The Stars enter this season with the forward position as good as it’s been in a long time. The team actually has a true top-six instead of a top-four and two late line grinders and signed a couple of guys to shore up a horrific power play.
It’s a solid mix of veterans, a couple of guys in their primes on the verge of superstardom and a rather talented group of young prospects just starting their careers. All in all, I’m pretty damn optimistic about the group of forwards that the Stars are going to put onto the ice this season.
With that said, on to the previews and prognostication.
Benn has improved his numbers each year throughout his short career and the face of the franchise should have another great (albeit shortened) season this year. He’s healthy and should be more comfortable playing center in this system now.
He’ll most likely anchor a line with Loui Eriksson and Jaromir Jagr that should have Stars fans giddy with anticipation. Benn is in a golden situation with those two on the wings and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t manage a point per game pace this year. He’s got a great rapport with Loui and Jagr should take some of the load of responsibilities off of his shoulders. It’s time for Benn to really cement himself as one of the foremost sports figures in the Dallas area this year.
Benn’s been keeping in shape during the lockout by playing hockey over in Germany so he’s good to go. He would have probably been able to put career numbers again this year if it had been a full season but his half season should still be quite impressive.
2013 Prediction: 24 goals, 29 assists, 53 points, +16, 28 PIM
It’s good to be Loui Eriksson. The most consistent player on the Stars gets more help this year as he’s going to be playing with Benn and opposite Jagr. He’ll be primed to do one thing all year, shoot the puck.
It’s very tough to see a situation in which he doesn’t score at least 20 goals with the chances that he should be able to get himself this year. He’s been consistent for the last three seasons for at least 25 goals and 40 assists and should be able to get close to that many goals again (but not that many assists).
He should be able to get some numbers back on the power play with the additions of Jagr, Ray Whitney and Derek Roy to the team.
Like Benn, Loui would have easily been able to put up career numbers across the board if this had been a full season.
2013 Prediction: 24 goals, 22 assists, 46 points, +19, 2 PIMno comments