CEDAR PARK — Devin Shore was “running on adrenaline” when he made his professional debut in the Texas Stars’ 6-4 win against Lake Erie on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old center had just finished his collegiate career at the University of Maine on Sunday, a 3-2 overtime loss to Vermont.
“There was a lot of mixed emotions. Definitely after the Sunday game finished, there was the shock of your season being over. It was tough,” Shore said. “It was a quick turnaround, but it’s been a lot of fun.”
He signed his first NHL contract with the Dallas Stars on Tuesday — which goes into effect next season — and then signed an amateur tryout contract with Texas so he could play the remainder of the season in the AHL.
He flew to Austin that night, went over offensive and defensive systems with Texas coach Derek Laxdal on Wednesday morning and learned he’d be making his AHL debut.
Centering a line with Gemel Smith and Branden Troock, Shore won five of eight face-offs and had a turnaround scoring chance in the first period.
“Man, it was just a blast to play professional hockey,” he said. “… it was definitely quicker (than college). The puck moves faster, the guys are stronger, so I tried to keep it simple as possible.”
Before the season, it hadn’t been determined whether Shore, who was Dallas’ second-round draft pick in 2012, would make his professional debut this season. He still had another year of eligibility remaining at Maine, where he was the captain and had 104 points in 112 games.
“I knew it was always an option (to go pro),” Shore said. “I knew it could be my last (collegiate) season, but I didn’t want to focus on that and let it affect my play at Maine … When it was time to cross that bridge, I crossed it.”
Shore said he’s still on track to finish his finance degree at Maine and he’s completing his spring semester classes online.