The Texas Stars received reinforcements this week as Travis Morin and Julius Honka returned to the team in advance of a victory Tuesday night at Oklahoma City.
Honka, 19, missed five games while playing for Finland at the World Junior Championships in Montreal and Toronto. He scored one goal in the tournament as Finland advanced to the quarterfinals before being ousted by Sweden 6-3 last week.
“It was a great experience. It’s always awesome to play for your country,” said Honka, a defenseman, “but I was pretty mad there when we lost to Sweden that easily.”
The under-20 tournament was a chance for Honka to act as one of the veteran leaders on the Finnish team, the defending champion. Back with the Stars, he’s the youngest player in the American Hockey League.
“Here (in the AHL), players are a little bit stronger in one-on-one battles,” Honka said. “So you have to work harder on that.”
Morin, a center, had been in the NHL since Dec. 12 and appeared in five games with the Dallas Stars before returning to the AHL. The reigning MVP of the AHL, Morin had a goal and an assist Tuesday as Texas topped Oklahoma City 5-2. He also was named to the AHL all-star roster earlier in the day.
It was Morin’s third all-star selection, but he’s in line for only be his second appearance in the game. He missed the 2011 contest after getting an NHL call-up.