|Written by Brendan Ross|
April 2013 – Dallas has started a major rebuild of their prospect group on defense, adding four legitimate prospects to their corps approaching the deadline. With the Stars defense healthy, they decided the best step for Oleksiak’s development was to lead this new core of prospects in the AHL and through the playoff race rather than play in a reduced role on the NHL squad finishing out the season. He has posted another three points in his last four AHL games even with the additions of more offensive minded defenders Kevin Connauton and Joe Morrow. Jason Banks
February 2013 – After starting his pro career extremely strong in Austin, Texas, Oleksiak received his first NHL recall and was not out of place in six games. Glen Gulutzan has stated that Oleksiak is expected to log big minutes for Texas of the AHL rather than sitting in the press box in Dallas. His 26 points in 45 games thus far in the AHL is rather unexpected in his transition to pro, but what is more attractive is the fact he leads his AHL team with a plus-15 on the season which is also good for 12th in the entire AHL. His pro transition has provided excitement for fantasy mangers looking for the next big thing, but it needs to be reminded that offense is not a natural asset of his, so expectations need to be kept in perspective. Jason Banks
April, 2012 – The Dallas Stars rolled the dice on the massive defenseman from Toronto hoping that this project defenseman can develop into a Chara-like defender. Oleksiak joined the OHL this past season that seen him split time between the Saginaw Spirit and powerhouse Niagara Ice Dogs as a trade sent him there midseason. Oleksiak is an extremely mobile defenseman with an endless reach that makes him difficult to play against. Skating is certainly a strength of Oleksiak as he gets around the ice smoothly using good edge work but given his size and physical strength he needs to better utilize his large frame on a more consistent basis. Rarely has Oleksiak dominated physically and he often overuses his stick check. Offensively, Oleksiak is a raw defenseman but he did begin to find his offensive game after appearing for Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championships and returning to Niagara.
He has shown an ability to provide offensive punch in the AHL and is a minute munching stud that blocks shots and hits a bit. Contract status of himself and Dallas’ current defenders is about the only thing that will keep him out of the NHL right now. Without being the same monstrosity that Zedno Chara is, outside of the lack of aggression and having a better skating stride than Chara, he makes a good comparable.
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|Last Updated on Friday, 12 April 2013 14:24|