The Dallas Stars arrived in Texas from Minnesota in 1993 and, while there had been a long history of minor league hockey in the area, the addition of an NHL team added a locus to hockey in Texas that had previously been lacking.
Since the addition of the Stars hockey has continued to build momentum in Dallas and across Texas, and this year, six members of the Dallas Stars Elite were selected in the inaugural WHL U.S. prospects draft, the second most of any junior hockey program and something of a feather in the cap for a program far south of traditional hockey markets (if west of the Mississippi river as required by CHL rules).
The six selected players Nathan Tobey, Matteo Michels, Cameron McEwan, Jackson Foddrill, Dylan Johnson, and Riley Bassen will spend the next several years scattered across the western Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.
All environments very different from Texas (they will definitely need some warmer clothing!) honing their hockey craft, undoubtedly in the hope of being drafted into the NHL. Of particular note for followers of the Texas Stars, Cameron McEwan (a 5’11’’, 175lb, forward drafted in the first round by the Moosejaw Warriors) is the first player born in Austin drafted into the WHL an exciting coup for the small but growing youth hockey program in Austin.
Not only is it an exciting time for the six young men named above, but it’s also an exciting sign for youth hockey in Texas, with the Dallas Stars Elite ranked 25th among Tier 1 teams with 2005 birthdates with all most all of the teams above coming from much more established hockey markets in the North-East and Midwest.
While hockey is on pause right now across all levels (and the ice has been melted in rinks across Texas to save the exorbitant cooling costs) it’s clear that the future of development of hockey as a sport across all levels in Texas is bright.
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