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Stars first-rounder Dickinson will debut tonight

2013 NHL Draft - Portraits

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 30: Jason Dickinson poses for a portrait after being selected number twenty nine overall in the first round by the Dallas Stars during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Although not under ideal circumstances, the Dallas Stars will show off an important piece of their future tonight even as they work towards far more immediate goals.

The Dallas Stars announced that Jason Dickinson has been summoned on an emergency basis. The squad is adding an extra forward because Jason Spezza is battling an illness.

Dickinson will consequently draw into the lineup, per Mark Stepneski of the Stars’ official website.

At the age of 20, Dickinson is one of Dallas’ top forward prospects. He was selected with the 29th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. In 2015-16, he’s scored 20 goals and 50 points in 69 contests as a rookie with the AHL’s Texas Stars.

Thursday’s contest is an opportunity for him to make his NHL debut and thus give him a taste of what he’s working towards, but this game is also important for the Stars’ playoff picture. Dallas and St. Louis are tied atop the Central Division in terms of points, but the Stars have the edge thanks to the tiebreaker ROW. If Dallas beats Colorado tonight then that will go a long way towards securing not only the division title, but also the top seed in the Western Conference.

Related: Dallas has prospects ‘everybody wants,’ but Nill isn’t ‘giving them up’