Catching Up: Prospects Finish Second, Texas Stars Shine in First NHL Preseason Game

McKenzie (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
I've been a bit out of pocket over the past week. However, here's a catchup of the major events in the last week.

  • The Stars prospects fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets last week in overtime of the final game at the Traverse City Tournament. It was a great showing by many on the squad, including Radek Faksa, Gemel Smith and Brendan Ranford. Those three are all expected to play for the Stars in Cedar Park this season. It was also a great showing for Derek Laxdal. It was not his first time coaching the tourney for Dallas though. He won with the 2008 squad. Good chance for him to get his feet wet though in the organization again.
  • Kevin Henderson will be joining the Texas Stars again. Although he is property of Nashville, the Predators did not invite him to NHL camp. Regardless of whatever turned sour in Milwaukee for Henderson, the Stars found his presence a huge boon in the post season. He had 6 points in 21 games on the "Czech"-ing line with Radek Faksa and Matej Stransky.
  • Dallas camp began in Fort Worth on Friday, bringing with it a huge outpouring of 'hockey's back!' excitement. While many Dallas players had nearly five months off from hockey, the Texas players in camp were working on just three months' rest.
  • The Stars iced a prospect heavy lineup on Monday night against St. Louis. Here is the lineup, thanks to
    Antoine Roussel – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
    Curtis McKenzie – Travis Morin – Scott Glennie
    Brendan Ranford – Vernon Fiddler – Ryan Garbutt
    Remi Elie – Jason Dickinson – Erik Cole

    Jordie Benn – Kevin Connauton
    Patrik Nemeth – Julius Honka
    Jyrki Jokipakka – Jamie Oleksiak

    Kari Lehtonen
    Anders Lindback
    McKenzie and Morin combined for a tally in the game. Morin assisted McKenzie's third period goal off the rush. McKenzie led the Stars with four shots on goal.

    Regarding McKenzie, Lindy Ruff told the media after the game, "I just think he does a lot of good things inside the game. He does the little things right, and it starts there. He’s got a good goal-scoring touch, he’s got a physical side to him, so there’s a lot to like about the way he plays and way he carries himself on the ice."

    Further, Ruff had good things to say about Jamie Oleksiak's game: "I thought he kept the game in front of him. His gap was good for a defenseman. He made quick, smart plays with the puck; he didn’t try to chase the game at all; he stepped up physically for us when someone got close to our goaltender, or bumped into our goaltender, which was great to see. So his overall game was good for us."