DALLAS - Ever since the Stars arrived in Dallas in 1993, youth hockey has been on the rise.

Fifteen years ago, there were four high school hockey teams in North Texas. Today, there are 44 in the area, 70 in the state and the Stars continue to push the growth of the sport.

Defenseman Trevor Daley did just that Monday, visiting Andrews Elementary School to chat with the students and bring them some new street-hockey equipment.

And the emphasis on reaching kids at a young age is paying dividends not only for youth hockey, but for the Stars' themselves.

One of the team's top prospects is Austin Smith, who played at Dallas Jesuit.

He's up for college hockey's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy after finishing his career at Colgate, living proof that youth programs in North Texas are more than a passing fantasy.


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