Miro Heiskanen is a rare player, as far as the Stars are concerned. He was the third overall selection in the 2017 draft, the highest for this organization since Mike Modano went first overall in 1988 to the Minnesota North Stars, and that means something. Despite not turning 18 until July 18, Heiskanen, who's 6-1, 172 pounds, already is the team's top prospect and is earmarked for greatness. It's a tough expectation but one that comes with the position. "It is different," said Stars assistant general manager Scott White, who is part of the group overseeing the team's development camp through Tuesday in Frisco. "We feel, and a lot of people feel, that he has elite talent. Since I've been here, we haven't drafted in the top three, so we have not gotten a player as coveted as this." Heiskanen signed his three-year entry-level contract Saturday, though it does not begin until he plays his first game in North America. He made his first Stars appearance on the ice as drills began at the camp. If you're drawing it out on paper, Heiskanen in four or five years could be the team's best defenseman -- and then be the best defenseman for 10 years after that. He has the potential to be a franchise player, and that's pretty exciting for a team that has had its best luck finding its current best players in the fifth round. "He's a great young player and he has to develop, and it's our job to help him develop," said Les Jackson, the Stars' senior advisor who has seen players such as Modano walk that path. "Just like with every player, you have to be patient and you have to offer guidance, but it is different just because the timing and the expectation is different." Jackson likes to do away with a player's draft position, because, he said, "the player didn't make that decision." But he understands that's not easy to do in this world of rankings and analytics. Scott Glennie struggled with the pressure of getting selected eighth overall in 2009 by the Stars and ended up playing just one NHL game. Jackson said that he believes the team did everything it could to develop Glennie but that it just didn't work out.
Stars won’t rush Heiskanen’s development, says Nill
Sports Day | Jul 10