The latest in a series on the top prospects of the Dallas Stars looks at defenseman Brenden Dillon, who signed with the team as an undrafted free agent.
The 21-year-old wrapped up his junior career this season, finishing fifth in defensemen scoring in the Western Hockey League with 59 points (8 goals, 51 assists) in 72 games for the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Dillon, who signed an entry-level contract with Dallas in March, joined the Texas Stars of the AHL on an amateur tryout contract after Seattle’s season ended and played in ten regular season games, registering no points. He had two assists in six Calder Cup playoff games for Texas.
“He has some talent. He’s a real mature kid. He’s an interesting story. It will be interesting to see where he goes,” said Les Jackson, Dallas Stars Director of Scouting and Player Development. “He went through the draft two or three times and played the whole season as a free agent. He’s got talent, for sure. You hate to say too many great things, but he looks like a positive.”
The 6-3, 209 pound defenseman was impressive with Texas as he adjusted to the pro game quickly and logged big minutes and played in key situations for Texas, which had some injury issues on the blue line when he first joined the team. He continued to impress during the playoffs.
“He’s been impressive because he hasn’t been here that long. He looks like he’s been here all year,” Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk said in April while watching the Texas Stars in the Calder Cup Playoffs. “He’s big. I like the size, the range. He’s got a good long stick. He’s got a good swivel head on d-zone coverage. He reads the game really well and he can skate really well for a big man, too.”
The Stars weren’t alone in trying to sign Dillon, who said there were eight to ten NHL teams that had contacted them about possibly inking a deal as a free agent. But he picked Dallas and the Stars think they’ve landed a pretty good prospect on the blue line.
“Good size, good mobility. He’s got a good feel for the game. He recognizes play, he executes them,” said Jackson. “I think he’s just got to get some experience. We’ll work with him this summer, bring him back to camp and see where he fits in. I sense there’s a good future for that kid.”
Background on Dallas Stars prospect Brenden Dillon.