3 Dallas Stars on the Nice List (& 2 on the Naughty List) This Christmas

Christmas Day is around the corner and it's time to find out which Dallas Stars players made Santa's Naughty and Nice Lists this year.
Matt Duchene is one of three Stars who are on Santa's Nice List this Christmas.
Matt Duchene is one of three Stars who are on Santa's Nice List this Christmas. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 5

As the 2023-24 NHL season closes in on the midway point, the Dallas Stars continue to be one of the league's top teams. As of Dec. 20, the Stars sit atop the Central Division with an 18-8-4 record, which is also good enough for fourth place in the Western Conference.

The Stars' impressive season thus far couldn't have been made possible without certain players stepping up. At the same time, not everyone is pulling their weight and that must change if Dallas wants to parlay any regular-season momentum into another deep playoff run.

With Christmas Day right around the corner, it's time to check in and see which Stars are on Santa Claus' Nice and Naughty Lists this season.

Nice List #1: Matt Duchene

Expectations weren't incredibly high when Matt Duchene joined the Stars on a one-year, $3 million "prove yourself" deal this offseason.

After all, the two-time NHL All-Star was coming off a 56-point season with the Nashville Predators after recording a career-high 86 points in the previous campaign. If Duchene was able to get back to being an 80-point player with the Stars, it'd be a steal of a deal. If not, 50-plus points on a $3 million contract is still solid value.

Fortunately, the 2014 Olympic Gold Medalist has turned back the clock in the Lone Star State. Duchene is currently tied for second on the team in both goals (10) and assists (17), giving him 27 points through 29 games. Assuming he stays on that trajectory, he's on pace to finish with 75 points in 81 outings.

Despite turning 33 next month, Duchene continues to eat big minutes for the Stars. His 17 minutes played per game is the third-most among Dallas forwards. He's also thriving at the faceoff circle, winning 56.0% of draws, which is 21st-best among skaters who've taken at least 200 faceoffs.

Assuming that he doesn't slow down, Duchene's elevated effort will be a big reason why the Stars see any success this season.