Looking to make the leap: Jason Dickinson

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This post is part of Stars Day on PHT…

A first-round draft pick in 2013, it has not been a fast road to the NHL for forward Jason Dickinson. Now 22 years old, he still has some miles to travel before he gets there on a full-time basis.

Dickinson was drafted 29th overall with the pick the Stars got from Boston in the Jaromir Jagr trade. He then spent two more years in junior with the OHL’s Guelph Storm, before graduating to the AHL where he’s played most of the past two years.

Last season was a tough one for Dickinson, thanks in large part to the offseason hip surgery that preceded it. He finished with just 30 points (9G,21A) in 58 games for Texas. He also played a bit in the NHL, scoring twice in 10 games.

“It could have been better,” Dickinson said in April, per NHL.com. “I could have been a little more productive. But it was a good learning experience as far as what my body needs and how to take care of myself.”

He added, “Obviously, last summer I had to miss a lot of training, so this summer is going to be huge for me. I am just worried about getting myself back to where I need to be.”

Dickinson’s best attribute may be his skating, and that’s a good thing to have in today’s game.

He’s also versatile, with the ability to play center or the wing. Another nice thing to have if you’re trying to crack a lineup.

Dickinson’s AHL coach, Derek Laxdal, spoke to Wrong Side of the Red Line about that versatility.

“One thing I really like about him is that when he’s not playing well in one facet, he finds a way to make an impact in another way,” Laxdal said. “Whether that means playing more physical or mixing it up, he always finds a way to be in the game.”