Heading into his third season, Wyatt Johnston has earned himself an upgrade to his jersey.
Since he’s leading the way in scoring for the Dallas Stars, he should also be wearing a letter.

Pavelski Made Room

With Joe Pavelski no longer playing, there is a void in team leadership. Four guys can wear the letter A, and one captain. Pavelski was an alternate captain this past season, and Johnston would do well to fill that empty slot.

Pavelski and Johnston lived together for the two years they played for the Stars. Wyatt spent much time honing his skills while living with the Pavelski family, and Johnston undoubtedly picked up on leadership qualities, too.

It’s a Young Man’s Game

In today’s game that favors speed and skill, it’s the young who have taken over. Older guys are more likely to have trouble keeping up with not only their own teammates but also their opponents. We especially see that in the playoffs, especially vs the Edmonton Oilers.

Not only has Pavelski stepped aside, but the Stars also announced they would buy out 39-year-old defenseman Ryan Suter. Suter isn’t as bad of a defenseman as the internet would like you to believe. But if the Stars want to win the Stanley Cup next year, simply being serviceable isn’t good enough.

Vets Still Matter

This is not to say the Stars don’t need veterans on their team. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are still not only producing but also adding that important experience factor to the team, which is especially paramount in the postseason.

Matt Duchene and Chris Tanev are a couple of vets Nill would also like to keep around.

He’s Earned It

More often than not, your best players are awarded leadership in the NHL. When you lead in the stat column, it’s natural to lead the locker, too. It’s time for Johnston to climb that ladder.

Stars head coach Pete DeBoer even stated that he sees Wyatt wearing a letter in the future after a game four win against the Colorado Avalanche.

He stated just one example during the post-game presser.

“We’ve got a group in there that doesn’t want to cheat each other,” DeBoer said.

“I mean, Wyatt Johnston has a chance at a hat trick with the empty net and passes off to Sam Steel so Sam Steel can get a goal. You know, when you have those types of unselfish things going on in your group, it’s really contagious. I’m just really proud of our approach.”

PHOTO: Getty Images

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