The Dallas Stars are gearing up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, Dallas is in need of some reinforcements. Those reinforcements are coming by way of one of their young players. Former first-round pick Mavrik Bourque is being recalled from the AHL's Texas Stars, general manager Jim Nill announced on Friday.

Bourque was drafted in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft. He went to Stars camp this season but failed to make the NHL roster. He went to the AHL where he has absolutely thrived. The 22-year-old forward has scored 26 goals and 72 points in 66 games this season. He leads the AHL in points and made the 2024 AHL All-Star Classic thanks to his performances.

“I’m pretty happy to be here,” Bourque said Friday, via the Dallas Morning News. “I got a lot better this year. I’ve been playing a lot of minutes down there so I think it was good for me to just play a lot. For sure I was questioning when I’m going to get my shot, but I’m just happy everything worked out. I’m more than ready to play in the NHL now.”

No one more deserving

Dallas Stars center Mavrik Bourque (22) in action during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Minnesota Wild at American Airlines Center.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Stars head coach Pete DeBoer commented on the call up on Friday. The veteran bench boss has watched Mavrik Bourque and his development all year. And in his mind, the former first-round pick is extremely deserving of this opportunity at the next level.

“I can’t think of somebody more deserving or who has done it right like he has. He’s gone and spent basically two full years in the American league, had a good year last year,” the Dallas head coach said, via the Dallas Morning News.

Bourque played in four preseason games with Dallas this year. He didn't score any points and ended the preseason as a -1. However, DeBoer still liked what he saw from the 22-year-old. Furthermore, he is extremely impressed with Bourque's development in the AHL.

“Came to camp, had a good camp. Gave him some things to work on and he went back [to the AHL] and has been the best player in that league this year, which is the kind of development you want to see,” the Stars head coach said, via the Dallas Morning News.

Roster management

Mavrik Bourque is headed to the NHL as the Stars manage a few injuries. Dallas has two road games in back-to-back nights. First, they travel to take on Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks. Then, they hit the road as they prepare for Hart Trophy contender Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche.

The notable injury DeBoer and the Stars are managing concerns Tyler Seguin. Dallas's veteran center suffered a lower body injury around a month ago. With the Stanley Cup Playoffs around the corner, getting Seguin a bit of rest could prove vital down the line.

Bourque deserved the call up, regardless of any injury situation. DeBoer did not mention which game the young forward will skate in. However, the Stars head coach said he is “definitely going to play,” according to the Dallas Morning News. It'll certainly be interesting to see which game Bourque plays and how he does in his NHL debut.