|(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
With the Draft opening today in Nashville, it's time to take a look at the major milestones that will get us to opening night in Cedar Park.
June 28-29 -- Draft in Nashville
Dallas doesn't have a first round pick (at least not as of this writing). The team is all-in on Day 2 of the draft, however, with picks in Rounds 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
June 30 at 5 PM ET -- Deadline for Qualifying Offers
The Texas Stars are going to definitely experience some turnover to next season. They already have with the departure of Oskari Laaksonen and Fredrik Olofsson. Qualifying offers, which will tell us a lot about the team's composition next season, are due by Friday at 5 PM ET. Texas has a handful of RFAs whose status is still up in the air.
At forward, Nick Caamano, Riley Damiani, Scott Reedy and Marian Studenic are all RFA. On defense, just Dawson Barteaux remains. Laaksonen is also RFA and may be qualified just to retain his North American rights. In net, Adam Scheel is an RFA as well.
Knowing Jim Nill's tendencies, my gut tells me almost everyone is qualified, but this could be a shakeup year with a lot of new talent incoming. Still, I think this crew is mostly qualified.
July 1 -- Opening of Free Agency
The big deals on Day 1 will not directly affect Texas. Usually, AHL-destined players are signed in the following days. Riley Barber, for example, was signed on July 14, 2022. Texas has a raft of unrestricted free agents.
At forward, the aforementioned Barber joins Rhett Gardner, Riley Tufte and Tanner Kero. Defensemen Will Butcher, Ben Gleason, Jerad Rosburg and Ryan Shea also can sign anywhere on Saturday. In net, only Dylan Wells is unrestricted.
July 1-4 -- Development Camp in Frisco
New draft picks from this week along with some of the younger prospects will spend the weekend in Frisco with the Dallas coaching staff. Some members of the Texas staff will also be in attendance to get started building relationships for their future careers.
Mid-September -- Traverse City Tournament
The dates for the Traverse City tournament have not yet been announced, but we can expect a mid-September date for those games featuring many of the players from development camp as well as a few more seasoned players who skated with Texas last season. Typically, the Texas coaching staff leads this group.
September 21-24 -- Training Camp in Cedar Park
Once again, Dallas will host training camp in Cedar Park. It's a great opportunity to see the team as most everything is open to the public.
September 24 -- NHL pre-season game in Cedar Park
For the first time ever, Dallas will play a pre-season game in Cedar Park. The Arizona Coyotes will visit for a game to cap off training camp in central Texas.
September 24-October 14 -- NHL preseason and AHL training camp
These dates are still TBD. I would expect AHL training camp to be October 2-5, approximately, leading up to where the Stars would have pre-season games, if they were in a geographical location to do so.