22-year-old , Jake Oettinger, is living up to expectations so far. Drafted 26th overall in 2017, the American goaltender is getting quite a lot of NHL games in for his age.
Oettinger is 5-3-6 with Dallas in his 17 appearances and 14 starts. The other three games he appeared in were in relief of Anton Khudobin.
Out of Boston University, Oettinger has done well wherever he has gone. Some hardware from the World Juniors, an NCAA Hockey East title. He clearly has the credentials to be great. At this point it could simply be a matter of time before he is
As of late, Oettinger has been getting more and more starts. In January, Oettinger started one game. In February, he started five games. In March he started eight games. That’s half of the Stars’ games this month. Not bad for a 22 year old goalie. Head coach, Rick Bownes, clearly has increasingly more trust in Oettingers abilities.
Let’s not forget the reason Oettinger is in the lineup. Ben Bishop remains on the injured reserve. He has knee surgery in May and is still recovering. He is expected to be back in 3-5 weeks. This leaves only a couple weeks of the regular season where Bishop is healthy, if he is able to be back in that timeline.
As for the future of the Stars, Oettinger is in it. But who else? When it is time for Oettinger to be in the lineup full time, who goes? Bishop is signed until 2023 with a cap hit of just under $5 million. Khudobin is also signed until 2023 with a $3.3 million cap hit.
The expansion draft is coming in a few months, the Stars will likely protect Bishop. Oettinger is young enough to be exempt which leaves Khudobin exposed. Seattle could be targeting younger players but we will not know until the draft on July 21st.