Chris Peters, a former communications coordinator for USA Hockey, has his own blog these days and has put up a post detailing the NHL's impact on the southern United States. It's well known that since the Stars moved to Dallas hockey has grown in Texas, but Peters puts that growth into numbers:
In 1990-91, there were 868 registered hockey players. Today, there are nearly 11,000. Hockey in Texas has grown by a staggering 1,156.8%.
Texas has come a long way in 20 years and is only getting better. I’d argue that none of that would be possible without the Stars. There are few teams in the National Hockey League that have devoted as much time, money or energy into developing a youth hockey community.
Peters also discusses some of the top prospects the Dallas area is producing. Peters doesn't mention him but I'll add that the Stars think highly of forward Austin Smith, the Dallas kid they drafted in the fifth round in 2007 and who is currently playing at Colgate.
You can more on Peters' blog, The United States of Hockey.