Texas Stars Add Five Amateur Players Including Ty Dellandrea, Joe Cecconi

(Credit: Dallas Stars)
The Texas Stars got a big boost today as the parent club worked out deals with three new entry-level contracts and added 2018 first-round pick Ty Dellandrea on assignment as well. In a separate deal, the Texas Stars signed an ATO player without Dallas ties as well.

Dellandrea is the headline assignment out of this group. It was unclear if he would be playing at all in the AHL this season after he left the final game of his OHL season with a head injury. It appears that has been cleared up, and he could play as early as Wednesday against Grand Rapids.

Forward Rhett Gardner's NCAA season ended with North Dakota in the NCHC tournament, and he will be more of a black ace player, in my estimation, as Texas goes down the stretch.

Another big get is D Joe Cecconi. The Dallas pick was reportedly flirting with becoming a college free agent in the fall, but he ultimately decided to stick with Dallas.

Additionally, Dallas found an undrafted free agent, RW Josh Melnick, out of Miami Ohio. He was the captain of the Redhawks this year and totalled 10-16=26 in 32 games.

Finally, the Texas Stars signed Diego Cuglietta on an ATO. The left wing is a pretty standard pickup for Texas. G Scott White has strong ties back to Michigan collegiate circles and Cuglietta hails from Sault Ste. Marie's Lake Superior State University. He had 25-16=41 in 38 games, leading the Lakers.

Very lengthy release after the break.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed center Rhett Gardner and defenseman Joseph Cecconi to two-year, entry-level contracts, and has signed right wing Josh Melnick to a one-year, entry-level contract, each beginning in 2019-20. Gardner, Cecconi and Melnick will report to the Texas Stars on amateur tryouts for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

Additionally, the Texas Stars have signed left wing Diego Cuglietta to an amateur tryout for the remainder of the 2018-19 season. Center Ty Dellandrea will also be joining the Stars on assignment after finishing his junior season in the Ontario Hockey League.

Gardner, 23, registered 15 points (8-7=15) in 37 games during his senior season at University of North Dakota. Gardner ranked third on the team with eight goals on the season and was tied for the team lead with three power play goals. Gardner amassed 74 points (34-40=74) in 149 career NCAA games over his four seasons with University of North Dakota, helping the Fighting Hawks win the 2016 National Championship.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound native of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan was selected by Dallas in the fourth round (116th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft.

Cecconi, 21, recorded 20 points (3-17=20) in 36 games during his senior season at University of Michigan. Cecconi served as captain in 2018-19 and ranked second on the team with 17 assists this season, while he also ranked second among team defensemen and fifth among all team skaters with 20 points. The blueliner appeared in 147 career NCAA games over four seasons at University of Michigan and registered 62 points (9-53=62).

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound native of Youngstown, N.Y. was selected by Dallas in the fifth round (133rd overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

Melnick, 23, registered 26 points (10-16=26) in 32 games during his senior season at Miami University. The forward served as captain in 2018-19 and led the Redhawks with 26 points and five power play goals, while he finished tied for second on the team with 10 goals. Melnick wraps up his collegiate career having amassed 107 points (38-69=107) in 140 games over four seasons with Miami University.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound native of Annandale, N.J. was signed as an undrafted college free agent.

Cuglietta, 23, collected 41 points (25-16=41) in 38 games during his senior season at Lake Superior State University. Cuglietta paced the NCAA in scoring with 25 goals while also registering a team high plus-24 rating. In four seasons, the Kamloops, British Columbia native produced 100 points (50-50=100) in 147 NCAA games to wrap up his collegiate career.

Dellandrea, 18, spent the 2018-19 campaign with the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and led the club with 63 points (22-41=63) in 60 games. Over three seasons with Flint, the forward has amassed 146 points (62-84=146) in 184 games. The 6-foot-1, 190 pound center from Toronto, Ontario was selected by the Stars in the first round (13th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.