We'll look at two defenseman today as we complete our player reviews of those on the blue line.
Woywitka, one of the Stars' bigger defenseman at 6-foot-3, 224 pounds, played in 36 games for the Stars in 2009-10. He was on the roster the entire year, but was a healthy scratch on many nights. He had three assists and was a minus-6 with 11 penalty minutes.
But Woywitka, 26, showed some flashes of very solid play. He's a former first-round pick (Philadelphia in 2001, 27th overall), but has bounced back-and-forth between the NHL and AHL since 2005-06. He averaged 14:06 of ice time when he was in the lineup and was not a guy that played much on special teams.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Woywitka. He did give the Stars some depth at defense, but the most games he's ever played in the NHL are 65 in 2008-09 with St. Louis. He hadn't played more than 34 before that.
Philip Larsen, a fifth round pick of the Stars in 2008, is a player the organization is very excited about. The 20-year-old made his NHL debut, playing in the final two games of the season. He got his first NHL point and averaged 12:27 of ice time. Larsen (5-11, 185 pounds) is a good skater who moves pucks well and isn't afraid to jump into the play in the offensive zone.
Larsen, from Denmark, played in the Swedish Elite League the last two seasons for Vastra Frolunda,
Larsen, a native of Esbjerg, Denmark, has played in the Swedish Elite League the past two seasons, under the tutelage of former Stars player and assistant coach Ulf Dahlen, who is now the head coach with Vastra Frolunda. Following his participation in Stars’ training camp last September, the smooth-skating Larsen went back to Frolunda and recorded one goal and 10 points in 42 games.
Larsen shows plenty of promise. And even at his young age, look for him to make a contribution to this team sooner rather than later. He appears to have a keen understanding of the game and good vision on the ice combined with the skill to make things happen.