Colton Point will be heading to his first training camp as an official member of the Dallas Stars organization this weekend.
Point and some of the Stars top prospects finished 2-1-1 at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in Northern Michigan this past week.
On Friday, he will be in Boise, Idaho, home of the Stars ECHL team, the Idaho Steelheads.
Point’s hope is that his stay is only temporary as he hopes to secure a spot on the Texas Stars AHL team in the 20-year-old’s first season of pro hockey.
The Stars 2016 fifth-round pick (128th overall) who played two seasons at Colgate University, noticed the different level of play in Traverse City.
"It's just the speed, the skill level. All these guys are fantastic players," Point said to dallasstars.com.
Point stopped 21 of 26 shots in a 7-5 win over the New York Rangers prospects over the weekend and followed that up with a 24-save performance in a 3-1 loss to the host Detroit Red Wings prospects.
"The higher you go, the higher the talent level obviously. It's just getting accustomed to playing with guys at this skillset and adapting to the speed of the shots and the speed of the players and the fast plays happening on the ice,” continued Point.
Jim Bedard, who is in his second season of working with Dallas goaltending prospects, believes in Point but also feels there’s still some work to be done.
"What I noticed about him playing last year is that he is very raw," Bedard said to Dallasstars.com.
"He's got a lot of drive to stop pucks, and sometimes he can get away with it in college where you can get a little sloppy after your initial shot. Even [Friday night vs Rangers], there were times he looked so calm and composed and then there were times the structure of his game was kind of lost, but he was just battling,” Bedard continued.
"I like to see that kind of fight in a goaltender and the competitive edge, but when you start to go up level after level after level, you are going to have to tune it in where you are making the easier saves on the first and second saves, and the third save is where the big saves are made."
Point will still face some tough competition as he turns pro this season.
He’ll be battling Landon Bow, who played well with the Texas Stars of the AHL last season, and Philippe Desrosiers, who has played three seasons of pro hockey and will be pushing to play in the AHL as well.
Where Point will start his pro career is still in question.
"My crystal ball is a little foggy, but he is going to get every opportunity to show that he belongs in the American Hockey League," said Bedard to dallasstars.com.
"The best guys are going to play. We'll see. Time will tell."
Point has his hopes set on the AHL instead of the ECHL but knows there are no guarantees.
"Nothing is ever set in stone, so I am not entirely sure where I will end up,” said the 2018 Team Canada World Junior Gold Medallist.
“Obviously, I would like to end up in Austin," Point said. "Regardless, I am going to put everything I have on the ice and just play the game I know how to play.”