Friday, June 19, 2015

Dallas Stars Curtis McKenzie, Jamie Oleksiak Have Been Qualified

Idaho Steelheads forward Ludwig Karlsson will not be qualified by Dallas
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The Dallas Stars have gotten the word out a bit early on some of their restricted free agents. Among the RFAs who played in Texas, Curtis McKenzie and Jamie Oleksiak are expected to receive qualifying offers. Ludwig Karlsson, who spent most of the season in Idaho, is not expected to get an offer.

These were predictable outcomes for most observers. McKenzie made a lot of noise in the bottom six (and sometimes the top six) with Dallas down the stretch. After his AHL Rookie of the Year selection in 2013-14, it was already a pretty foregone conclusion that he would be getting another deal this summer. The only question was if it would be two-way or one-way and the length. While this is only a QO right now, it has to be assumed that McKenzie has earned some length in his contract and perhaps a second year on one-way. I would assume Colton Sceviour's recent contract (two years with the first two-way and the second one-way) is a good example to follow.

Jamie Oleksiak has been a mystery for Texas and Dallas fans alike at times. While he was a high draft pick, he's been in and out of the lineup in Dallas, unable to establish himself as a daily player. This year's deal is probably of the 'prove it' variety. One-year, two-way with the intent that next summer is the payoff if he can perform to expectations.

Ludwig Karlsson spent almost all the year in the ECHL and has spent most of his pro career their as well. He was one of the add-on pieces in the trade that delivered Jason Spezza to Dallas from Ottawa. Karlsson has no points in just 10 games of AHL work over two years. He did perform well in the ECHL during his time there (27-27=54 in 97 GP) and could get a deal there. However, being a Swede, he may also head back to Europe. Interestingly, Karlsson came to America earlier than many European prospects, starting in the USHL before going to Northeastern for two years.

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