Where will the 60 Dallas Stars training camp invitees end up after camp?

WINDSOR, ONTARIO - FEBRUARY 20: Forward Antonio Stranges #40 of the London Knights skates prior to a game against the Windsor Spitfires at WFCU Centre on February 20, 2020 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ONTARIO - FEBRUARY 20: Forward Antonio Stranges #40 of the London Knights skates prior to a game against the Windsor Spitfires at WFCU Centre on February 20, 2020 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images) /

The goal today is to outline the pathways for all 60 Dallas Stars Training Camp participants. I have divided the players into 6 groups; 23-man Dallas Stars Roster, Texas Stars AHL contracts, Texas Stars 2-way contracts, Junior players, PTOs, and one unique case.

Dallas Stars Player Destinations: To the NHL-Contracted 23-man Dallas Stars Roster

Forwards (13): Jamie Benn, Evgenii Dadonov, Ty Dellandrea, Matt Duchene, Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz, Wyatt Johnston, Mason Marchment, Joe Pavelski, Jason Robertson, Tyler Seguin, Craig Smith, Sam Steel

Defense (8): Gavin Bayreuther, Jani Hakanpää, Joel Hanley, Thomas Harley, Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, Nils Lundkvist, Ryan Suter

Goalies (2): Jake Oettinger, Scott Wedgewood

This roster is only ~300k over the cap, meaning that they could send someone down to the Texas Stars like Gavin Bayreuther and accrue some space early in the season. Otherwise, this is the NHL roster you will see at 2023-2024 Regular Season Game 1, barring any miraculous training camp results.

Dallas Stars Player Destinations: Texas Stars Training Camp

The first group of players are those on AHL Contracts. This means that they have to sign a 1-way or 2-way NHL deal for the 2023-2024 season in order to make the NHL club. With the evident logjam in the NHL roster above, this implies that the following players will be taking the reps in an NHL training camp but will soon be sent to the Texas Stars’ camp:

Forwards (3): Ben Berard, Keaton Mastrodonato, Curtis McKenzie

Defense (2): Michael Karow, Ben Zloty

Goalies (1): Bryan Thomson

The second group of players are those who are contracted on two-way NHL deals and will simply have a tough chance of making the NHL roster that I described above. All of these players are essentially guaranteed to suit up for Texas this fall, and there seems to be some great competition because of the number of players Dallas has contracted going into the 2023-2024 season. Those players are:

Forwards (13): Francesco Arcuri, Oskar Bäck, Matěj Blümel, Mavrik Bourque, Nick Caamano, Riley Damiani, Kyle McDonald, Fredrik Karlström, Scott Reedy, Matthew Seminoff*, Logan Stankoven, Antonio Stranges, Chase Wheatcroft

Defense (7): Lian Bichsel, Artem Grushnikov, Christian Kyrou, Alexander Petrovic, Derrick Pouliot, Jerad Rosburg, Gavin White

Goalies (2): Matt Murray, Remi Poirier

*Matthew Seminoff, despite being 19 years of age, will be heading to Texas’ camp rather than back to the WHL because he has played 4 CHL seasons.

Dallas Stars Player Destinations: Junior Hockey

The three players that the Stars invited to their NHL Training Camp who they drafted in the 2023 NHL Draft, barring any standout camps like Wyatt Johnston from last year, will be heading back to their respective junior clubs. These players are younger than most competitors at the Stars’ camp (all are 2005s), so they each have roughly 2 more years of junior left before any significant decisions on their pro future are made. These players are:

Forwards (2): Brad Gardiner, Angus MacDonell

Defense (1): Tristan Bertucci

Dallas Stars Player Destinations: PTOs

The players listed below are on a Professional Try-Out (PTO), which means that they get to compete for an NHL spot in training camp on a temporary basis. The Stars must see something in each of these players to make the organization want to invite them to training camp, and these are the hardest pathways to predict. The Stars have a full NHL roster, so it will be curious to see what actually happens to each of these players. Here are my predictions:

Solag Bakich (F – Dallas native!): likely playing in the ECHL

Jordie Benn (D): AHL contract or 2-way NHL contract (unlikely to make NHL club)

Jacob Murray (D): AHL contract

Christopher Gibson (G): AHL contract or 2-way NHL contract (likely AHL deal)

Brandon Halverson (G): AHL contract (or maybe ends up in the ECHL)

It will be interesting to see how each of these guys perform in camp, and whether any of them get released. I always find it sad to see players invited on PTOs, only to “fail” and be released without a contract, but this is a critical part of the business of PTOs where the agreement is, in fact, a “try-out”. Best of luck to each of these players during training camp.

Dallas Stars Player Destinations: Conclusion

While there can be minor tweaks to the predictions above based on performance, injuries, and unique circumstances, the scenarios above are a probable outcome for the 60 athletes participating in the Dallas Stars training camp this year. There are 60 different stories to tell in this training camp, with competition as heavy as ever, and I look forward to seeing it all unfold over the next few weeks. See you on October 12th for Dallas Stars 2023-2024 Regular Season Game 1.