The latest in a series on top prospects of the Dallas Stars looks at forward Luke Gazdic, who played with the Texas Stars this past season.
Gazdic had 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists) and 110 penalty minutes in 72 games with Texas. He played in 5 playoff games, going scoreless.
The point totals won’t catch anyone’s attention, but that’s not what Gazdic is about. He’s going to be a role player who is going to toil away on the lower lines, play physical, forecheck hard, and he’s going to drop the gloves when necessary to stick up for his teammates.
“Gaz has really come on since we drafted him. For his role, I think he is one of the most improved players we’ve had,” said Les Jackson, Dallas Stars Director of Scouting and Player Development. “For playing down the lineup, he really knows his role. He’s a real good team player and he’s a real smart guy. I think Gaz has made some good steps ahead.”
The Stars drafted Gazdic, a 6-3, 210 pound left wing, in the 6th round (172nd overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. His pro career got off to a rough start when he injured his shoulder in a fight during a Dallas Stars preseason game in the 2009. That injury bothered him most of the season and limited his playing time in 2009-10.
But the Stars like the progress he has made in his first two pro seasons and the willingness he has shown to improve his skating and his overall game. He’s got some decent offensive tools, and the work ethic is there.
While his development may have been slowed a bit by injury issues, the Stars remain high on the big winger.
“The thing that that has hurt is a couple of injuries and that has set him back,” said Jackson. “If he can overcome that and stay healthy, he’s not far from this team I don’t think.”
Background on Dallas Stars prospect Luke Gazdic