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Stars place Niemi on waivers, plan to buy out contract

Move will leave Ben Bishop and Kari Lehtonen as goaltending tandem for 2017-18

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars GM Jim Nill said over the weekend that he would move one of his goaltenders this week and he got the process started Monday, placing Antti Niemi on waivers with the intention of buying out his contract.

Since the acquisition and signing of Ben Bishop last month to be the team's new No. 1 goaltender, Nill was expected to move either Niemi or Kari Lehtonen via a trade or buyout. The odds were it was going to be Niemi. It was, and it turned out to be the buyout option.

"That was one of the options. There was no trade market for him. It's a pretty saturated goaltending market right now. We knew that going in," Nill said. "This is going to give him an opportunity to play another year or not, and it frees up cap room for us."

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Stars go heavy on forwards on day two of draft

Stars take four forwards and one goalie, get a goal scorer in left wing Jason Robertson with second-round pick

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars wrapped up the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago by making five picks Saturday, leaning heavily towards forwards.

After taking high-end defenseman Miro Heiskanen and highly regarded goaltender Jake Oettinger in Friday's first round of the draft, the Stars selected four forwards and one goaltender with their picks on Saturday. There was no grand play with the high number of forwards taken on Saturday. 

"That's just how it works out," said Joe McDonnell, Stars director of amateur scouting. "We're not drafting by position at that point. We are getting what our area guys are thinking, what they like, who they are real strong on."

Overall, it was a good weekend for the Stars. They got Heiskanen, the guy who No. 1 on their draft list. They picked up Oettinger, the goaltender they had ranked highest. Then in the second round (39th overall), they picked up a player they had projected to go in the first round - Jason Robertson, a left wing who scored 42 goals in the Ontario Hockey League last season.

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Stars trade up to draft goaltender Jake Oettinger

Stars jump to 26th overall to grab big netminder from Boston University

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars got the top player on their draft list when they selected defenseman Miro Heiskanen with the third overall pick in Friday night's NHL Draft in Chicago, and then they grabbed the top goalie on their list, trading up to the 26th overall pick to grab Jake Oettinger from Boston University.

When the Stars-Blackhawks trade was announced, Oettinger had a sense he was heading to Dallas.

"I thought maybe a little bit that trade was for me," Oettinger said. "It's just so cool to have a team trade up to take you."

The Stars traded the 29th overall pick and the 70th overall pick to Chicago to move up to the 26th spot to take Oettinger. The Stars gave up a pick in a later round to get a player they wanted and were afraid might not be available at the 29th spot.

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Cody Eakin heads to Vegas in expansion draft

Center one of 30 players selected by Golden Knights; Stars GM Jim Nill said team will miss Eakin

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

We knew the Dallas Stars were going to lose a player to the Vegas Golden Knights via the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and Wednesday night we found out which one. Vegas selected center Cody Eakin from the Stars.

Vegas owner Bill Foley was apparently so excited about the pick he jumped ahead of announcing the selection from Detroit to announce that the Golden Knights grabbed Eakin from the Stars. Dallas GM Jim Nill said he was sorry to see Eakin go.

"I love Cody Eakin," Nill said. "I love what he brought to our team. He's been a great Dallas Star. But in the end, he's the player I thought they would probably take. They made a good pick taking him. He's a good player."

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Ready for Anything

Stars scouting staff prepared to be on their toes as trades, other twists are possible at 2017 NHL Draft

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell and the team's scouts have assembled a list of 200 prospects for the upcoming NHL Draft. And they like the chances of them getting some good players for down the road.  

There are no so-called generational players in this year's draft. There is no Connor McDavid. No Auston Matthews. But McDonnell sees a good draft in which the Stars have eight picks, including two in the first round (third overall and 29th overall) and a pick high in the second round (39th overall).

"It's good," McDonnell said of the draft. "It goes pretty deep into the first round, and it goes deep into the second and third rounds as well."

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No surprises as Stars expansion draft list revealed

Stars protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The NHL released the protected and available lists for the upcoming expansion draft, and for the Dallas Stars there were no major surprises but answers to a couple of key questions.

Among the more interesting questions was at the forward spot where there were a few possible options to be left unprotected, and the answer turned out to be Cody Eakin who is now available for selection in the expansion draft. Brett Ritchie, Antoine Roussel, and Valeri Nichushkin were protected along with Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, and Radek Faksa.

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Draft Profile: Martin Necas

Speedy, offensively gifted Czech center plays game at high pace

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The latest in our series of top prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft looks at center Martin Necas, who played in the top league in the Czech Republic this past season. The Red Line Report, an independent scouting service, describes Necas as a "terrific skater, puckhandler and imaginative passer." TSN's Craig Button ranked Necas seventh among the prospects in this year's draft.

Martin Necas
Position: Center
Height/Weight: 6-1/178 pounds
Shoots: Right
Born: January 15, 1999
Birthplace: Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic
2016-17 Team: HC Kometa Brno (Czech Extraliga)

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Draft Profile: Michael Rasmussen

Big center from Western Hockey League among the top goal scorers in this year's draft

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The latest in our series on top prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft examines Michael Rasmussen, a 6-6, 221-pound center who played for the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. Hailed as the "most physically gifted player in the draft" by the Red Line Report, Rasmussen is considered one of the better goal scorers in his year's draft. He scored 32 goals in 50 games before suffering a season-ending wrist injury. Rasmussen is ranked as high as eighth on many of the independent/media lists for the draft.

Michael Rasmussen
Position: Center
Height/Weight: 6-6/221 pounds
Shoots: Left
Born: April 17, 1999
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia
2016-17 Team: Tri-City (Western Hockey League)

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Draft Profile: Owen Tippett

Right wing from the Ontario Hockey League is considered best goal scorer in this year's draft

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The latest in our series of profiles on top prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft takes a look at right wing Owen Tippett of the Ontario Hockey League's Mississauga Steelheads. Considered the best goal scorer in the draft, Tippett potted 44 goals in 60 games this past season and ten more in 20 playoff games. He's ranked fifth to seventh on many of the independent/media lists heading into the draft.

Owen Tippett
Position: Right Wing
Height/Weight: 6-0/203 pounds
Shoots: Right
Born: February 16, 1999
Birthplace: Peterborough, Ontario
2016-17 Team: Mississauga (Ontario Hockey League)

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Draft Profile: Cody Glass

Playmaking center put up impressive numbers in Western Hockey League

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Center Cody Glass is up next in our series of profiles of top prospects in the 2017 NHL Draft. Glass, a speedy playmaker who put up impressive numbers for Portland in the Western Hockey League this past season, is described by the Red Line Report as a player with a "huge upside and his hockey sense is off the charts." Red Line Report has him ranked as third among all prospects in the draft and ESPN's Corey Pronman has him coming in at fourth among all skaters.

Cody Glass
Position: Center
Height/Weight: 6-2/178 pounds
Shoots: Right
Born: April 1, 1999
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba
2016-17 Team: Portland (Western Hockey League)

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