As recently as three days ago, it was expected that Texas fans would have to wait as long as a year more to see Honka at the Cedar Park Center. There are special rules for the AHL eligibility of players drafted from the Canadian major junior system. Those are covered in-depth in the Glossary. Honka appeared to have been drafted under these guidelines, as he was playing for the WHL's Swift Current last season. However, a re-interpretation of his assignment from JYP as a loan and not a permanent assignment made him eligible to head to the AHL this season. This considerably moves up his development timeline. It also puts a kink in the previous plans for the Texas Stars defense.
It appeared that the signing of William Wrenn last month was a response to Honka not being AHL-eligible. Now that signing may actually be superfluous. Assuming Brenden Dillon is signed by the start of the season, take a look at pairing and detination projections for the organization before the Honka news:
DallasOK, now what? Add Honka at the AHL and what happens? Of a group that includes Oleksiak, Meech, Gaunce, Klingberg, Fortunus and Jokipakka, who do you scratch so that Honka gets ice time?
Texas (without Honka)
Otherwise, big camps for several others on this list. Dowling had his first NHL preseason action in his first year on a new contract with Dallas. Ranford did as well. Curtis McKenzie impressed and made a name for himself as a callup throughout the year. Klingberg and Faksa were expected assignments, but both had bright spots in the preseason that give good indication of their trajectory.
Players who are expected with Texas that are still in Dallas include Travis Morin, Brett Ritchie, Jamie Oleksiak and Jussi Rynnas.
Here's the release:
The Texas Stars announced today their NHL parent club, the Dallas Stars, has reduced their training camp roster by six players. Justin Dowling, Radek Faksa, Julius Honka, John Klingberg, Curtis McKenzie and Brendan Ranford will join the Texas Stars training camp in Cedar Park.
Honka (HAHN-kuh) is the only member from the group that did not skate with last year’s Texas Stars squad that won the 2014 Calder Cup championship. The 19-year-old defenseman was the 14th overall pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft for Dallas. McKenzie was awarded the Dudley “Red” Garrett award last season as the AHL’s Rookie of the Year, scoring 65 points (27 goals, 38 assists) in 72 games.
Faksa (RA-dehk FAWK-suh) was Dallas’ first-round pick (13th overall) in 2012. Dowling and Ranford each played significant roles for Texas in their championship run last season, and Klingberg tallied 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) as a defenseman in 50 games last season in the Swedish Hockey League.