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Friday, May 7, 2021

Sports Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year is expected to be good

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When the Dallas Stars beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in their preseason finale on Wednesday night, the reason for the victory was a smooth transition by a relatively unheralded rookie who was a household name across Finland. It was Miro Heiskanen, the 19-year-old Finn, who not only played on the Stars’ new top defensive pairing but scored the game-winning goal.

Heiskanen has been the most impressive athlete in training camp so far, and he was locked in a constant battle with sophomore Esa Lindell for a spot in the Stars’ top defensive pair. He’s been given more ice time by coach Jim Montgomery, has more looks at the net, and is not afraid to go for one-on-one battles with opposing players.

Miro Heiskanen was special last night 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/RFMZEvTX1x — Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) September 28, 2016

When one-third of the lineup has notched two goals, you know something is working.

When you’re 18 years old and Canadian in hockey and playing in just one exhibition game (he’s on the upcoming season-opening roster only), this kind of dominance is surprising, to say the least. But given a career-long career, Heiskanen will be difficult to keep under wraps.

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