(Photo Credit: Tim Lauzon/Texas Stars)
Jamie Oleksiak, also known as Big Rig, is making his NHL debut tonight. There is no doubt that the 6'7 254lb defenseman has earned his way to the Dallas Stars bench. The Toronto native has played in 43 games with the Texas Stars, posting 3 goals and 20 assists for a total of 23 points. He also has an impressive +12 rating on the year, with 21 PIM's. He has been instrumental in the Texas Stars success this year, who currently sit in first in the Western Conference.
Oleksiak also made his way to the All Star game this year, assisting the West in their win over the East. During the skills competition he missed the net completely. Luckily he's got a sense of humor, stating on his Twitter account, "Is that goal regulation size or what?!".
Oleksiak has been honored for his efforts on the ice, not only by earning his call up to the Dallas Stars, but was also named top rookie for the month of January. This is the second month in a row a Texas Stars player was given this honor. Reilly Smith was named top rookie for December. Here's the press release from the Ahl:
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League announced today that Texas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak has been selected as the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for January.
Oleksiak tallied one goal and nine assists for 10 points along with a plus-11 rating in 11 games last month to help the Stars rise to the top of the Western Conference standings.
Oleksiak scored a goal in a 5-2 win vs. Peoria on Jan. 5, and then tallied an assist each in consecutive victories over Houston on Jan. 6 and Jan. 11. After drawing an assist on the winning goal at Oklahoma City on Jan. 13, Oleksiak set a personal best with three helpers in the Stars’ 6-4 win at Chicago on Jan. 18, and assisted on the game-winner again as part of a two-point day at Rockford on Jan. 21.
Oleksiak represented Texas at the 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts AHL All-Star Classic in Providence on Jan. 27-28, and earned his first career recall to the National Hockey League on Jan. 30.
A first-round choice (14th overall) by Dallas in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Oleksiak has recorded three goals and a team-leading 20 assists for 23 points, along with a plus-12 rating, in 43 games for Texas this season. The 20-year-old Toronto native split last season between Saginaw and Niagara of the Ontario Hockey League, totaling 12 goals and 20 assists in 59 games.
In recognition of his achievement, Oleksiak will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Stars home game.