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Embracing new challenge, Dellandrea aims to flourish with Stars

The forward, who models his game after Chicago's Jonathan Toews, is excited to join Dallas

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Ty Dellandrea isn't afraid of a little hard work.

The first-round selection of the Stars (13th overall) Friday at the NHL Draft earned a lot of respect from Dallas scouts and front-office personnel when he made the decision to go to a struggling Flint Firebirds team in the Ontario Hockey League and roll up his sleeves. While Flint, which was taken over by the league in 2015 when its owner was suspended, finished 20-43-3-2 last season, Dellandrea kept a positive attitude in his second season and led the team in goals with 27 while scoring 59 points in 67 games.

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Nill believes deep draft will yield Stars 'really good' player

'We're looking for guys that can come in and make an impact -- we're trying to hit the home run,' the GM says

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Stars GM Jim Nill laid out his draft plans on Thursday, saying his team's draft board hasn't changed since it was put together in May and adding that the Stars, like most teams, will go after high end skill players Friday and Saturday.

Dallas has pick No. 13 Friday when the first round of the NHL Draft presented by adidas is held at American Airlines Center, and Nill said he believes the team is well prepared. While mock drafts and media predictions have changed a great deal in recent days on a deep group of players, Nill said he thinks teams will stick to their boards.

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Heika: What is it like to be a scout for Stars?

From 'a lot of time on the road' to more than two dozen combine interviews, the job can be tough -- and rewarding

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Gathered in Buffalo last month, the Stars' scouting staff buzzed through 27 player interviews in three days and pored over analytics from physical testing.

But as important as that process is in preparing for the 2018 NHL Draft presented by adidas at American Airlines Center Friday and Saturday, it was merely the conclusion to a hard year acquiring information on these young players. The real work is done on the road in small North American cities or far flung overseas locales.

"This is definitely helpful, but it's what you see during the season that's the most important," Joe McDonnell, the Stars director of amateur scouting, said at the scouting combine. "We want them to be hockey players, so we need to watch them playing hockey."

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Draft gives Stars chance to celebrate hockey in Lone Star State

The big weekend officially kicks off Thursday with 'Texas Hockey Day' at StarCenter Farmers Branch

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

The NHL Draft is one of Jim Lites' favorite events of the year.

"It's such a great time when everyone from the league gets together, you're all optimistic about next season, there's a lot of talk in the air about who you're getting in the draft or maybe possible trades. There's just a lot of energy in the city," said Lites, the Stars CEO.

"I'm really excited to see it here in Dallas."

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Lucky 13? Five players Stars could take in first round

DallasStars.com's Mike Heika looks at a few names that might be available for host Dallas to open the Draft

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Drafting 13th overall is a challenge. It's certainly better than drafting 20th, but you still have to wait for a lot of stuff to shake out before you get your guy.

That's especially true this year, as the order of many mock drafts are changing daily and players who were predicted to go after 13th in earlier mocks now are going before -- some significantly before. That means the Stars have to be prepared.

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Mock draft: Dahlin set to go No. 1 -- then it's anyone's guess

Who will be the best player available when the Stars select with the No. 13 overall pick?

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

The 2018 NHL Draft is supposed to be deep, and that creates some interesting challenges when it comes to mock drafts.

Once you get past the first few picks, the boards are all over the place. That's a fun thing if you're a fan, and a scary thing if you're a team. Bottom line: teams like the Stars have to be well-prepared and simply wait out the teams ahead of them. If one team goes off the board and does something unexpected, it creates a ripple effect for all of the teams below them.

The Stars are expected to take the "best player available," so there is a chance they add to their deep group of defensive prospects. But they need a center and it looks like they could have a solid group of forwards to choose from at 13th. That could mean they just have to wait to see which forwards fall.

Here's my best guess on how that plays out:

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Heika: With positives to build on, Stars have chance to come full circle

To look forward through encouraging eyes, there's a possibility this is all leading to something pretty special

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

I spent the week at a family gathering in Michigan where we had a memorial service for my mom and a graduation party for my niece and nephew, so there were a lot of "circle of life" moments.

At one point, we were watching a slide show where there were wedding pictures of my mom and sister side by side, and someone said words to the effect of: To think, so much of this sprang from those four people. And when you looked around the room at all of the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, it was a pretty neat moment.

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'Dynamite' rookie Hintz's impact on Stars shows future is bright

The 'NHL ready' 21-year-old forward continues to shine during the Texas Stars' Calder Cup run

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Derek Laxdal likes to call Roope Hintz "a moment player."

"He has moments," the Texas Stars coach said of his rookie forward.

The more this AHL playoff run stretches on, the more chances for the "moments" Hintz is getting. And that's a good sign for the 21-year-old, who was drafted in the second round (49th overall) by the Stars in 2015.

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Laxdal's key to success with Stars? 'Never quit learning'

A champion at every level, the 52-year-old coach is showing what he can do with Texas vying for the Calder Cup

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

CEDAR PARK, Texas -- Scott White doesn't like the term "old school."

When asked if Texas Stars coach Derek Laxdal was old school, White paused.

"I don't like calling someone 'old school,' there's a negative connotation with that," White said. "That, to me, makes you sound like your inflexible and set in your ways."

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Heika: White successfully leading Stars' own edition of 'Fixer Upper'

The driving force behind Texas' latest Calder Cup bid, the 50-year-old 'doesn't get enough credit,' GM Nill says

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Maybe Scott White needs an HGTV makeover show -- those have been doing well in Central Texas over the past few years.

Fixer Upper: Texas Stars Edition has been going on for nine seasons in Cedar Park, and White is the main reason why. 

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