CEDAR PARK, TX– With the regular season less than a month away, the players and coaches are set to get back on the ice in preparation for the season.  The Dallas Stars will be holding their training camp at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park starting tomorrow.

Sixty-two players are ready to go, some just to shake off the rust, while others are trying to achieve a lifelong dream of making it to the NHL. The Sin Bin has all the information you need, from who to watch and what to watch for, to dates and times for all sessions and the scrimmage.

Here is your guide for everything Stars Training Camp.

Dallas, the Texas Stars’ parent club, have assigned 62 players to their training camp roster.  The names include household Stars’ players like Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, but the eyes of the coaches will be on those trying to make Dallas’ NHL roster for the regular season. Texas fans will recognize names like Gemel Smith and Travis Morin among others from last season, but there are also some new names you may not know. Here are some players to keep your eyes on as camp gets going.

Let’s start with offense, a strength of the Stars’ in years past. Jason Robertson is an 18-year-old left-winger from Arcadia, CA who will be looking to play his way into a roster spot.  Robertson played junior hockey for the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League and put up 81 points (42G, 39A) in 68 games last year. His offensive fire power will be fun to watch, and I expect him to be in a Texas Stars uniform this year.

Tomas Soustal is the center I will be watching closely this week. Soustal is 6’3″ and weighs 199 pounds. He plays the type of defense from the forward spot that the Stars are trying to develop.  New Dallas head coach Ken Hitchcock plays a defensive style, and Soustal fits the mold perfectly.  Last season in only 49 games for the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets, Soustal put up 47 points (18G, 29A) and was a plus-29. Look for him to be in Texas this year, but he may be on his way to Dallas sooner rather than later if he continues to grow defensively.

Finally, on offense, I am looking at right-winger Nicholas Caamano, who could quickly grow into a household name for Stars fans in the AHL & NHL. He played six games for Texas last year, tallying three assists. A 19-year-old from Ancaster, Ontario, Caamano played his junior hockey for the Flint Firebirds of the OHL. Last year for the Firebirds, he accumulated 64 points (35G, 29A) in 67 games. It’s possible he starts the season in the ECHL with Idaho, but if not, look for him to play a significant role for Texas this season.

Let’s move to defense now, the area that most needs improvement. Texas was 29th out of 30 American Hockey League teams in goals against last year and will need to play much better to make the postseason. Watch for improvement on defense to be a major focus of training camp, and make sure you pay attention to the defensive play of everyone on the ice, even the forwards.

One defenseman I’ll be looking for on the ice will be Ondrej Vala, a 19-year-old from Kolin, Czech Republic. Vala had an assist and was plus-2 in 3 games for Texas last year, and was a plus-11 with 25 points (10G, 15A) in 60 games for the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. Vala’s ability to put up points while still doing his job and playing well defensively will be invaluable for the Stars as they try to lower their goals against.

The other defenseman I’ll be watching is a 28-year-old from Westlock, Alberta, Brent Regner.  While Regner’s chances of making it to Dallas are very slim, I believe he will be a significant contributor for Texas this year.  Regner signed with Texas this summer after putting up 13 points (2G, 11A) and a plus-8 in only 28 games for the Springfield Thunderbirds. If Regner can remain healthy, I expect him to be a top-four defenseman in Austin.

To wrap things up let’s take a look in-between-the-pipes and see who will step up and grab the starting job in net for Texas.  We know who the goalies will be in Dallas, which narrows the list to watch for Texas to just three. Landon Bow, Philippe Desrosiers, and Mike McKenna.

Of the three I will be watching Landon Bow. I expect him to battle the veteran McKenna for the starting job in Austin.  Bow, a 22-year-old from St. Albert, Alberta, split time last season between Texas and the Stars ECHL affiliate Idaho Steelheads. Bow played 16 games for Texas, going 7-7 with a 3.17 goals against average (GAA) and .894 save percentage. He was much better in Idaho, with a GAA of 2.08, a .933 save percentage, and a record of 19-6. His AHL stats will need to improve, and I believe they will.  The presence of the veteran McKenna should help Bow’s development.

McKenna is the AHL leader in wins and led the Syracuse Crunch to the Calder Cup Finals last year.  If all goes according to plan, the netminding should be much better in Austin this season.

Now that you know who and what to watch for, you may be wondering when everything starts.  Well have no worries, we have the entire schedule for the four days of camp right here.

Friday, September 15:
9:30a-11:15a On-ice Session One
11:45a-1:30p On-ice Session Two

Saturday, September 16:
9:30a-11:15a On-ice Session One
11:45a-1:30p On-ice Session Two

Sunday, September 17:
9:00a-10:45a Veterans Practice
Noon Future Prospects Scrimmage

Monday, September 18:
9:30a-11:15p On-ice Session One
11:45a-1:30p On-ice Session Two

If you can, make sure to take this chance to see not only the superstars from Dallas, but also the guys who will be playing for Texas battling with NHL players.  It is a fantastic opportunity to see how the team looks going into the season.

Texas plays two preseason games against their in-state rivals San Antonio Rampage at the end of the month, Friday, September 29 in San Antonio, and Saturday, September 30 back home at the H-E-B Center.  Texas then opens the regular season at home on October 6 against the Chicago Wolves.

If you want to know if your favorite player will be on the ice, you can see the entire 62-man training camp roster here.

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