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Prospect Report

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars defense prospect Esa Lindell had another good week in Finland’s top league. Lindell notched one goal and one assist in two games, giving him 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists) in 36 games for Assat. Lindell ranks fourth among league defensemen in scoring and he leads the league in ice time per game (25:07).

“He’s just the backbone of that team. He plays all situations, logs big minutes, puts up points, and he’s hard to play against in his own zone,” said Stars scout Rickard Oquist. “He’s doing really well. He’s been with the national team, too. That’s great experience for him. He’s been really good this year.”

The Stars drafted Lindell in the third round (74th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft. He’s listed at 6-3, 198 pounds, and he is a left-shot. The Stars like the progress the 20-year-old is making.

“The improvement he has made over the last few years is quite impressive,” Oquist said. “Before we drafted him, he had back problems and hadn’t been able to fully work out. Now, he has become stronger, his skating has improved. He’s always had the smarts and the skills. Combine getting stronger with getting mature and the experience in the higher level, it has helped him. He’s really improved. It’s fun to see.”

The Stars signed Lindell to a three-year entry-level contract last spring.

Also having a strong season in Europe is defenseman Niklas Hansson, a third-round pick (68th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft. Hansson didn’t play this past week due to illness, but he has 20 points (2 goals, 18 assists) in 38 games for Rogle in the HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden’s second highest hockey league.

“Niklas is doing really well. He is assistant captain this year of a strong team that is a contender to go up to the Swedish Elite League,” said Oquist. “He is their No. 1 defenseman. He plays the power play. He has 20 points, which is pretty impressive for a 19-year-old in the second highest league in the country. It’s a good spot for him because he gets lots of ice time, the coach has a lot of trust in him. It’s a great situation for him.”

Hansson, a right-shot, ranks second in scoring among all junior players in the league, and he is tied for tenth in scoring among all defensemen in the league.

“He’s a smart player,” said Oquist. “He has good puck poise and he finds open ice and options all the time. Just like all those good players, he finds options in tight situations. There are things to improve. He has to get stronger, like all kids, and by getting stronger, his skating will be better. But he looks like a real intriguing player.”

Here’s an update on how other Dallas Stars prospects playing in juniors, the European leagues and U.S. colleges fared over the past week.

Ontario Hockey League

*LW Remi Elie (second round/2013) had a big week for Erie in the OHL, registering seven points (four goals, three assists) in two games. He notched three goals, one assist and was the first star of the game in Erie’s 7-4 win over Kingston on Friday. He followed that up with one goal and two assists in Erie’s 6-5 overtime win over North Bay on Saturday. He assisted on Connor McDavid’s game-winner in OT. Elie has 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in five games since being acquired by Erie earlier this month and has 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in 40 OHL games this season.

*C Jason Dickinson (first round/2013) picked up two goals and two assists in three games for Guelph, running his points streak to nine games. Dickinson has 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) during the streak. He has 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) in 34 games this season.

*D Aaron Haydon (sixth round/2014) had one assist in four games for Niagara over the past week. Haydon has 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists) in 43 games this season.

*G Brent Moran (fourth round/2014) went 1-0-1 over the past week for Niagara. He stopped 35 of 38 shots in regulation and overtime and then stopped all three shots in the shootout as Niagara defeated Belleville, 4-3, on Sunday. Moran is 9-15-1 with a 3.46 goals against average and .895 save percentage this season.

*D Patrick Sanvido (seventh round/2014) played two games for Windsor and had no points. He has seven assists in 42 games.

*D Alex Peters (third round/2014) is out with a knee injury.

Western Hockey League

*LW Cole Ully (fifth round/2013) registered one goal and three assists in two games for Kamloops of the WHL over the past week. Ully ranks fifth in the WHL in scoring with 58 points (20 goals, 38 assists) in 43 games.

*LW Brett Pollock (second round/2014) scored one goal in two games for Edmonton over the past week. Pollock, who had a seven-game points streak come to an end, has 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 44 games and leads the Oil Kings in scoring.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

*G Philippe Desrosiers (second round/2013) won his only start of the past week, stopping 27 of 30 shots in Rimouski’s 7-3 victory over Moncton. Desrosiers is 18-7-2 and leads the QMJHL with a 2.60 goals against average.

United States Hockey League

*RW Matej Paulovic (fifth round/2013) was suspended for one game for being assessed a kneeing major and then returned and played one game, picking up one assist. Paulovic has 28 assists (9 goals, 19 assists) in 27 games for Muskegon this season.

Europe

*D Aleksi Makela (seventh round/2013) did not register any points in two games for Ilves in Finland’s top league last week. Makela has six assists in 23 games.

*D Miro Karjalainen (fifth round/2014) is out with a knee injury.

*D Ludwig Bystrom (second round/2012) had no points in two games for Farjestad in Sweden’s top league. Bystrom has five points (one goal, four assists) in 25 games.

*D John Nyberg (sixth round/2014) is back with Frolunda in Sweden’s top league. He played two games this past week and did not register any points. Nyberg has no points in seven games in the top league this season.

*LW Emil Molin (fourth round/2011) had no points in two games this past week for Rogle in Sweden’s second highest league. Molin has six assists in 39 games.

*D Dmitry Sinitsyn (seventh round/2012) did not play last week in Russia.

U.S. College

*C Devin Shore (second round/2012) registered one goal and one assist as the University of Maine defeated Boston College, 4-2, on Sunday. Shore, a junior, has 18 points (6 goals, 12 assists) in 26 games this season.

*D Michael Prapavessis (fourth round/2014) played two games over the weekend for RPI, registering no points. Prapavessis, a freshman, has four assists in 26 games.

Click Here for Statistics for Dallas Stars prospects playing in juniors, Europe and college.

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 Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge

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