The 19-year-old forward joined the AHL club when his junior season ended in mid-April. He played two regular season games and suited up for all three playoff games as Texas was swept in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. It was only five games over about two weeks, but it was a good opportunity to get a taste of the pro game, experience the pro life and learn a little from pro players.
“This is invaluable to my career,” Dickinson said. “You can’t put words to how much this is going to benefit me. It’s important that I learn from them and learn from this experience.”
Dickinson registered three assists in the two regular season games and no points in the three playoff games. Dickinson saw lower line duty during his time with Texas but has top six potential.
“He’s got a head on his shoulders. Great hockey IQ, thinks the game well,” said Texas coach Derek Laxdal. “He can play center, play the left side. He can play on the power play, he can play on the penalty kill. He’s 6’1, 200 pounds, skates well, good hands.”
The Dallas Stars drafted Dickinson in the first round (29th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft with a pick acquired from Boston in the Jaromir Jagr trade. Dickinson played his junior hockey with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League. He registered 231 points (84 goals, 147 assists) in 253 games over four seasons.
In 2013-14, he helped lead Guelph to the OHL championship with 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) in 20 playoff games. Dickinson then tallied two goals and three assists in four games as Guelph made it to the championship game at the 2014 Memorial Cup.
This past season, he served as the captain of the Storm, ranking third on the team in goals (27), second in assists (44) and third in points (71). He ranked third in the league with six shorthanded goals.
“I thought it went pretty well. I started off a little slow, but right around Christmas time I picked it up,” Dickinson said. “I really took the leadership role in Guelph seriously and buckled down.”
Dickinson picked it up after not making Canada’s roster for the 2015 World Junior Championship. It was a major goal for him and a big disappointment when he fell short. He turned it into a positive. After being cut from Canada’s selection camp in December, Dickinson went on a run that saw him tally 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists) over his final 31 games.
“It was motivation; it was always burning in me,” he said of missing out on the World Juniors.
There was no long playoff run for Guelph this season. Guelph went out in the second round, falling to Sault Ste. Marie in a four-game sweep. Dickinson co-led the team in postseason scoring with eight points (four goals, four assists) in nine games.
Dickinson showed a strong two-way game in his junior career. He put up good offensive numbers and was strong on the defensive side of things. At the 2014 Memorial Cup, he helped shut down Detroit prospect Anthony Mantha, the top goal scorer in major junior hockey in a Guelph victory at the tournament.
This season he faced an even bigger challenge. With Guelph thin on the blue line, Dickinson played defense for a game and on the other side was Connor McDavid, who is expected to go first overall in this summer’s NHL Draft. It didn’t go well. McDavid racked up four goals and two assists, victimizing Dickinson a couple times. It didn’t go well, but Dickinson drew some benefits from the experience.
“I wouldn’t consider that playing, but I was on defense,” Dickinson said with a laugh. “It was a learning experience. It was an eye-opener as to how the D handle forwards. It was one of the best examples to have Connor McDavid come flying down at me. It’s not easy for anybody, and it gives me more respect for my D and it makes me want to get back and help more.”
The Stars signed Dickinson to a three-year entry-level contract in May 2014. He is expected to turn pro next season and is expected to begin with the Texas Stars. That’s why getting to spend some time with the AHL club this past spring – even though it was brief – should pay some dividends in the fall.
“He has presence. He’s bigger than everyone thinks,” said Scott White, Dallas Stars Director of Hockey Operations and Texas Stars GM. “He can skate. He’s got good hands. He was just getting his feet wet, and it’s great for his development moving ahead.”
Desrosiers named CHL Goaltender of the Year
Dallas Stars goaltending prospect Philippe Desrosiers was named the Canadian Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Year. Desrosiers posted a 29-9-3 record, 2.50 goals-against average, .901 save percentage and five shutouts in leading the Rimouski Oceanic to the best record in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2014-15.
Desrosiers ranked first in the QMJHL in goals-against average, second in shutouts, third in save percentage and fifth in wins.
The 19-year-old Desrosiers, Dallas’ second-round pick in 2013, also helped lead the Oceanic to the QMJHL championship and a trip to the Memorial Cup.