Texas Stars Mailbag: Looking at defensemen and rookie forwards

Welcome to another edition of the Texas Stars mailbag.

If you have questions about the team, a certain player, or anything else that comes to mind send them my way. I’ll be fielding questions via Twitter, the Wrong Side of the Red Line Facebook page, and via email at sean.c.shapiro@gmail.com.

Let’s see what we’ve got for this week:

I think they’d still have to prove themselves in training camp. However, I do think a strong playoff performance could open the door to a full-time job in the NHL next season for Jamie Oleksiak and Jack Campbell.

For Oleksiak that decision is in his own hands, while Campbell is going to need a little bit of help to impress in the playoffs.

Oleksiak is going to be part of the every-night lineup in the postseason. Campbell could be starting, backing up, or rotating starts in the postseason and we won’t have a clear answer until morning skate before Game 1.

If Campbell does end up with the starting job in the playoffs and plays well, it could be the sign Dallas needs to make him the NHL back-up goalie next season. If not he could be slated to spend 2015-16 in the AHL as Dallas looks for other back-up options.

I expect Texas to be stacked on the blue line next season.

Julius Honka, Esa Lindell, Ludwig Bystrom, and Mattias Backman should all be full-time players in Texas. Jamie Oleksiak could start the year in the AHL or NHL, depending on how things shake out for Dallas this summer.

I think that leaves room for two veterans in Texas. Right now you have three — Cameron Gaunce, Maxime Fortunus, and Derek Meech — and all are free agents this summer. I think Texas brings back two of the three to mentor the young blueliners.

Impressed would be an understatement with the rookie forwards.

Devin Shore and Jason Dickinson will be centering the third and fourth lines in the playoffs, and both have played very well since arriving in Cedar Park.

Shore has been a solid two-way player and killed penalties since arriving. Dickinson, who only made it in time for two regular season games, already has three assists in his young professional career.

The new defensemen in camp, Ludwig Bystrom and Mattias Backman, haven’t impressed as much.

Bystrom has potential, but needs to bulk up and adapt to the North American game. He’ll be a black ace and watch during the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Backman could play this weekend and played in one regular season game. In his first game he showed potential and raw talent, but he did look rusty and looked like a player who hadn’t played on North American ice since early in the 2014-15 season with Grand Rapids.

I’m interested to see what Backman can bring to the table this weekend. He’s more comfortable with the team and he actually has quite a few practices under his belt now.

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