- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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The Dallas Stars are done for the season, but players in the system are still going at it. The Texas Stars close out the season this week. Texas has four games remaining on its schedule, including two at home. Texas will miss the playoffs for the first time in its three seasons of existence.
There are some things worth watching with Texas. Left wing Matt Fraser, a free agent signing last season, is battling for the AHL goal scoring crown. The 21-year-old currently leads the league with 36 goals in 69 games.
Jack Campbell (1st round/2010) should get some more starts. So far, he is 3-4-0 with a 3.00 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. Forwards Alex Chiasson (2nd round/2009) and Austin Smith (5th round/2007) continue to get their first taste of pro experience. Smith has three assists in eight games and Chiasson has picked up one assist in five games.
The Stars’ ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads, advanced to the second round of the playoffs, defeating Ontario 5-0 in the fifth and deciding game of their first round series. The Steelheads play Las Vegas in round two.
In the junior ranks, three Dallas prospects are still playing. Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (1st round/2011) and right wing Brett Ritchie (2nd round/2011) both play for the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs, who lead their round two series against Brampton 2-0. Ritchie has one goal and three assists in eight playoff games. Oleksiak has no points and a plus-one rating in eight games.
Defenseman Alex Theriau (4th round/2010) is still active in the WHL playoffs. Theriau’s Medicine Hat team is trailing Moose Jaw 2-0 in the second round. Theriau has two assists in six games.
Defenseman John Klingberg (5th round/2010) and center Emil Molin (4th round/2011) are playing in the Swedish Elite League championship, which gets underway today. Klingberg has four assists in ten playoff games for Skelleftea and Molin has one assist in four playoff games for Brynas. Defenseman Patrik Nemeth, whose AIK team was knocked out in the semifinals by Skelleftea, ended up with one assist in 11 games.