Thursday, January 03, 2008

North Stars get Jean from Marquette

The Traverse City North Stars haven’t lit the lamp as often as they’d like so far this season, and hope they’ve secured at least one more piece of the offensive puzzle after dealing for forward Kyle Jean on Wednesday.

The Stars sent a pair of tenders to Marquette – one of which was a tender originally obtained from the Rangers in a September deal that sent Aaron Pietila north – to land the services of the rangy winger.

Jean, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder, was among those tagged by the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Service as a B-rated player back on Oct. 24 in assessing the 2008 NHL Draft-eligible players. That designation indicates a player who is a potential third-fifth round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, set for June 21-22 in Ottawa.

“Kyle’s a very highly-regarded player,” said North Stars coach-GM Anthony Palumbo. “We are in need of some offensive punch, no question. We think he has the ability and potential to help our scoring woes. He’s also a 1990 (birth year), so it’s not like we mortgaged the future in giving up two tenders.”

Jean – a Sault Ste. Marie product – played 15 games with Marquette this season, netting a pair of goals and assisting on three others, with a +1 plus-minus rating and six penalty minutes. He spent last season with the midget-AAA Soo Indians – as a teammate of current North Stars Marc Thompson, Garrett Thompson, Eric O’Hearn and Eric McLintock – leading the club with seven goals and 15 assists in 24 MWEHL contests.

“He’s a big kid, but he’s skilled and talented too,” Palumbo said. “He will skate on one of our top three lines, we’re not sure where just yet.”

The North Stars play host to Jean’s former team – Marquette – on Saturday night at Centre ICE arena before heading off to a Sunday evening affair in Alpena.

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