Denis Gurianov needs to be more productive if the Dallas Stars are going to legitimately contend in 2021-22.
The Stars need scoring from their depth wingers to win for more reasons than one. Dallas needs offensive production from their third line, where Gurianov will spend most of his time on the right side. Big D also needs players who can slot up and score goals when injury strikes. The team struggled to score goals last season after injuries to top 6 forwards Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov.
It is also fair to say Dallas needs Gurianov, 24, to progress into a consistent top 6 forward.
Denis Gurianov was one of Stars most productive players during the 2019-20 season. The former 12th overall draft pick led all NHL rookies with 20 goals during the COVID-interrupted campaign. Gurianov scored an additional 9 goals during the Stars 27 game run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Such stats remain impressive considering the Russian speedster averaged less than 13 minutes of ice time.
Gurianov’s ice time improved to 15:51 last season, but the goal production did not. After scoring goals in the Stars first two games of 2020-21, Gurianov fell into the first of three major scoreless droughts. His first drought stretched 31 games.
Gurianov also failed to mimic the power play production he flashed in 2019-20.
One NHL.com article questioned whether the Dallas Stars were misusing Gurianov. The potential does exists that Gurianov is not a fit in Rick Bowness’s defense-first system. However, Bowness ran the same scheme in 2019-20 during which Gurianov thrived. So, what changed?
It is likely Gurianov excelled during his rookie campaign partially because of low or no expectations. There is a lot that can be said about the mental aspect of the game. The mental aspect is delicate for most young players.
The Stars, understandably, expected a lot from Gurianov in year two of his career. Expectations likely skyrocketed more when the team was bit by the injury bug. We’re thinking Gurianov was thrust into an uncomfortable situation. A situation where team needs spawned pressure that was counterproductive on the young skater.
What Denis Gurianov needs is the Dallas Stars lineup that resembles what it was during his rookie campaign
Some players can the handle immense pressure to repeat performances better than others. What Denis Gurianov needs is the Dallas Stars lineup that resembles what it was during his rookie campaign. We love his 2021-22 prospect with 2019-20 expectations and 2020-21 ice time.
Gurianov was not ready to cement himself as a top 6 player last season, but he still has time. However, the Dallas Stars will need Gurianov to be no less than a 40-point player this season. Lucky for Stars fans, Gurianov has the talent to be a 60-point player in 2021-22.