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DeBoer: Johnston 'going to be a cornerstone' for Stars

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

After a Game 4 win over the Colorado Avalanche in which Wyatt Johnston was the primary difference-maker, Dallas Stars head coach Pete DeBoer couldn't stop gushing about his impact on the team.

"He was all over the rink," DeBoer said, per The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun. "Just fantastic. A fantastic, young hockey player that is going to be a cornerstone, and I have no doubt (he) will wear a letter probably sooner than later for this franchise. Just an incredible kid."

Johnston, who turned 21 Tuesday, is tied for second in the playoff goals race with seven and ranks second on Dallas with 11 points in 11 games. He logged two goals and an assist Monday to help the Stars grab a 3-1 series lead over the Avs.

Johnston is getting it done in all situations, too. He's the third-youngest player in NHL history to score a shorthanded and power-play goal in the same playoff game, behind Glen Wesley and Wayne Gretzky, according to Statscentre.

Additionally, Johnston is the eighth player ever to reach 10 or more playoff goals before turning 21, and he's only the third skater to have four postseason game-winners prior to turning the same age, per NHL public relations. Jaromir Jagr (five) is the only player to have more.

Johnston was drafted 23rd overall by the Stars in 2021. He's the draft class' leading scorer with 106 points in 164 regular-season games.

"It's been a pretty cool a couple of years," Johnston said, "And I'm just really thankful and just so happy to have met some amazing people on the way and just have a chance to be with the Stars and just kind of being around some amazing people."

Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday in Dallas with the Stars on the verge of advancing to the Western Conference Final.

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