Last season, the Dallas Stars defense left fans wondering if the Stars had a defense, to begin with. Last season also saw the Stars’ power play struggles keep them near the bottom of the league in that stat. Despite the Stars having the firepower to score from seemingly out of nowhere, these two aspects of the game really killed the Dallas Stars.
Consequently, the Stars’ goalie situation suffered on top of those struggles. In all honesty, the goalies were inconsistent anyway. Here we roll on to year 25. A familiar face to Stars fans is behind the bench. Some familiar faces have also been hired to assist the new (but familiar) face. This is good news, right? Well, it can be. But a big step in restoring the Star is installing Ken Hitchcock’s “coaching system”. After the Stars first pick in the draft, it looks like Dallas could be headed in the right direction.
With the number 3 draft pick, the Stars selected 6′ 1″ Miro Heiskanen. Heiskanen played defense for HIFK (Finland Liga).
According to Eliteprospects.com, Heiskanen is “An elite two-way defenseman in the making,” ” Miro Heiskanen has a toolbox bursting at the seams. Miro is a very smooth skater whose general agility and athleticism is excellent and on display every shift.” “Heiskanen is a confident puck-mover with no issues running a play himself and starting a transition up-ice, who has solid creativity and impressive puck skills.” According to Eliteprospects.com, Miro Heiskanen “always makes the high percentage play and doesn’t put teammates in dangerous or vulnerable positions. And, his willingness to play a physical game is not an issue, as he is often seen throwing the body. He defensively is very diligent, and proactive, keeping the opposition to the outside and cutting off open and common lanes.”
What does that mean for the Stars? The Dallas Stars may finally have a young defenseman who can be there to clean up mistakes that were made. Coupled with the defensemen now, the Stars look to be on the mend on the back end. As the draft continues, the Stars will address some needs. Then again, there is free agency soon, too. Free agency could also be used to address needs.
Heiskanen played in Finnish juniors in 2015-16, recording 14 points (three goals, eleven assists) in 30 games with HIFK in the top junior league. He was named Jr. An SM-Liiga Rookie of the Year. He played at the 2016 Under-18 World Championship, tallying one assist in seven games as Finland won the gold medal. Heiskanen also tallied four assists in five games for Finland at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.While it’s unknown if he’s ready for the big leagues, there are reports that Miro may not be in the minors long. We’ll find out. As of right now, he’s officially part of a weak defense, for now.