Dallas Stars forward prospect Nick Caamano is off to an impressive start in the Ontario Hockey League. The 18-year-old right wing has racked up 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) and a plus-10 rating in five games for the Flint Firebirds. The fifth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft ranks second in the league in goals, assists, and points.
Caamano has registered points in all five games this season and set a career-high for points in a game with five (two goals, three assists) in a Flint's 7-4 victory over Sarnia on Friday.
Caamano played for the Stars at the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, scoring one goal in four games. He said the time in the tournament set him up well going into this season.
"It was definitely a good learning experience playing against a lot of older guys with a lot more skill, and they really know and understand the game," said Caamano, who was the youngest player on the Dallas team. "It was good for me, and I tried to learn a lot from the older guys. I think it is going to spring me forward in my year in Flint."
The Stars liked what they saw from Caamano, who celebrated his 18th birthday the week before the Traverse City tournament began.
"I think when he steps back to his [junior] team he is going to realize how important this tournament was for him. I like the fact that he got better in every game," said Texas Stars coach Derek Laxdal, who coached Dallas prospects in Traverse City. "He's got a pretty well-rounded game. He skates well. He's got some things to work on defensively. Offensively he's got some things to work on, but I like that he is a well-rounded player that plays a 200-foot game. He's going to get bigger, faster and stronger as he goes through his junior career. But he's got a good base to start with there."
Camano Stats: Flint (OHL): 5 GP | 5 G |8 A | 13 PTS | +10 | 6 PIM
Here's a look at how other Dallas Stars prospects playing in Europe, juniors and college are faring so far this season.
*C Fredrik Karlstrom (3rd round/2016) is tied for second in the HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden's second-highest league, in scoring with 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in seven games. Karlstrom leads all junior players in the league in scoring. He's played one game in juniors this season as well, registering no points.
Karlstrom Stats: AIK (SWE-2) | 7 GP | 3 G | 4 A | 7 PTS | +1 | 0 PIM
*D Jakob Stenqvist (6th round/2016) is playing with MODO in Swedish juniors. He has registered five assists in eight games. His five assists are tied for the league lead among defensemen.
Stenqvist Stats: MODO (SWE-JR) | 8 GP | 0 G | 5 A | 5 PTS | -2 | 6 PIM
*D Niklas Hansson (3rd round/2013) picked up his first point of the season Saturday, assisting on HV 71's second goal in a 7-1 victory over Skelleftea in the Swedish Hockey League. Hansson has played three games since returning from playing with the Stars at the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City and played a season-high 19:02 in Saturday's game.
Hansson Stats: HV 71 (SHL) | 3 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PT | -1 | 2 PIM
*D Miro Karjalainen (5th round/2014) scored his first career goal in Finland's top league last week, tallying the game-tying goal late in the third period as HIFK rallied for a 2-1 victory over KalPa. Karjalainen, who played for the Stars in Traverse City, has one goal in four games for HIFK and is averaging 5:45 of ice time.
Karjalainen Stats: HIFK (Liiga) | 4 GP | 1 G | 0 A | | 1 PT | +2 | 0 PIM
G Markus Ruusu (6th round/2015) won his first three starts of the season with JYP-Akatemia in Finland's second highest league, but he's been roughed up in his last two starts, allowing a total of 13 goals. Ruusu is 3-2-0 with a 4.27 goals-against average.
Ruusu Stats: JYP-Akatemia (Mestis) | 3-2-0 | 4.27 GAA | .852 SV%
D Aleksi Makela (7th round/2013) is playing for Assat in Finland's top league. He has no points in five games and is averaging 9:27 of ice time per game.
Makela Stats: Assat (Liiga) |5 GP | 0 G | 0 A | 0 PTS | E | 0 PIM
LW Roope Hintz (2nd round/2015) is out with an injury for HIFK to start the season. Hintz was injured in mid-September in a Champions Hockey League tournament game and the time frame then was put at 4-6 weeks.
Western Hockey League
D Ondrej Vala (free agent/2016) has registered one assist in five games for Kamloops in the WHL. Vala, who was a free agent invite with Dallas at the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Stars last week. "Ondrej has shown a combination of size and physicality along with the ability to play a defensively responsible game at the junior hockey level," Stars GM Jim Nill said in a release announcing the signing of Vala.
Vala Stats: Kamloops (WHL) | 5 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PT | -1 | 10 PIM
Ontario Hockey League
*D Chris Martenet (4th round/2015) has registered no points in two games with London since being reassigned to juniors from Dallas Stars training camp.
Martenet Stats: London (OHL) | 2 GP | 0 G | 0 A | 0 PTS | -1 | 0 PIM
*C Riley Tufte (1st round/2016) did not play in Minnesota-Duluth's first two games of the season this weekend. Tufte, who suffered a broken wrist at Team USA's National Junior Evaluation Camp in August, was cleared for contact in practice last week but was held out of the games as a precaution.
"He's not quite there yet," coach Scott Sandelin told the Duluth News Tribune. "We want to make sure he is full and ready to go. It's a long year and I want to make sure he's confident in what he's doing when he's out there playing."
*G Colton Point (5th round/2016) did not play in Colgate's season opener, a 2-2 tie with Army.
*D Michael Prapavessis (4th round/2014 - RPI), D Joseph Cecconi (5th round/2015 - Michigan), and C/LW Rhett Gardner (4th round/2016 - North Dakota) all begin their seasons this weekend.