primarily in the second league (Mestis) where he posted a 9-4-3 record, 2.64 goals against average and .907 save percentage.

Ruusu Stats: TUTO/LeKi (Mestis) | 9-4-3 | 2.64 | .907 

Ilves (Liiga) | 5-6-0 | 3.75 | .851 

Ilves (Finland, Jr.) | 0-2-0 | 2.57 | .924 

Leki (Postseason) | 0-1 | 7.00 | .696

D Miro Karjalainen (5th round/2014) recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in 36 games for HPK in Finland's top league.

Karjalainen Stats: HPK (Liiga) | 36 GP | 2 G | 3 A | 5 PTS | -5 | 135 PIM

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

Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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