Dallas Stars: 2014-2015 Risers and Fallers

By Luke Rachar
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Aug 26th, 2014
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Dallas Stars: 2014-2015 Risers and Fallers

Jamie Benn sits on bench

Year after year, we see change happen before our eyes. Some of it is good, and some of it is bad. Whether good or bad, we must adapt to these changes in order to not just survive, but to thrive so we can live our lives to the fullest. How an individual deals with change varies, but mostly, we all rely on our what we know, our instincts. The more we know about something, the less risk there is, and the better we can make calculated decisions. And in this case, calculated predictions.

With that in mind, in the coming weeks I’ll be taking a look at each NHL team featuring 10 of its players. Are they destined to rise or destined to fall? Your questions will be answered below.

 

           RISING           NEUTRAL            FALLING
LW – Erik Cole C/RW – Tyler Seguin C – Jason Spezza
D – Alex Goligoski LW – Jamie Benn C – Cody Eakin
RW – Ales Hemsky RW – Antoine Roussel
G – Kari Lehtonen
RW – Valeri Nichushkin

 

C – Tyler Seguin (neutral):  He broke out to an 84-point season, 4th best in the NHL. He’s a superstar and will only get better, but more than 84 points is a lot to expect.

C – Jason Spezza (falling):  A change of scenery is likely something Spezza has pondered for a while and will do him good, everywhere but the ice. It’s figured he slots in on the 2nd line with Hemsky and Cole. Not bad, but not great either.

C – Cody Eakin (falling): Bringing in Spezza slides him down to the 3rd line. It won’t be a matter of skating with lesser quality linemates that will be his biggest challenge, but rather being subject to less minutes.

LW – Jamie Benn (neutral): 33 points in 41 games the season before, and 79 points over a full season this year. Which is the Benn we’ll get? My gut tells me the latter as he didn’t skate with Seguin until last year, and this year will be all the same.

LW – Erik Cole (rising): Cole is one of the biggest winners from the Spezza sweepstakes. At least, theoretically. The Stars don’t have a lot of depth on the left side. After Jamie Benn, a lot of people consider Cole the next best, so he should see time alongside Spezza all as long as he comes to training camp healthy and doesn’t completely blow it.

RW – Ales Hemsky (rising): Hemsky played his best hockey in years after he was traded to Ottawa from Edmonton. He skated alongside Spezza and was more than a point-per-game player. After a short (but successful) stint, it was enough for Hemsky to then follow Spezza to Dallas and sign there. Whether he slides in on line 1 or 2, he’s in for a great season in 2014-2015.

RW – Valeri Nichushkin (rising): Nichushkin often rode shotgun to Seguin last year and he’s the candidate to skate alongside him again next year. Dallas took a long-shot picking him 10th overall at the 2013 Entry Draft demanding that he play NHL with whichever team took him. It’s more than paid off, and he should be in for a big year. 50 points isn’t out of reach.

RW – Antoine Roussel (falling): Roussel was a pleasant surprise last season, recording just under 30 points and over 200 PIM. He’s a good mix of skill and goon the Stars haven’t had in their line-up since Steve Ott was traded to Buffalo for Derek Roy. With the addition of Hemsky he falls down the depth chart, and so shall his points.

D – Alex Goligoski (rising): Goligoski was subject to criticism for his struggles early last year, and was even benched on a few occasions. The lone true offensive defenseman on the Stars, he’ll be one of the 5 players on what could be one of the best power plays in the NHL next year.

G – Kari Lehtonen (rising): Although their defense could use some work, the Stars got a whole lot better this offseason, so much so that some consider them the winners of it. While their defence hasn’t so much, the rest of their line-up has and will rack up some extra Ws on Lehtonen’s record in 2014-2015.

Luke Rachar (43 Posts)


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