Stars re-sign three players; add two college rookies

The Texas Stars season has been over for more than a month, but next season’s roster is already starting to take shape.

The team announced the re-signing of three players that spent at least last season in the organization and added a pair of recent college players to its ranks.

Travis Morin is the only player to that has played in every single season for the AHL’s Stars and will return for his ninth season next year. The 33-year-old forward led Texas with 55 points, tallying 21 goals and 34 assists last season. 

He has been captain since 2015 and is the all-time leader in goals (157), assists (310), points (467), and games (543). Morin has been an AHL All-Star four times and was named league MVP in 2014 when he led the Stars to their only Calder Cup.

Joining Morin in Cedar Park will be Justin Dowling, who signed a two-year extension with the Stars earlier this month.

He made his NHL debut last season and played nine games in Dallas with a pair of assists. In 49 appearances with the Stars in the AHL, he had eight goals and 20 assists and tied for eighth on the team with 28 points.

"Justin proved his value for our organization at both the NHL and AHL levels this past season," Dallas General Manager Jim Nill said in a release. "He is a smart player with speed, and the depth that he provides to our forward group is important."

Austin Fyten wasn’t sure he’d play a full season in the AHL last year after spending most of his rookie year in Idaho, but he made the most of his opportunity and inked a one-year deal with Texas. He played in 59 games and had six goals and six assists in the AHL last year.

The Stars added a host of young players towards the end of last season as the postseason slipped away. While the status of those players is unknown, two rookies will begin their pro careers with the Stars organization next year.

Western Michigan forward Sheldon Dries and Michigan Tech defenseman Shane Hanna signed AHL deals for next season.

The Broncos made the NCAA Tournament in Dries’ senior season in which he scored a career-high 16 goals in 36 games. In four seasons, he scored 44 goals and had 40 assists in 148 career college games.

Hanna also helped his team to the NCAA Tournament. He earned all-conference honors all four years he played for the Huskies and was second on the team with 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) last season.

The Stars finished last season at 34-37-1 and 7th place in the Pacific Division, the second worst record in the club’s history. They missed the playoffs for the first time in four seasons and just the second time since the team moved to Cedar Park in 2009.