Craig Ludwig Grades the Stars


ScoreBoard went to our go-to guy when taking an in depth look at the Stars, former defensemen and current Fox Sports SW hockey analyst Craig Ludwig. With the school year winding down and the Stars now on summer break, we thought it fitting to ask “Luds” to give our boys in Victory Green (and their head coach and GM) their grades for the season.

The A’s

Jamie Benn
Grade:  A+
Luds’ comments: Did everything you could ask for from a player in his 1st season as a captain….led by example….he sets the tone for the Dallas Stars.

Jim Nill
Grade:  A
Luds’ comments: 1st time GM brings in Tyler Seguin and Lindy Ruff as head coach….he’ll need to make tough decisions on the Stars older players for next season….provided this team with an identity which had been MIA for years.

Lindy Ruff
Grade:  A
Luds’ comments: He and his staff did a great job with a core of young players and pushed a lot of the right buttons during a season in a  year that had some adversity.

Tyler Seguin
Grade:  A
Luds’ comments: Great regular season….needs to prove he can translate that into the playoffs and I believe no one wants to prove that more then him….will be an elite player in this league for years to come…been a pleasure to watch him play and he comes to play every night.

Alex Goligoski
Grade:  A
Luds’ comments: Logged a ton of minutes and huge improvement all season long….along with Daley they carried the D core.

Trevor Daley
Grade:  A-
Luds’ comments: Best season as a Star….grew as a leader on this team and one of the best Stars in the playoffs.

The B’s

Kari Lehtonen
Grade:   B+kari-lehtonen-nhl-stanley-cup-playoffs-dallas-stars-anaheim-ducks
Luds’ comments: Another solid regular season but needs to prove he can take this team deep in the playoffs.

Cody Eakin
Grade:   B+
Luds’ comments: Plays bigger than his size…has a high hockey IQ….played this year as a #2 center but better suited as a #3 center…can play in all situations.

Jordie Benn
Grade:   B+
Luds’ comments: Most improved D man…understands his role and became a dependable and reliable top 4 defenseman on this team.

Val Nichushkin
Grade:   B
Luds’ comments: Good start for an 18-yr-old in his 1st season in the NHL…needs to make better decisions with his puck play but that will come with time.

Ryan Garbut
Grade:   B
Luds’ comments: His skating ability makes him an effective player on the forecheck…he goes into the hard areas of the ice to score goals…will need to eliminate some poor decisions in the penalty department.

Patrick Nemeth
Grade:   B
Luds’ comments: Only a few games this year but should turn into a big physical shut down D man that is needed here.

Antoine Roussel
Grade:   B
Luds’ comments: Along with Garbut they are a tough tandem to play against…also great speed on forecheck and showed his willingness to fight and stand up for his team.

Brenden Dillon
Grade:   B
Luds’ comments: Huge upside for him…I want to see him play with more of an edge in his game and he will become even more difficult to play against..tough playoffs for him in his first go around but was not 100% healthy.

Vern Fiddler
Grade:  B –
Luds’ comments: Raised his level in the playoffs…better then average on face-offs and a quality penalty killer…may want more then the Stars are willing to offer next year.

The C’s

Shawn Horcoffshawn-horcoff
Grade:   C+
Luds’ comments: Average regular season but had a good playoffs….added veteran leadership but curious to see how he fits into the plans moving forward.

Colton Sceviour
Grade:   C+
Luds’ comments: In a small sample size he showed he can put the puck in the net when he gets a chance to play up the lineup….he will get an opportunity to be a regular next season I believe.

Kevin Connauton
Grade:   C+
Luds’ comments: Tough year trying to find some regularity in the line-up….has size and can skate and handle the puck….will need to continue to work on the defensive side of his game to get a regular spot.

Sergei Gonchar
Grade:   C
Luds’ comments: I think he was expected to bring more offense from the backend…still has a year left on a big 2 year deal….possible candidate for a trade.

Alex Chiasson
Grade:   C
Luds’ comments: He set his bar fairly high the previous year and needs to be a guy that can provide secondary scoring for this team next year.

Erik Cole
Grade:  C
Luds’ comments: Veteran player with a sizeable contract….was a healthy scratch at playoff time….may have a change of address next season if a trade is doable.

Ray Whitney
Grade:  C-
Luds’ comments: Didn’t get the minutes he would have liked and played down in the lineup….wont be back would be my guess.


Aaron Rome
Grade:   incomplete
Luds’ comments: often injured


  1. I agree on all but one. I would give Gonchar the only D. He was often a defensive liability. Inexcusable for a veteran of his supposed caliber. Otherwise, well done.

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