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The National Hockey League playoffs are right around the corner, meaning there is a ton of action packed on the national front in the weeks leading up to the 2015-16 hockey season.
However, as we approach the trade deadline, the excitement surrounding a few teams has died down a bit and the talk of the NHL free agent class gets louder.
That means another time to reflect on the state of those teams with a look at their current roster depth.
The Stars are set at defense in the front office, but they may already be looking to the draft for more potential in goal.
Dallas has been a bit more proactive regarding how they pursue goalies over the summer, and there is good reason for that. The Stars have used their two most recent first-round picks in addition to their first-overall pick this past week to grab goalies from around the league with the 28th – 35th overall selections.
In that scenario, any deal for Niemi could come down to what happens with Lehtonen, who will be under contract through next season with a $4.9 million cap hit (per salary cap).
On the trade front, Dallas has received a package of draft picks from the Avalanche, along with forward Patrik Nemeth and defenseman Kris Russell for Ben Smith and a first-round pick and one of the top 10 picks in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Nemeth is still trying to find a way to stick around in Dallas and get to the NHL, and there is a chance he will return to North America this summer. He has been part of the Dallas Stars’ youth movement of the past few seasons, and that remains the case at this point.
Russell, who is the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, can still become a very good NHL player. The young defenseman is a versatile defender willing to contribute on the blue line and in the big picture.
Smith has been a big part of the Dallas Stars’ top defensive pairing since his arrival in Dallas as a second-year player from 2014-15.
The Stars’ front office has been working on re-signing Smith for some time now, and Dallas has an opportunity to take advantage