Jan 21: Honka has cleared waivers according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. Sometimes, in cases like this, clearing actually increases the trade value of an asset since it can now be assigned directly to the minor leagues. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with Honka.
Jan 20: The Dallas Stars have placed Julius Honka on waivers today, according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. The move comes just as the Stars prepare for their first game of the season later this week and after the team started making their final cuts. The Stars have also sent Joseph Cecconi, Riley Damiani, Tye Felhaber, Ben Gleason, Adam Mascherin, Jerad Rosburg, Ryan Shea and Riley Tufte to the minor leagues.
The focus here will be placed on Honka though, given his status as a first-round pick that never panned out. The 25-year-old defenseman spent last season overseas playing in Finland but agreed to return to the Stars organization and signed a one-year, two-way deal in October. Selected 14th overall in 2014, he has played just 87 games in the NHL and none since January of 2019.
What likely frustrated Honka and led to his previous trade requests and departure to Finland, was that he hasn’t received much minor league play either. Instead, the young defenseman found himself in the press box on most nights, scratched for months at a time. His development has stagnated, though there still may be some upside left in the former Swift Current Broncos star.
For Honka, a claim would likely be the best thing for his career, given that even after this season ends he still won’t be an unrestricted free agent unless the Stars let him go. Getting out of Dallas may be the only chance he has to really play at the NHL level; if he clears tomorrow, he’ll likely head to the taxi squad or the AHL.