Stars prospects get ready for first game

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan -- Dallas Stars prospects practiced for just under an hour this morning in preparation for their first game at the NHL Prospect Tournament.

It was a fast paced session under the guidance of Texas Stars head coach Jeff Pyle and Texas assistant Jeff Truitt.

Among those watching the practice were Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk, Director of Scouting and Player Development Les Jackson and some of the teams scouts.

The Stars play Carolina today at 3 p.m. (CT). It will be the first of four games at the tournament for Dallas prospects.

Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, the team’s first round pick (14th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft, will be playing in the tournament for the first time.

“To finally put on that Dallas Stars sweater is a real honor for me,” Oleksiak said after this morning’s skate. “I’ve been looking forward to the opportunity ever since I was drafted by them. It’s a huge honor. All I can do is leave everything on the ice and try to do good by the sweater.”

Right wing Brett Ritchie, the Stars’ second round pick (44th overall) in 2011, also will be making his tournament debut this year.

“It’s exciting. This is sort of the first step towards the NHL,” said Ritchie. “It’s the first time wearing that pro jersey. I think it is going to be a great experience.”

A couple of links worth noting:

A live scoreboard for the tournament is here.

Also, Oleksiak is blogging for NHL.com. You can follow his thoughts on the tournament here.

Here is some video from this morning’s practice.