By David Fleet
On July 31, Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced that the club has signed defenseman Ben Gleason to a one-year, two-way contract.
“It was a long week waiting,” said Gleason, 23, an Ortonville native.
“I’m excited to get with the team and go to camp this September.”
Gleason was originally undrafted and signed with Dallas as a Free Agent on Sept. 13, 2018.
“It’s a full year around game when you get to the pros,” said Gleason. “It’s about being smart with the puck and working on both offensive and defense—both sides of the puck are key.”
Gleason, skated in 37 contests and recorded 17 points (4-13=17) during the 2020-21 season for the Texas Stars, Dallas’ top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). His team-leading +13 plus/minus rating was tied for seventh among all AHL defensemen and shared 17th among all AHL players. Gleason ranked second amongst Texas blueliners and eighth on the club in points (17).
Additionally, he shared fifth on the club in power play goals (2) and finished fifth on the team with 71 shots on goal.
“Hockey is a life-style,” he said. “I’ve been away from home for a long time and I will play for as long as I can. Someday I’ll tell my kids about my experiences in the NHL. Honestly, there’s no better feeling then to stand on the ice for the national anthem and all the fans in the stadium.”
Gleason has appeared in four career NHL contests during the 2018-19 season, registering one assist (0-1=1) with 14:53 ice time per game.
He made his NHL debut on Nov. 10, 2018 against the Nashville Predators, registering his first NHL point (0-1=1) and logging 18:13 TOI. He has also registered 64 points (11-53=64) in 152 regular-season games over three AHL seasons, all with Texas.
“The nerves are always there,” he said. “It’s amazing playing hockey against some of the guys I watched growing up. Now, I’m go into camp and compete for a starting spot on the team, there are seven guys out there fighting for the same spots. It’s tough but I’ll be ready.”
In 2014 Gleason, as a Brandon High School sophomore, was considered one of the top defenseman on a U18 Detroit Honeybaked travel team stocked with talent. He was drafted by the London Knights as the 36th draft pick overall in the second round of Ontario Hockey League’s 2014 Priority Selection.
The OHL is part of the Canadian Hockey League—a developmental hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and five American states.
On Sept. 24, 2015, Gleason was among 42 of the 2016 NHL draft-eligible players that participated in the 2015 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game at the First Niagara Centre in Buffalo, NY. Each year the top U.S. players who are eligible for the upcoming NHL entry draft are selected for the competition
Gleason was also one of the players invited to skate in the NHL Prospect Tournament in 2018 in Traverse City.
On Sept. 13, 2018 Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced the signing of defenseman Gleason to a three-year, entry-level contract with affiliate team Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.
The AHL team plays their home games in Cedar Park, Texas, near Austin.