Riley Tufte is a very unique prospect the Dallas Stars drafted back in 2016. Instead of immediately going pro, Tufte decided to work on his game at Minnesota Duluth for three seasons.
Many fans wonder why Tufte is still down in Cedar Park despite the fact he does so well during the preseason. There are three reasons why Blackout Dallas believes Tufte has been stuck with the Texas Stars.
The Stars keep signing veterans to fill their roster
Veteran overload is the main reason why Riley Tufte isn’t in the NHL by now.
The Dallas Stars are a team that likes to fill empty roster spots with veterans at the beginning of free agency. Such results in “almost ready” Stars prospects to remaining in the minors longer than anticipated.
Tufte needs to have a strong showing at training camp to get Rick Bowness‘s attention and earn one of the roster spots. Having a strong showing requires Tufte to beat out a handful of NHL veterans.
Scoring consistency is an issue typically associated with Riley Tufte.
One can think of Tufte as the “Joey Gallo” of the Dallas Stars. That is, Tufte scores goals in clusters much like Gallo groups his home runs. History has shown the Coon Rapids, MN native will score in 3 straight games and then disappear over his next 5. Such is not good for a Stars team that often struggles with offensive production.
Tufte has not scored more than 10 goals a season with the Texas Stars. He will need to develop into a more consistent scorer before seeing NHL action is realistic.
Riley Tufte’s Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis
Riley Tufte’s type 1 diabetes is an out-of-the-box theory that might be contributing to why he has yet to make the Dallas Stars roster.
Tufte was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at an early age. Type 1 diabetes is the medical term for the pancreas not producing the enzymes required to break down sugar. As a result, Tufte must take daily insulin shots or use an insulin pump.
Type 1 diabetics require a lot of attention because their blood sugar level fluctuates while conducting strenuous activities. Players with diabetes must constantly check their blood sugars during practice and games. Low blood sugar requires such players to rest.
One might assume Tufte’s medical condition is a contributor to his prolonged tenure in the AHL. Such is not to assume the Stars medical staff is not capable of helping Tufte manage his condition. Many fans might not be aware that former Stars player, Toby Petersen, was also a type 1 diabetic.
Early indication out of Traverse City is that Riley Tufte is thriving during the Prospect Tournament. Such performance bodes well for his chances to make the Dallas Stars opening night roster. Should Tufts carry his performance into training camp, Blackout Dallas loves his odds of finally getting to the NHL.