Here’s a look at where the top three goaltenders who attended Dallas Stars development camp stand after working out for more than a week in Frisco.
Stars Director of Player Personnel Les Jackson and Player Development Coordinator J.J. McQueen shared their thoughts on Tyler Beskorowany, Jack Campbell and Christopher Nihlstorp.
Drafted 2nd round (59th overall) 2008
2011-12 Team: Texas Stars (AHL)
Beskorowany had a down season in 2011-12, posting a 10-19-0 record, 3.39 goals against average and a .886 save percentage with the Texas Stars of the AHL last season.
Jackson: “He had a pretty tough run in Texas. It didn’t go as well as we expected and as well as he wanted. We sent him home at the end of the year with a real firm message that you have to prepare, you have to get in shape and you have to get serious about your profession. He showed up here lean and trim. I think he’s done his work in the offseason. We plan on getting him back to where we believe he’s going to be a good American League goalie this year. He’s going to have his hands full. We have five goaltenders and only four spots, two in the NHL and two in Austin. Somebody has to be in the ECHL and after last year quite likely he’s going to have to go back there. He’ll need to show us that he is going to be the best player at his position at that level, and then challenge the following year for Texas.”
McQueen: “He had some hiccups with his conditioning during the season. He’s bought in to the program and he’s still working at that. He’s getting better. He needs to get stronger and work on his overall core strength so he can be quicker in the net and be freer in the net, if you will. He’s one of those kids who needs to spend a little more time in the gym than on the ice.”
Drafted 1st round (11th overall) 2010
2011-12 Team: Windsor (OHL)/Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)/Texas (AHL)
Campbell wrapped up two years of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League last season. He joined the Texas Stars late in the season and played well, posting a 3.02 goals against average and .912 save percentage in 12 games.
Jackson: “You don’t have to lead him to work because he is always waiting for you to show up. He’s an all-in type of player. He’s maturing, getting bigger and stronger. He’s figuring out that you just don’t go from the draft to the NHL, and that you’ve got to take a few steps to get to that spot. He’s in a good place. He totally trusts his coach. He’s had two years of good learning experiences in the Ontario Hockey League. He finished the season strong in Texas, so I think this little segment here was good tune up, working on the things he needs to and to prep him for the last run before training camp.”
McQueen: “We call him Captain America. If there’s one thing we have to do with Jack sometimes, it is pull him back. If he’s not working out or doing something, he doesn’t feel right. He is one those of kids who is on top of his conditioning. He does everything we ask of him and more. That’s the area he has to learn – how to cut back a little bit. He’s in phenomenal shape though.”
Signed as a free agent June 2012
2011-12 Team: Farjestad (Sweden)
The Stars signed Nihlstorp as a free agent in June. He’s coming off two very good seasons in the Swedish Elite League, including a 2010-11 campaign when he helped lead Farjestad to the SEL championship.
Jackson: “He’s an older guy, a lot more experience and further down the road than even Richard Bachman. He was really impressive. He is a total pro. He’s really focused on coming over here and being a good pro, learning the North American game and rink. He’s positioning himself to make our team. I was really impressed with him; he was really working at it. He was a good student of everything Mike (Valley, goaltending coach) was trying to show him and teach him. He left here with a great experience. He doesn’t have any experience at playing in these rinks over here. There’s going to be an adjustment and quite likely he’s going to get his adjustment at the American League level, and then we’ll monitor how it goes from there.”
McQueen: “He was a pleasant surprise. This is the first time I’ve met him and he’s an interesting individual. He reminds me of (Kari Lehtonen’s) characteristics in terms of his mannerisms. He worked very hard in the gym when he was here. A lot of the stuff was new to him, and he was excited about it. He asked a lot of questions. It’s a learning curve for him to train over here versus how he trained at home. We gave him a package to work on and I suspect when he comes back over he’ll be even better.”