Before the Stars selected three defensemen in last month's draft, they did have some blue line prospects in the pipeline and among them is Mike Bergin, a 2008 draft pick.
Bergin currently plays at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in upstate New York. He missed almost all of his first season at RPI after suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery, but bounced back and had a solid 2009-10 campaign, registering 11 points (4 goals,7 assists) in 30 games. Bergin finished second on the team in defenseman scoring and led the team with a plus-five rating.
"It went pretty good. It was kind of my first year," Bergin said after a workout at the Stars development camp in Frisco. "I redshirted by first year because of shoulder surgery. It was tough to get back into it the first couple of games, but once I got going I felt like myself again."
There was another bump in the road injury-wise last season.
"I was out for about a month and that wasn't fun," he said. "But I took my time getting back."
The Engineers were 2-6-0 with Bergin, one of their top defensemen, out of the lineup.
The Stars like the progress Bergin, who is 6-3, 200 pounds and a left shot, has made in the two years since his selection in the draft out the Central Junior Hockey League, where he played for the Smiths Falls Bears.
"Mike has made some real good strides. He's a big guy and he's got some puck skills," said Les Jackson, Stars Director of Scouting and Player Development. "He's a kid that was drafted late, but he looks like he has a chance to go ahead."
When the Stars drafted Bergin they liked his skating, puck skills and offensive upside. Bergin thinks he's been making strides on the other side of the puck.
"I'm turning into a two-way defenseman. I'm more responsible in my own zone and I've started playing on the PK there," said Bergin. "They have a lot of trust in me defensively, so I playing against top lines there. I think my skating is my best attribute."
This isn't Bergin's first appearance at a Stars' development camp. He was in Frisco at the 2008 camp and sees the camps as a good opportunity.
"It's really good. You get to work on a lot of stickhandling and creativity stuff that as a defenseman you don't get to work on throughout the winter, so it's really good to get back in tune with those skills. It's been a lot of fun."