This will be Texas’ second straight appearance in the AHL Playoffs after reaching the Calder Cup Finals last year in the club’s inaugural season. Last year Dallas sent Jamie Benn
to play for Texas during the playoffs to help push him to become a better NHL player. He responded with 26 points in 24 playoff games with Texas, leading the club in points and tied for first during the playoffs in goals with 14. Benn was a fifth-round pick in his draft year (2007) and the Stars expect that two other fifth round choices will become regulars at the NHL level soon with Tomas Vincour
and Philip Larsen
Vincour, who saw significant time with Dallas this season, will be finishing his 2010-11 campaign with Texas in the AHL Playoffs. He played in 24 NHL games for the Stars this year, collecting one goal and an assist with Dallas. The scouts will be looking for him to take another step forward to becoming a regular contributor on the NHL club and they feel playing in the AHL playoffs will help shape him into the player he can be. Vincour was drafted in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, 129th overall. He is well ahead of schedule in his development as a hockey player, as the right wing is one of only 14 drafted players in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft to play more than 20 games in the NHL through the 2010-11 season.
Larsen, Stars’ prospect on defense, will also be playing for Texas during the playoffs. Philip has seen some NHL action in the past two years with Dallas, playing in eight career NHL games and collecting three assists. He spent the majority of this season with Texas, skating in 54 games and scoring four goals and 17 assists. Larsen has been adjusting to the North American game this season with the Stars by playing his first full season in an NHL sized rink after only playing in the Swedish League’s larger rinks in prior seasons. Dallas hopes that the increased competition will help Larsen in his development as a skilled, offensive defenseman when he makes his way to the NHL level. Larsen was drafted by Dallas at 149th overall at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Another familiar face to Dallas Stars fans playing for Texas in the playoffs will be defenseman Brad Lukowich. He skated in five games for Dallas this season but a big role for him has been to help guide and teach the Stars young defenseman on the AHL club. Lukowich, 34, a veteran of over 600 NHL games, helped Dallas win the Stanley Cup in 1999 and won the cup again with Tampa Bay in 2003, so the organization believes it has been extremely valuable for him to be around the young players in Cedar Park. He has a lot of experience in the NHL with a significant amount in the playoffs, so the Stars hope that Lukowich will rub off on the others on and off the ice.
The club will play games one and two in Milwaukee with games three and four at Cedar Park Center, the Texas Stars’ home rink. If necessary, game five will be at Texas and games six and seven will be played in Milwaukee. Games one and two will be broadcasted in Austin on The Horn 1530 AM.
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