NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Lone Star Brahmas have a growing partnership with the Dallas Stars, and this week, their bond got stronger. Former Brahmas forward Ludvig Larsson and goaltender Jacob Nehama were both invited to participate in the Dallas Stars Development Camp in early July.
"We have a great relationship with the Dallas Stars. Les Jackson (Stars Director of Scouting and Player Development) has been fabulous. I've had a relationship with him for a few years now. He came over to watch a few practices and a few games and he had a few eyes on some of our top guys here like Vidmar, Kupsky, and Larsson. It's just a great opportunity for a young man who put in a good season for us here to know that there's opportunity not just at the USHL level, but (also) the NHL level," head coach Dan Wildfong said.
Larsson (Youngstown Phantoms) and Nehama (Dubuque Fighting Saints) both have experience playing junior hockey in the United States Hockey League and they are heading to Merrimack College and Colorado College respectively in the fall. Even though neither one is eligible for this summer's NHL draft, they are still vying for a chance to crack an NHL roster after playing Division I hockey.
The Stars will begin their Development Camp during the July 6th week and it will feature the organization's draft picks in the upcoming NHL Entry Level Draft, top rookies, and prospective free agents the Stars would be interested in possibly signing out of college.
"This will be a great opportunity for the Stars to see (Larsson and Nehama)," Wildfong said. "You really learn a lot like how to deal with the media and how to deal with the pressures of getting a lot of money. There's just a lot of seminars there that really help them."
Wildfong will also lace up his skates and represent the Brahmas as one of the coaches at the camp. The weekly festivities are open to the public and the camp will close with a scrimmage. The official roster and schedule for the event has yet to be released by the Stars.
Lone Star players all got a taste of what it's like to be in pro hockey because Wildfong and Jeff Potter arranged for former pros to attend practices and a handful of professional players Skyped with the team to give the Brahmas advice on their playing careers.
"We're fifteen minutes away, twenty minutes away from where the Stars practice every day. We've had Dallas Stars guys help us with practice like Joe Nieuwendyk. That is something to be said about our program here," Wildfong said.
Larsson (5'11", 175) scored 25 goals and 36 assists in 61 games this past season with a plus-18 rating. The Malmo, Sweden native led the Brahmas with 31 power play points. Nehama (6'0", 165) went 29-13-4 with a 2.31 GAA and a .913 save percentage for third place Dubuque this past season. The Allen, TX native started the season 11-0-0 and he closed the regular season with an equally impressive 8-2 mark.
Click HERE to watch the video report from camp.
Dallas Stars Development Camp Opens with a Lone Star Brahmas Flavor
The Dallas Stars Development Camp opened on Tuesday with a decided Lone Star Brahmas influence. This camp provides the Dallas Stars coaching staff an opportunity to further evaluate their top prospects, draft picks and potential free agent signees.
The Brahmas influence comes in several forms from Brahmas / Tornado player alumni, coaches and equipment managers. Former players Ludvig Larsson (Brahmas 2014-15), Justin Greenberg (Tornado 2011-13), Jacob Nehama (Brahmas 2013-14) and Will White (Brahmas 2013-14) were invited to participate in the camp as free agents. Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong will participate as one of the on ice coaches while Brahmas equipment manager Mark Riepe and assistant Joshua (Deersey) Deer will be working with the Stars equipment staff to ensure the players and coaches have what they need to conduct a successful camp.
Jake Kupsky (Brahmas 2014-15) who was between the pipes for the Brahmas as they came one goal short of the NAHL Robertson Cup finals will take place in the San Jose Sharks camp. Kupsky was the seventh round pick by the Sharks in the recently concluded NHL draft. Scott Conway (Tornado 2012-13) will be in camp with the Anaheim Ducks, Brandon Hawkins (Tornado 2012-13) is competing in the Calgary Flames camp and Jimmy Kruger (Tornado 2010-11) is in camp with the Winnipeg Jets.
In all there are more than 50 NAHL alumni taking part in NHL Development Camps this summer proving once again the quality of the players who participate in the NAHL.
Being a billet family can be one of the most rewarding experiences in sports. As a billet family you are not only welcoming young men into your home but also your family. Billet families are the unsung backbone of a successful junior hockey franchise. They provide a foundation for the developing players that can greatly impact their success on the ice. These relationships often last a lifetime. If you would be interested in opening your home to a player who could potentially be the next Brahma player taken in the NHL draft, please contact head coach Dan Wildfong at firstname.lastname@example.org.