Denis Gurianov

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Stars Call Up Former First-Round Pick Denis Gurianov

November 07, 2018 - 5:01 pm
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By Gavin Spittle

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - The Dallas Stars recalled forward Denis Gurianov from Texas of the AHL Wednesday afternoon. The 21-year-old native of Tolyatti, Russia, was one of the final roster cuts in training camp and continued the momentum from camp down to Cedar Park where he currently leads Texas with six goals and six assists in just 11 games played.

Gurianov was the Stars first-round pick, No. 12 overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. When you are drafted that high, immediacy quickly follows. The spotlight shined even brighter when Matthew Barzal of the Islanders, who went four picks after Gurianov, won the Calder Memorial Trophy for the top rookie last year. Brock Boeser of Vancouver was a Calder finalist the year prior, and he was selected eleven picks after Gurianov. Then in last year’s Calder Cup Finals, Gurianov found himself a healthy scratch. That’s all in the past now and the speedy winger has an opportunity to prove that he was rightfully chosen high in the first-round.

It’s not easy making the adjustment to the North American game. Some do it faster than others. Miro Heiskanen is certainly one of them. The game is tighter, open ice is tough to come by and the physical nature of the North American game can wear you down.

The question has always been consistency for Gurianov. At times in the AHL, he would dominate similar to what he did in the World Juniors. Then there were games where he was a non-factor. That is not the case this year. Don’t forget the influence of Alexander Radulov in this mix. You see how hard Radulov works and how he never gives up on the puck. He is looked up to and for good reason.

The speed is impressive. The shot is fast and accurate. He doesn’t mind going into the corners and working for the puck. He’s also worked harder on his defensive game this year. The next step is going to be the toughest one but as far as tools go, we could have something special here in Denis Gurianov.

He'll look to make his NHL debut when the Stars return home to face the San Jose Sharks Thursday night.