Scottie Upshall and Stefan Noesen won’t be the only one fighting for a contract when training camp opens for the Dallas Stars. While the the duo had previously been announced as joining Dallas on PTO’s, the team released their camp roster today, which features several other tryout candidates beyond the Texas-native Noesen long-time veteran Upshall. Of that list, the most recognizable name was forward Corey Elkins, who returns to North America for another try at the NHL.
Elkins, though never drafted, was a standout at Ohio State University in the mid-2000’s and was once considered a legitimate NHL prospect. Signed by the Los Angeles Kings out of school, Elkins began his pro career with back-to-back 40+ point campaigns and strong playoff showing for the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs. The power forward even played in three games with the Kings and netted his first (and only) NHL goal. However, Elkins’ efforts were not enough to earn another contract from L.A. nor garner an NHL deal elsewhere. He took his talents to the Czech Republic for a year before returning to the AHL in 2012-13. Yet, midway through the season he left for Europe again, signing with HIFK of the Finnish Liiga. Elkins would become a core member of HIFK, playing in parts of five seasons with the club and producing consistent offense. The draw of the NHL brought him back though, as he earned a PTO with his hometown Detroit Red Wings prior to the 2017-18 season. While Elkins failed to make the team, he played yet again in the AHL, this time for the Grand Rapids Griffins. It was a nice season for the aging forward, but not enough to draw interest at the top level. Elkins signed with Germany’s Grizzlys Wolfsburg last year, but suffered a season-ending injury before ever suiting up. He now enters camp with the Stars likely looking at his last chance to make it back to the NHL, or at least to secure AHL employment and extend his career.
Among other tryout names on Dallas’ roster is forward Brad McClure, who split last season between their affiliates, the AHL’s Texas Stars and ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads. McClure signed on for another year with Texas after recording 11 points in 30 AHL games, as well as near point-per-game production in the ECHL, in his first pro season out of Minnesota State. He’ll be looking to show that he’s worthy of an upgrade to an NHL contract. Idaho teammate Tomas Scholl will also be in camp as an extra goalie. Forward Diego Cuglietta, who finished his year with AHL Texas after wrapping up an impressive senior season at Lake Superior State University, will be in camp on an amateur tryout. College teammate Anthony Nellis, who began his pro career last year with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets, will also be in attendance. Parker MacKay, the captain of the National Champion University of Minnesota-Duluth, will also participate after signing with AHL Texas this off-season.