Feb 1, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (43) warms up before facing the Phoenix Coyotes at the American Airlines Center. Oleksiak is the tallest player in Stars franchise history. The Stars defeat the Coyotes in the overtime shootout 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Making the Grade : Jamie Oleksiak

With the regular season over, it’s time for players around the league to be evaluated for their effectiveness and their value to a team. We’re finishing up our evaluations on the Stars current roster, and we’d love to hear your opinions on our grading.

We’re traveling through the team in numerical order this year and we’ll hit every individual that was on the roster as of Saturday April 27; the official end of the Stars season.

Jamie Oleksiak

Just two short years ago, the Dallas Stars were using the team’s first round draft pick to select Jamie Oleksiak, taking him 14th overall in the 2011 NHL draft.

Before joining the Stars, Oleksiak finished the 2011-2012 season with the Niagara IceDogs. In his 28 games with the IceDogs, Oleksiak scored six goals and recorded 15 assists. He first joined the Stars organization as a member of the Texas Stars, Dallas’ Austin-based farm team, and spent the bulk of his season as a member of the AHL.

While with the Texas Stars, Oleksiak played in 59 games, recorded six goals and landed 27 assists, tallying a career-high 33 points in a season. He landed just one assist in the nine games he played with Texas in the Stars’ race for the Calder Cup.

He set foot on Dallas ice 16 times throughout the 2012-2013 season and contributed two assists to the team’s total of 180.

Despite his towering 6’7″, 242-pound stature, the “Big Rig” hasn’t made a point of throwing his size around. In his freshman year at Northeastern University, Oleksiak spent a career-high 57 minutes in the penalty box. His size and physicality are definitely what Dallas and the Stars organization needs as it moves toward building a more youthful franchise.

His statistics did suffer in the plus/minus category, posting a minus five in his 16 games with Dallas, but a plus 19 with Texas. It’s undeniable Oleksiak seems a little more comfortable in a league of younger players than the NHL, packed with players who hold both age and experience over him.

It’s hard to forecast what the next season will bring for Oleksiak, who, at just 20-years-old undeniably still has a lot to learn about playing in the NHL. But with his age, talent and ability, his game can only improve from here.

In his first season with the Dallas Stars organization, and in recognition of his contributions to the Texas Stars, I give Jamie Oleksiak a B for the 2012-2013 season.

Goal Scoring: C

Assists: B

Plus/Minus: B

On-ice presence and performance: B

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Tags: AHL Dallas Stars Hockey Jamie Oleksiak NHL Texas Stars

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