Sports

July 14, 2014

Stars sign top draft pick Honka to 3-year contract

18-year-old Julius Honka from Finland was taken 14th overall last month.

Defenseman Julius Honka signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Dallas Stars, the team announced Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 18-year-old Honka was the Stars’ first-round pick, 14th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft. He had 56 points (16 goals, 40 assists) in 62 regular-season games for Swift Current of the Western Hockey League last season, his first year in North America. A native of Jyvaskyla, Finland, Honka tied for third on the Broncos with two goals in six playoff games.

“We are happy to have signed Julius quickly so that the young defenseman can continue the process of developing his game,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a statement. “He’s highly skilled, moves the puck extremely well and is very competent at running a power play. We are really excited about his potential and think he has the tools to grow into an NHL defenseman in the near future.”

Honka won a gold medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, where he had one assist in seven games. He won a bronze medal for Finland at the 2013 World Under-18 Championship, where he had four points (one goal, three assists) in seven games.

’Hawks hire assistant

Joel Quenneville and Kevin Dineen are together again.

Dineen was hired Monday as an assistant coach to Quenneville with the Chicago Blackhawks. They were teammates with the Hartford Whalers for six seasons from 1984 to 1990.

Dineen, 50, coached Canada’s women’s hockey team to a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics. He was the head coach for the Florida Panthers for two-plus seasons before being fired last fall.

Dineen replaces Jamie Kompon, who became general manager and coach of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.

Bartkowski deal

Defenseman Matt Bartkowski and the Boston Bruins avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1.25 million, Elliotte Friedman of “Hockey Night in Canada” reported Monday.

Bartkowski had 18 assists in 64 games for the Bruins last season and one assist in eight playoff games.

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