Potential 2020-21 Dallas Stars Bounce Back or Break Out Players

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Welcome to the latest series here at Last Word on Hockey. Each day, we will take a look at a new team and examine three of their potential breakout or bounce-back players. These players have the chance to make a serious difference with their teams this upcoming season. These players can be new faces or familiar ones looking to have a strong return to form. Each day we will be looking at a different team! Today we will take a look at the potential 2020-21 Dallas Stars key players. 

2020-21 Dallas Stars Candidates

Denis Gurianov

At first glance, Denis Gurianov may seem like an odd pick. Many pundits may consider last year’s 20-goal performance to be a breakout performance. Still, the young Russian may have more left in the tank. Gurianov recently re-signed with the Dallas Stars and is looking to earn his new money during the upcoming season. The skilled forward has all the skills to build on his 20-goal campaign with impressive speed, skill and frame that allows him to play the defensive game the Stars employ while still having a nose for the net.

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Gurianov showed this worth in the playoffs when he was able to play a gruelling style while still registering nine goals in 27 games played. It remains unclear just how much Gurianov can score, but it seems that he is a strong candidate to break out even further in 2020-21. This would serve as a particularly important piece for the Stars, a team that has struggled with depth scoring in the past. Gurianov could be just what Dallas needs to get them some goals not produced by Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin or Alexander Radulov.

Joel Kiviranta

Joel Kiviranta serves as one of the most interesting players on the Dallas Stars moving towards next season. The undrafted forward never seemed destined for important NHL minutes before last year’s playoffs. Yet, the Finnish speedster made his presence felt in the bubble as a depth scoring option that could pot important goals. The most memorable of these goals being the hat-trick that included an overtime winner in the decisive game seven of the second round.

Kiviranta is a relatively unknown entity, playing only 25 NHL games between last year’s regular season and playoffs. The Finnish forward should get a chance to build on his credentials going into the next season. Kiviranta logged a ridiculous 23.8% shot-percentage in the playoffs last year, so it will be interesting to see if the forward can make himself a regular part of the lineup going forward. Otherwise, Kiviranta will just be a fun over-night sensation that turns into a footnote in history. Still, Joel Kiviranta has the potential to break out this year for the Dallas Stars.

John Klingberg

John Klingberg was far from bad throughout the 2019-20 season, but he’s still a bounce-back candidate because he didn’t reach the lofty standard he’s set for himself. Klingberg registered the lowest point totals of his career with 32 points in 58 games. This served as the first time the Swedish defenceman scored less than 40 points in a season. This was also only the second season of his career in which Klingberg did not receive votes for a major award (The defender has garnered Norris, Calder and Lady Byng votes in the past.) That being said, it’s incredibly likely that Klingberg will be back to his normal production next year.

Why are we so confident in Klingberg’s return to form? The defender is as consistent as they come as far as point production goes and followed up his less-than-stellar regular season with an immaculate postseason. In 26 playoff games, Klingberg scored 21 points while leading the Stars to a Stanley Cup final appearance. It really is as simple as that. Klingberg puts up points and there’s no reason to believe last regular season is a harbinger of things to come. The good news for the Stars, however, is that Klingberg may not even need to produce at that level going forward. With the emergence of Miro Heiskanen on the blue line, the 2020-21 Dallas Stars can afford to rely less on Klingberg. That being said, he should still put together a solid comeback campaign.

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