A little after 9 this morning Jamie Oleksiak tweeted that he was on the road, heading to Dallas from Austin. He must have been well on his way. Two hours later he was in full gear and on the ice in Frisco, skating with Kari Lehtonen, Valeri Nichushkin, Scott Glennie and some others.
The Stars’ first round pick (14th overall) in 2011 spent his summer in Toronto, relaxing a bit and working out with training guru Gary Roberts.
“He trains a lot of pro guys and knows what it takes,” Oleksiak said. “You see other guys that work out with him and their work ethic, so it’s a really good experience for me. I am going to try to grow from it.”
Oleksiak, listed at 6-7, 254 pounds, will be in his second pro season in 2013-14. He played primarily with the Texas Stars last season, leading the team’s defensemen in scoring with 33 points (6 goals, 27 assists) in 59 games. He also played 16 games with Dallas, registering two assists.
Oleksiak, dubbed the “Big Rig,” is expected to get a good look in training camp this season. Stars GM Jim Nill made that clear in an interview with NHL.com.
“He’s right there,” Nill told NHL.com. “Jamie’s going to come to camp. Show us what you can do. If you’re in the top six, you’re there. I don’t want guys sitting in the press box with me. I want them playing every night. So if he comes in and shows he’s a top-six guy, he’s on the team.”
There is some stiff competition for Oleksiak when it comes to cracking the Stars’ roster. The team has added Sergei Gonchar this offseason, and Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley, Alex Goligoski, Brenden Dillon and Aaron Rome are back from last season’s team. Jordie Benn, who played 26 games last season, and Kevin Connauton are in the mix for roster spots as well.
“It’s a good opportunity for everyone,” Oleksiak said. “We’re in transition as an organization and they’ve brought in a lot of new guys and guys are battling for spots. I think everybody is looking at it as an opportunity. It’s exciting to see what the team will look like.
“I am feeling pretty ready. I am feeling pretty good out there. I feel good off the ice as well. It’s just a matter of making sure I stay in shape, keep maintaining where I am right now, go into camp and do my job. We’ve got a pretty crowded blue line. It’s just a matter of putting in hard work.”
Glennie gets a jump start on camp in Sweden
Forward Scott Glennie got a jump start on Dallas Stars training camp by heading to Sweden to take part in the training camp of HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League (formerly known as the Swedish Elite League). Glennie spent some time at the camp along with fellow Stars prospect Brett Ritchie.
“We just went over there to get a head start in August. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things,” said Glennie, who returned from Sweden recently. “Getting in an extra training camp was really nice for us. “
Glennie, Dallas’ first round pick (8th overall) in 2009, has put in a lot of work this summer. He’s trying to bounce back from a rough 2012-13 season that saw him play only 37 games with the Texas Stars of the AHL. He missed the first part of the season because of what the Stars described as conditioning issues, due in part to a finger issue that has been bothering him for a couple years. That finger issue then forced him to miss extended time during the season.
“I wasn’t ready to play and Willie (Desjardins, Texas head coach) isn’t going to give you anything if you don’t deserve it. It was a tough start,” Glennie said. “The finger messed up part of my season too. I think once things got going, I thought Willie treated me really well. He was great for us. I know personally, for me, it wasn’t’ a great season, but it was great to be around a winning team and a winning organization. The year before wasn’t so good.”
Glennie did finish last season strong, and the Dallas organization liked his performance in the AHL playoffs. Glennie hopes to build off that this season. To keep the momentum rolling he spent the summer in Dallas, working out with Brent Severyn.
There were more than just the workouts with Severyn, who played 328 NHL games and was a member of the Stars’ 1999 Stanley Cup championship team. There were some lessons on what it takes to be an NHL player as well.
“He made sure I knew how hard he worked and how hard he trained. It’s always good to be around people like that,” Glennie said. “He worked so hard and he makes you work so hard. As far as work ethic you know what it takes, especially when you are in the minors, to get to the next level you’ve got to work that hard. It’s definitely good to see that.”
This season will be the final year of Glennie’s entry-level contract, so it is a big one for him.
“Like any guy in his contract year, I want to have a good season,” he said. “I’ve been working really hard this summer. Hopefully I can have a good camp and we’ll see what happens.”
Tuesday video from Frisco
Here’s some video from Tuesday’s skate in Frisco. Valeri Nichushkin, Jamie Oleksiak and Scott Glennie are in green.