34 in 34: Euless Jr. Stars
August 8, 2015
The 34 in 34 series will feature an in-depth look into all 34 teams in the NA3HL for the 2015-16 season, with a new team being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 34 in 34 goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all 34 head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2015-16 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2014-15 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 34 in 34 will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
Euless Jr. Stars (formerly Dallas Jr. Stars)
2014-15 Record: 10-33-4, 24 pts. (5th in the South Division)
2014-15 Playoffs: Did not qualify
Head Coach: To be announced
2015-16 Division: South
The winds of change have blown through the Jr. Stars organization in the last few weeks and the team is not done. This comes after the Jr. Stars went through a tough season last year, posting a 10-33-4 record and missed out on the playoffs, a year after the team reached the Silver Cup after winning the South Division playoff title in 2014.
One of the staples of the Jr. Stars organization from the beginning has been their ability to advance players to the next level and that was something that remained consistent from this past season as a handful of players made college commitments, including some players to the NCAA.
Earlier this week, it was announced that the organization had been purchased by KWM Kids, Inc., consisting of Michelle and Kevin Bryant, who also own the Coulee Region Chill of the NAHL and the La Crosse Freeze of the NA3HL. The new ownership group then renamed the team the Euless Jr. Stars for the 2015-16 season. “We are excited to expand our brand to the Southwest United States, where hockey is constantly growing,” said Michelle Bryant. “The Jr. Stars have done a great job in the last two years building their brand and advancing players to the next level and that is something we hope to enhance and grow as owners.”
One of the ongoing tasks prior to the team’s final camp is securing a head coach. According to Bryant, the decision will be made within the next week because the Jr. Stars final camp is August 14-16. “We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic as we are in developing players and moving them onto the next level. We want someone who understands our mission and takes the job seriously. We are looking for the best candidate for the team and the level, but I think experience coaching in junior hockey was a must,” said Bryant.
As far as expectations for the Jr. Stars in 2015-16, Bryant said that her expectations will mirror that of her two other clubs, the Chill and the Freeze. “First and foremost, we want to train and advance players. It is great to have a winning organization, but our primary satisfaction comes from developing players and watching them move onto the next levels of hockey, be it junior or college.”
Bryant said that there are several players from last year’s team that have committed to return including forward Kayne Fedor, who finished 2nd on the team in scoring last season with 30 points. Other returning players include forward Wyatt Gentry, who had 15 points during the regular season. Defenseman Axel Olson returns after being injured mid-season last year, and forward Trent Wolter is also returning to the club.
Next up in the 34 in 34 series: Evansville Thunderbolts