Justin Dowling Signs Two-Year NHL Deal with Dallas Stars

Justin Dowling (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The Dallas Stars have announced today that Justin Dowling has been signed to a two-year contract by the club. The terms of the deal were not announced, but it is reaosnable to assume that it is a two-way deal in both years. Dowling came to Texas after signing with the Idaho Steelheads last year and playing there during the lockout, earning himself an ECHL All-Star nod. He potted 16 goals and 14 assists in 38 games as a key part of the team down the stretch. This year, he's on a current hot streak with four goals in the past two games.

It's a well-earned deal for Dowling and signals that Dallas and Jim Nill really care about having their top players in the AHL on NHL contract and compensated for it. It also gives Dowling the chance to make more out of his career with a shot at the NHL. It worked for Ryan Garbutt...

The Texas Stars also made the signing of Derek Hulak official in the same release.

Here's the release:
The Texas Stars, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the Dallas Stars, announced today that Dallas has signed center Justin Dowling to a two-year contract commencing for the 2014-15 season. Texas also announced that the club has signed left wing Derek Hulak to a professional tryout contract.

Dowling, 23, is in his third full professional hockey season and his second with Texas. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound forward has posted a career-high 39 points (9 goals, 30 assists) in 66 games with Texas this season, as well as a +12 plus-minus rating and 138 shots on goal. Last season during the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs, the native of Cochrane, Alberta finished tied for second on the Texas Stars with four points in nine games (1 goal, 3 assists).

Dowling went undrafted and was initially signed by the Texas Stars to an AHL contract on Jan. 7, 2013. In 194 career pro games, including 134 in the AHL, he has 145 points (46 goals, 99 assists) and 38 penalty minutes.

Hulak, 24, just completed his fourth season of CIS hockey with the University of Saskatchewan of the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA). The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native had 48 points (13 goals, 35 assists) and 12 penalty minutes in 28 games, leading the Huskies in both assists and points. Hulak helped Saskatchewan reach the championship game of the 2014 University Cup and scored the Huskies’ only goal in a 3-1 loss to the University of Alberta. His six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in three games earned him the University Cup Tournament MVP honors. He was also the 2013-14 Canada West Player of the Year, a 2013-14 CWUAA First Team All-Star and he won the Dave “Sweeney” Schriner Scoring Trophy.

Hulak made his professional debut with the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL during the 2010-11 season, before elected to play for the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to that he played four full seasons of major junior hockey in the Western Hockey League for the Regina Pats and the Saskatoon Blades. In 267 career WHL games, Hulak had 242 points (95 goals, 147 assists) and 183 penalty minutes.