SYSTEM UPDATE: Trio of Stars prospects hoping to make impression at World Championships

Among the Stars’ biggest names skating overseas, none find themselves still alive in postseason play.

Both defenseman John Nyberg (Frolunda HC, SHL) and forward Roope Hintz (HIFK, Liiga) advanced to the semifinal rounds of their respective leagues’ playoffs, but each club was bounced in their penultimate matchup.

Hintz will skate in the Liiga third-place game Friday against JYP, his last of the season in an HIFK uniform. From there, he will join Julius Honka and the Finnish national team, where both will be considered for positions on the squad Finland will take to the 2017 IIHF World Championship. The tournament will be played in Paris and Cologne, Germany.

Valeri Nichushkin is also fighting for a spot in the tournament with Russia, while John Klingberg (Sweden) and Antoine Roussel (France) have already been added to their countries’ rosters.

With the seasons of the club’s major prospects overseas wrapped up, here’s a look at how each performed:

Valeri Nichushkin
CSKA Moscow (KHL)
Season stats: 45 GP, 12 G, 17 A, +28
With another year left on his KHL deal, uncertainty about his ability and willingness to escape that contract and the prospect of the NHL barring its players from participating in the 2018 Olympics, Dallas’ effort this summer to bring Nichushkin back into the fold could be an interesting one. The Stars have his rights until he is 27, so it may be a situation where the club chooses to wait it out for another season and focus on more pressing needs in the defensive corps and the goaltending tandem.

John Nyberg
Frolunda HC (SHL)
Season stats: 63 GP, 8 G, 8 A, +3
Nyberg and Frolunda dropped game seven of their semifinal series against Brynas, bringing their season to an abrupt halt. Nyberg scored his final goal of the year in a game-five victory, his only tally of the postseason.

In his first season of SHL competition, Nyberg put together a regular-season line of 7-8=15. In 46 regular-season games last season with IK Oskarshamn of Sweden’s second-tier league, Allsvenskan, Nyberg had just one goal and eight assists.

Roope Hintz
HIFK (Liiga)
Season stats: 57 GP, 21 G, 18 A, +13
Hintz picked up his scoring pace from last season, his first with HIFK. In 2015-16, the forward notched 10 goals and 16 assists in 51 games, including 18 playoff appearances. This year, in just six more games, Hintz racked up 13 more points.

He’ll get a final chance to add to that total in Friday’s third-place matchup with JYP before he heads to camp with the Finnish national team.

Niklas Hansson
HV71 (SHL)
Season stats: 48 GP, 1 G, 10 A, -3
The defenseman, drafted at No. 68 overall by Dallas in 2013, seemed to regress slightly this season. After a 2015-16 campaign that saw him score seven goals and dish out 15 assists over 50 games with HV71, earn a contract from Dallas and skate in 10 games for the Texas Stars (0-1=1), Hansson’s point total was effectively cut in half in 2016-17.

Fredrik Karlstrom
AIK (Allsvenskan)
Season stats: 52 GP, 10 G, 15 A, +2
After a strong year in the Allsvenskan, the Stars’ third-round pick in the 2016 draft will make the jump and lace them up for Linkoping HC of the SHL in 2017-18.

Aleksi Makela
Assat (Liiga)
Season stats: 51 GP, 0 G, 2 A, -12
After a season in which the d-man went 0-2=2 in 42 games for Ilves (Liiga), Makela didn’t show marked improvement on the scoresheet with Assat in 2016-17. He is unlikely to be offered a contract by Dallas and will return to Assat in 2017-18.

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