Dallas is home to one of the strongest and well-developed organizations in the National Hockey League.

The Dallas Stars have a formidable forward group headlined by an incredible top six. However, five forwards — Joe Pavelski, Matt Duchene, Craig Smith, Ty Dellandrea, and Sam Steel — are not signed beyond this season. Although the Stars have prospects who could replace most of those guys, does it make sense to bring in such a wave of youth as early as next season?

Here are the four names that can join the Stars as soon as next season.

Ross Bonander / Texas Stars

Mavrik Bourque — Eliteprospects.com describes the Quebec native, “his hockey IQ is unreal. Out of nothing, he’s going to make plays that no one else can see on the ice.” Bourque is one of two Texas Stars tearing up the American Hockey League. As an assistant captain at 22-years-old, Bourque has 15 goals and 31 assists for 46 points across 37 games. The young Star’s entry-level contract signed in March of 2021 concludes following the 2024-25 campaign.

Oskar Bäck — The 2018 draft third-round pick is yet to debut in the National Hockey League. Back, labeled a “two-way,” threat, is in his third season with the Texas Stars in the AHL. He has centered a line with rookie sensation Logan Stanvoken often. The Swede is three points short of breaking his career high with 24 points through 37 games, currently. He needs an extension if the Stars and Back wants to remain with the organization.

Antonio Stranges — Stranges, a former London Knight, is excelling in his sophomore campaign with the Texas Stars. With eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points through 34 contests, Stranges dazzles opponents with skill and frustrates defensemen with speed. The Ann Arbor, MI native was drafted in the fourth round, 123 overall, by Dallas during the 2020 draft. Stranges is on the path to joining the Stars in Dallas sooner rather than later. He would join fellow 2020 selections Bourque and goaltender Remi Poirer as players likely to reach the NHL level.

Logan Stankoven — A ferocious competitor, Stankoven is sparking Texas’ offense. He and Bourque currently rank first and second, respectively, in scoring on the club leaderboard. A former member of the 2023 Memorial Cup finalist Kamloops Blazers, In 2022-23, Stankoven led his hometown Kamloops Blazers with 97 points over 48 games played in the Western Hockey League. The 20-year-old playmaker signed his entry-level contract in Sept. 2021. Due to WHL eligibility, Stankoven’s contract did not officially begin until he debuted in the AHL in September. He can be an extremely cost-effective bottom-six forward should Dallas choose to play him in the big club. On the other hand, another year to develop in the AHL and, likely, contend for the league scoring title could enhance Stankoven’s skills and extend Dallas’s championship window.

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