The Dallas Stars have re-signed restricted free agent Matej Stransky to a one-year, two-way deal, as reported by General Fanager. While his may not be a name that many are familiar with yet, it soon could be. The 23-year-old Czech winger was drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL Draft, after his first season with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, and then scored 166 points in 142 games over his next two seasons with the team. Stransky turned pro in 2013-14, playing for Dallas’ AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, and has gotten better each year. In 2015-16, his 23 goals were second on the team, as Stransky helped to lead the Stars to a playoff berth.
In 2016-17, Stransky could finally have the chance to crack the NHL lineup, and the Stars would have a bargain on their hands with his $575K dollar contract. Roster Resource shows that there is definitely room for Stransky to find a spot on the Dallas roster over the course of the season, as right wing is not particularly deep in the organization. Behind Patrick Sharp (who can play either wing), there is only Ales Hemsky as a surefire top nine right wing. Stransky would have to compete with another young forward in Brett Ritchie and grinder veterans Patrick Eaves and newly signed Adam Cracknell. Stransky is not a checking line guy by any means, but if a spot opens up on the right side of the Stars’ top three lines, he has the skating ability and offensive skill to fit in well with a dynamic Dallas offense.
Many expected that the Stransky name would be more well known this year, even if Matej doesn’t make the jump to the NHL level. His younger brother, Simon Stransky, was expected to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft this past June. In fact, many hockey pundits believed that he was a top 100 player and would be a mid-round selection. However, 211 names were called and none of them were Simon Stransky. He was considered the biggest surprise of the Draft as far as undrafted players. Stransky, who was a first round pick by the Prince Albert Raiders in the 2014 CHL Import Draft, was a point-per-game player this past season in the WHL, and also played for the Czech Republic World Junior team and was invited to the CHL Top Prospects game. He is considered an elite play maker and offensive threat. While his defensive game is far from complete, in an NHL where speed and possession dominate, he seems to fit the mold. Not only was Stransky not drafted, but as of now he has also not been invited to any NHL team’s development camp, unlike fellow surprise passed-up prospect Zach Sawchenko who impressed at Nashville Predators camp. Clearly something is holding NHL teams back from committing to the younger Stransky, but with his brother Matej likely on his way to an NHL role, maybe Simon will garner some more attention and find a pro home sooner or later.