Stars re-sign Dowling, ‘a smart player with speed’

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Dallas locked in another depth forward on Monday, agreeing to a two-year, two-way extension with forward Justin Dowling.

“Justin proved his value for our organization both at the NHL and AHL levels this past season,” GM 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.”

Dowling, 26, was rewarded for working his way up through the organization. An undrafted free agent, he caught on with the club five years ago and spent time both in ECHL Idaho and AHL Texas before making his NHL debut last season.

He appeared in nine games for Dallas, notching a pair of points.

Recently, Dallas has rewarded grinding, bottom-six forwards that have worked hard for their roles within the organization. In March, the club extended 31-year-old journeyman Adam Cracknell, noting that he “stepped into our lineup this season and established himself as a valuable member of our team.”

Nill had similar praise for 26-year-old Curtis McKenzie, who signed an extension around the same time as Cracknell.

“Curtis has developed into a strong and tenacious player who has continued to define his role as a valuable member of the team,” Nill said. “A true home-grown player, he has worked hard at all levels within the Stars organization and has earned his way onto the NHL roster.”

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