Saturday, April 7, 2012
Stars will give kids a look in season finale
By Mark Stepneski
FRISCO -- With nothing on the line in Saturday’s regular season finale against the St. Louis Blues, the Dallas Stars will take a look at some of their young players.
Center Scott Glennie, the team’s first round pick (8th overall) in 2009, will make his NHL debut. So will defenseman Brenden Dillon, a free agent signing out of the Western Hockey League last season. Glennie, Dillon and defenseman Jordie Benn were called up from the Texas Stars on Friday afternoon.
Both Glennie and Dillon played under Stars coach Glen Gulutzan at the end of last season in the AHL.
“I only had Glennie for a short period of time, but Scotty has made big strides in the American Hockey League,” Gulutzan said. “Whenever you get young guys like that who on two or three nights over a two or three week span that they are the best player on the ice, that’s an encouraging sign in that league. And when it’s happening more and more frequently, then it’s a real good thing and that’s what Scotty has done. Brenden has done that too. Anytime that happens at that level you know you have a player on the up.”
Glennie got off to a slow start this season after he suffered a concussion during Dallas’ training camp in Prince Edward Island. But he’s picked up the pace as the season has moved along and has 37 points (12 goals, 25 assists) in 68 games this season.
Dillon, who had impressive showing last season when he made the jump from junior to the AHL, has 26 points (5 goals, 21 assists) in 72 games.
“With Brenden you are going to see a big, good skating defenseman that can move the puck,” Gulutzan said. “With Glennie you are going to see skilled guy who can move and skate.”
Forward Reilly Smith, who was signed to an entry-level contract last month and made the jump to the NHL straight from college, will also be in the lineup for the Stars on Saturday. Smith has already played two games for the Stars, registering no points.
“Even though I played only four minutes (in the first game), I was soaking in every minute of it,” Smith said. “Just being in Edmonton with so much history around you, just being a small part of it was a great experience. Having my first NHL game there was absolutely phenomenal. We got the win and I was able to get my feet wet for the next game in Vancouver.”
Smith finished second in the nation in goal scoring, notching 30 in 39 games with Miami University this season.
“With Reilly you’re going to see a really skilled player coming out college that has the ability to score,” said Gulutzan. “It will be interesting to see those guys play with good players.”
The Stars will sit some veteran players who have been battling injuries, players Gulutzan said have been receiving injections to get through games and practices. Players who could sit out tomorrow include Steve Ott, Radek Dvorak, Steve Ott, Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow. Mark Fistric, who is another player who has been battling injuries, hurt his groin in Thursday’s game and is out for Saturday.
“I talked to every injured player that played and they all want to play the last game, whether they have to take a needle or not to get through, to numb some of the issues there,” said Gulutzan. “They all want to play, but the reality is we don’t want to put them through that. We want to take a look at some of our young guys.”
Richard Bachman will get the start in goal for the Stars.
Hobey Baker winner announced
Dallas native and Dallas Stars prospect Austin Smith was one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which goes to the top player in college hockey. The winner of this year’s award, announced Friday evening, is Jack Connolly from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Connolly finished second in the nation in scoring with 60 points (20, 40 assists) in 41 games. Smith led the nation in goal scoring with 36 in 39 games and finished 3rd in points with 57.