Honka is the stereotypical undersized, powerplay specialist type of defenseman. He will never be known for his defensive prowess or physical play, but was once a sought after prospect with a high ceiling.
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March 2020 – Honka was once pegged to be the future on the blueline for the Stars, but has since fallen from grace. After being drafted, he spent the bulk of three seasons refining his game at the AHL level and produced admirably with 106 points in 191 games. The promise that was shown at such a young age in the AHL never came to fruition at the NHL level as he was consistently scratched or given limited ice time. It seemed as if the Dallas’ staff thought it best to give him limited ice time at the NHL level, than to go back to the AHL and flourish as he was previously. Honka just completed his first season back in Finland playing for JYP in the Liiga and produced 15 points in 46 games. Currently he is a far cry from what his draft potential was perceived to be, but give him another season to adjust in the Liiga before completely giving up hope. For now, it may be a good idea to simply adjust expectations going forward. Jordan Lambe
October 2017 – Interestingly Julius made the NHL roster to start the season, but was expected to be a healthy scratch for at least the first few weeks into the season. The idea was to have him work with the NHL coaches in Dallas. That plan only lasted the first week and he put in the top-six. He isn’t really producing anything offensively, but he gets getting ice time in Dallas. Once Honka gets the feel for the NHL speed he should be an offensive force. Matt Kowalski
September 2017 – Honka has had a tremendous start to the preseason. It’s only been a couple of games, but he showing that he belongs in the NHL on a full-time basis. There are very high expectations for Honka this year, and he’s off to a nice start. His vision created a tap-in goal for Jamie Benn, giving viewers a glimpse of what to expect down the line. Honka owners should expect to see him have a role on the second power-play unit. Matt Kowalski
April 2017 – The young Finn was called up to finish the final week with the Dallas Stars. The highlight was an overtime goal against Arizona in early April. His speed seemed to disorient Arizona, he nearly scored, and seconds later he found himself open and ripped a shot over Mike Smith’s shoulder. He really shined in the overtime three-on-three competition. He only played 15 games this year, but had a very promising call-up to end the season. In his last three games, he recorded eleven shots. As far as prospects go, no other Star prospect has as high of a ceiling as Honka. There’s likely more work needed to be done with his defensive game, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him make the NHL team to start the year. There isn’t much more for him to prove in the AHL, he’s ready to make the next step. With the Stars unable to make the playoffs, Honka will presumably finish the year with AHL Texas Stars and their playoff campaign. –Matt Kowalski
November 2016 – Honka is being called up by the Stars. It looks like he will be inserted into the power-play to start things off, which gives him immediate value. Honka is in the midst of another great AHL season, while he racks up the points playing the blue-line. He likely has the highest ceiling of any Stars prospect. A natural playmaker on offense, and will be a fantasy superstar. Look to add Honka, especially if he stays with the Stars. For daily purposes, he could be a sneaky play depending on the matchup. –Matt Kowalski
October 2016 – Honka was assigned to the AHL’s Texas Stars. There was an outside chance he would be on the NHL roster to begin the season, but it didn’t work out. He should see some time in the NHL at some point this season. Matt Kowalski
June 2016 – The Stars traded Alex Goligoski to the Arizona Coyotes, which leaves an opening, potentially for Honka. The offensive rearguard just finished his second season in the AHL, while separating himself as the next defenseman to be called on by the Stars. His skating is flawless, as he combines speed with great fluidity. He is able to make the great pass and work the blue-line on the power play. With Kris Russell’s future with the team in question, Honka could find himself with a large role. Honka is a lot like Klingberg with offensive playmaking ability, and would likely find himself leading the second power play unit if he makes the team. It’s exciting to think what an offensive playmaker like Honka could do on this offensively loaded roster like the Stars. He is a perfect fit for the fast-paced Stars. Matt Kowalski
May 2016 – Honka is already a grizzled AHL vet at the age of 20. In his second full professional season, Honka paced the Stars’ D in scoring with 11 goals and 33 assists and was good for sixth in the league among D. The playoffs weren’t quite as successful where he registered just one assist in four games and an ugly minus-6. He should push for a roster spot in the fall. Brad Phillips
January 2016 – After getting off to a somewhat slow start to his second AHL campaign with three points in his first 10 games, Honka kicked things up a notch. To date he sits with seven goals and 27 points, good for sixth in AHL D scoring. With back-to-back solid seasons for the recently turned 20 year old, he’s a prime candidate for a call up down the home stretch. Brad Phillips
May 2015 – As a rookie-pro, Honka finished second on the team in scoring among defensemen. He also posted two points in five games for Team Finland at the WJC. His transition to the pro game was seamless and he is on track to become an NHLer as early as 2016-17. Dobber
September 2014 – Honka was among the six prospects being re-assigned prior to the Stars final preseason game and he will be AHL-bound. The terms of his transfer from JYP to Swift Current have clarified and it was determined that Honka was on-loan and not a permanent transfer which opens the door for him to play with the Texas Stars in 2014-15. With the depth of talent on D in Cedar Park it will be interesting to see how they now work Honka into the mix. Rex Doty
September 2014 – Julius Honka will be among the Stars top prospects at the 2014 Traverse City Prospects Tournament. Beyond that the Stars have yet to officially announce where Honka will start the 2014-15 season. Numerous options are on the table, but the two most likely are a return to his native Finland to play in the SM-Liiga, or heading back to the WHL Swift Current Broncos where he played in the 2013-14 season posting 56 points(16 goals, 40 assists) in 62 games. At this time Honka is not listed on the pre-season roster of Swift Current or of any pro teams in Finland. Look for word at the conclusion of the prospects tournament or early in training camp as GM Jim Nill may give him a small taste of the NHL game before sending him off to his assignment for the season.
June 2014 – The Dallas Stars selected Julius Honka 14th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Brendan Ross
February 2014 – A tremendously gifted skater possessing four-way dynamic mobility, Julius Honka gets up and down the ice more efficiently than any other defender in his class. Athletically gifted, Honka utilizes his elite hockey sense, ability to read the play quickly and poise in possession to control the tempo of the game. It’s his swift skating that allows him to pounce on turnovers and quickly turn the play up the ice for a scoring chance. Playing in an undersized and underdeveloped frame, Honka relies on his intelligence and sharp footwork to contain his opponents defensively and isn’t a liability, like most offensive defensemen can be. Brendan Ross