The following story is bonus content for subscribers at Wrong Side of the Red Line. If you are interested in subscribing please follow the “Subscribe Here” tab above for more directions. Subscriptions are $3 per month and include in-depth features each week and access to the monthly Dallas Stars prospect guide.
Nicholas Caamano signed an NHL entry-level contract on Wednesday afternoon and immediately called his parents.
“Dad picked up first and then he started telling the rest of the family,” Caamano said on Thursday. “It was really exciting to tell them that I was signing my first NHL contract.”
Caamano also got to share the news that he would be in the Texas Stars lineup and would be making his AHL debut. Then — with his family huddled around an AHL Live stream back in Canada — Caamano had his first AHL point in Texas 4-3 victory.
“It’s been pretty crazy,” Caamano said. “It’s been a lot happening since I got to Texas, but it’s really been exciting.”
Still only 18, Caamano is starting to look like a real value pick for the Dallas Stars. He was selected in the fifth round (146th overall) last last June and came in with offensive upside as a point-per-game scorer for the Flint Firebirds in the OHL.
His point totals grabbed initial attention (he had 64 points in 67 OHL games this season), but his work defensively led to his AHL debut.
“I don’t think I would have gotten that chance if I didn’t make the steps I needed to in my own zone,” Caamano said. “That was something I learned from my coach in Flint, coach (Ryan) Oulahen and I talked about getting better at that all season and he said that’s what I needed to do to make it to the next level.”
Caamano said one of the biggest keys to his defensive success has been positioning. He’s got a slight build at 6-foot-2, 194 pounds so moving his feet and reading the game are going to determine his success as a two-way player.
“For sure,” Caamano said. “I always could read the game well in the offensive zone. I just needed to be able to make those plays in the defensive zone as well and be in the right spot.”
Caamano will return to Flint for another at least one more OHL season, but he’s going to head back to Michigan with valuable experience from his AHL cameo and should take on even more of a leadership role with the Firebirds.