Friday tidbits: Les Jackson extension; Jamie Oleksiak update

July, 22, 2011
7/22/11
2:43
PM CT
A couple of notes as I check in while on vacation.

*The Stars have agreed to terms with Director of Scouting and Player Development Les Jackson on a two-year extension. Jackson joined the organization in 1985 as an assistant coach and has been with it ever since, except for two years (1998-2000) when he was an assistant GM with the Atlanta Thrashers. Most of his time with the Stars has been heavily focused on the scouting side of things and he's done that extremely well when you consider some of the quality players the Stars have drafted and developed over the years.

*It appears that defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, the Stars' first round pick (14th overall) in this summer's draft, could be leaving Northeastern University to play junior hockey for the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League this coming season. The Saginaw News is reporting that Oleksiak is close to signing a deal with the Spirit, who selected the defenseman in the 2008 OHL Draft.

Whether Oleksiak would return to Northeastern, where he was a freshman last season, became a question mark after head coach Greg Cronin left to take a job as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Northeastern still hasn't made a decision a decision on a permanent replacement.

This latest news is interesting because before all the Oleksiak to Saginaw reports started to surface on Twitter late last night, I had sent an email to Northeastern's interim head coach, Sebastien Laplante, asking if there was any update on Oleksiak's status. Laplante responded first thing this morning and said: "As far as I know, Jamie is returning to NU in the fall."

In other words, Oleksiak hasn't told NU he isn't returning. At least not yet.

I will say this: Oleksiak has been a hot topic since being drafted by the Stars. There was the issue of whether he'd try out for the U.S. or Canada's World Junior team, and now this. Stay tuned.

Mark Stepneski

ESPNDallas.com
Mark Stepneski joined ESPNDallas.com in July 2010. A former news/special projects producer for KXAS-TV, he has run the Andrew's Dallas Stars Page website since 1997.

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