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Oleksiak Expected to Make the Jump to Pro Hockey
Oleksiak Expected to Make the Jump to Pro Hockey
First-round draft pick, defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, is expected to make the jump to pro hockey this season By Mark Stepneski | DallasStars.com

Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak is expected to make the jump to pro hockey this season, and as a first-round draft pick there is going to be pressure and expectations – a subject in which Oleksiak is well versed.

Consider what he’s done over the past year. He had to decide whether to stay in college or change his development path to play major junior hockey. He chose the junior route.

There was a decision to be made on whether he would play for Canada or the United States at the 2012 World Junior Championship. He chose Canada.

“Last year was big for me in terms of making decisions about where I was going to play, which country I was going to represent,” Oleksiak said. “And there was coming to camp as the first-round pick of the Dallas Stars. There was pressure and it was a little tense at times.”

There was more, such as playing for Canada in Canada at the World Juniors. There were high expectations after a midseason trade landed him with one of the top teams in the Ontario Hockey League.

And once the ice shavings had settled on his season, the 6-foot-7, 240-pound defenseman appeared ready to take the next step in his hockey career. Each of those decisions and challenges he faced help put him on firmer ground as he prepared to move forward.

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Posted on 08/01/12

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