Athlete of the Week: Wyatt Johnston

Dallas Stars forward Wyatt Johnston
Dallas Stars forward Wyatt Johnston | Image by Ethan Cairns/Getty Images

Dallas Stars forward Wyatt Johnston is The Dallas Express Athlete of the Week after helping the team continue its late-season push ahead of the NHL playoffs.

The second-year forward has had an outstanding season, leading the team in goals with 32 and currently sitting third in total points at 65 — all following a debut season that saw him become just the fourth rookie in franchise history to score at least 20 goals.

“We talked to Wyatt last year after his rookie year about not falling into the sophomore slump — make sure you’re prepared and that it’s going to be even tougher next year because everybody knows who you are and the expectations,” head coach Pete DeBoer told the media a few weeks ago. “… I think that’s all part of carving out your career in the NHL is being able to get through those landmines and pitfalls and keep excelling and keep adding layers to your game.”

Dallas has won 11 of its last 13 games, cementing itself in the race for the Western Conference regular-season title and the Presidents’ Trophy, and Johnston has been a massive part of that, tallying 13 points (seven goals and six assists) in that span.

Over the last week, he has collected two more goals and assists, highlighted by a three-point night during last Sunday’s massive road win over the Colorado Avalanche. Even though he didn’t register a shot on goal in Thursday’s loss to Winnipeg, he still made his presence felt by going a perfect 4/4 on faceoffs.

He had three shots on goal as Dallas clinched the Central Division for the first time in eight years with a 3-1 win over the Seattle Kraken but did not register a point.

Johnston has come on since rookie Logan Stankoven was recalled from the American Hockey League, and the young pair have solidified one of the NHL’s best third lines alongside captain Jamie Benn.

“You’re seeing the production,” forward Joe Pavelski said of the young forwards earlier this season. “… It’s been in a good spot for a while now, and they’re playing with a lot of confidence.”

As Dallas continues to hunt for NHL supremacy, Johnston will continue to be a crucial factor — this season and for years to come.

The Stars (51-21-9) wrap up the regular season against the St. Louis Blues (42-33-5) at 8:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday at the American Airlines Center.

Recent Athlete of the Week Winners:

Luka Doncic

Wyatt Langford

Jamie Benn

Daniel Gafford

Max Abmas

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