- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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The last in a series on top prospects of the Dallas Stars looks at forward Matt Fraser, who led the Texas Stars in goal scoring this past season.
Fraser, in his first full professional season, notched 37 goals and 18 assists in 73 games with Texas. He ranked second among all AHL players in goal scoring and finished sixth among rookies in points. His 11 power play goals were third among rookies.
The 22-year-old smiles when asked if he expected to score so much in his first pro season, an indication he’s been asked that question often.
“I didn’t have any goals coming into the season. I wanted to be an impact player and every time someone has asked me that all I’ve said is I wanted to be an impact player every way I could,” Fraser said. “I wanted to contribute any time I was on the ice, and I was happy with the goals. That’s just a small part of the game.”
And Texas management said there was more to the 6-2, 207 pound left wing’s game than just scoring goals.
“Matt has been a really good pro. He’s had an awesome rookie season,” said Scott White, Texas Stars GM and Dallas Stars Director of Minor League Operations. “I think he’s learned about the pace of the game, I think he’s learned about the defensive detail of the game that’s going to make him a legitimate two-way player in the NHL. And I haven’t even got to the 37 goals that he’s scored. He has an NHL shot. He’s well on his way.”
Fraser was never drafted. Dallas signed him out of the Western Hockey League as a free agent in the fall of 2010. He played one NHL game this past season, registering no points in a January 24 tilt against Anaheim.
He might have gotten another call up later in the season, but he was playing injured the last part of the season with Texas.
Fraser’s a good skater and a player who has a knack for getting to those scoring areas. Add in his NHL-caliber shot and he’s been an effective goal scorer at every level he’s played. With Dallas looking for goal scoring, he should get a good look at training camp this fall.
“He really embraced the opportunity to play in the American League. He had close to 40 goals and he finished the last couple months with an injury. Matt is in a good place and he is making good strides,” said Les Jackson, Dallas Stars Director of Player Personnel. “I suspect he’ll have a good summer and come in and make it interesting at training camp. Whether he makes the big team, he is definitely close. We’ll just have to see where he falls in that group."
Background on Dallas Stars prospect Matt Fraser