The Dallas Stars didn't hold a full blown development camp last year, so Alex Chiasson didn't get a chance to come to the North Texas area the summer he was drafted. But he's here now and he's enjoying it.
"It's been really fun. We've been practicing and going back to basics with the coaches. We've been learning a lot of stuff," said Chiasson. "It's been fun meeting other guys and being to Dallas for the first time. It's been great."
It's hard not to notice the Quebec native. He's big. He's personable. And he speaks English well for someone who just started learning the language three years ago.
Chiasson was a second round pick (38th overall) in 2009 and the Stars like what they have in the big right wing, who was listed at 6-4, 195 pounds by Boston University.
"Looking at his raw material he has a chance to be a good player," said Les Jackson, Stars Director of Scouting and Player Development. "It's just a matter of getting through the development part. He's pretty impressive. ... You look at the physical attributes and his attitude, he's got it all. He just needs to pull it together."
Chiasson, ranked 5th among Stars' prospects by The Hockey News earlier this year, had a solid freshman season at Boston University. Playing for one of the top programs in the country, he registered 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) and a plus-five rating in 35 games, leading the Terriers in rookie scoring.
"It went pretty well. It was a good learning experience for me as a freshman," said Chiasson. "There were older guys I got to learn from like [Nick] Bonino and [Kevin] Shattenkirk, who will be playing in the NHL in the future. It was a good year and looking forward to next year and a bigger role and more ice time."
Chances are Chiasson will go through a full four years of eligibility at Boston University and that's OK with him. It will help will his development as a hockey player, and Chiasson, who is a business major, puts a high value on the education he'll be getting.
"I was always a good student in school. I got A's and B's and I thought college would be the best experience for me," Chiasson said after an on-ice session at the Stars development camp in Frisco. "You never know with hockey, if it doesn't work out you need a Plan B. Obviously, I want to be a professional hockey player but you never know what is going to happen."
The decision to go the college route has led to him move from Quebec and play hockey at Northwood Prep in Lake Placid, NY and spend one season in the United States Hockey League with the Des Moines Buccaneers. That paved the path to Boston University, where right now Chiasson is happy on the hockey side and just happy with college life in general.
"It's amazing, going to school," said Chiasson. "BU is a great school and Boston is a great city. I live right by Fenway Park and get to go to a couple games. It's a great experience. My parents come see me some weekends and there is stuff to do every weekend. It's great."