FRISCO, Texas (Dallas Stars/Michigan Tech) – Former Michigan Tech hockey player Joel L’Esperance signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced on Sunday (Oct. 11). L’Esperance has appeared in 21 games for the Stars over the past two seasons and has three career NHL goals.
L’Esperance originally signed a two-year deal with Dallas in July 2018 as an undrafted free agent after beginning his professional career with an amateur tryout agreement in March 2018 with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.
The Brighton, Michigan native appeared in three regular-season games for Dallas at the beginning of the 2019-20 season. He scored one goal and had two penalty minutes. L’Esperance also recorded 40 points (25G-15A) in 58 games with the Texas Stars in 2019-20. L’Esperance finished the season tied for 10th in the AHL and first on Texas with 25 goals, while he ranked second on the team with his 40 points. The center was sixth in the AHL with a team-leading 11 power-play goals and led Texas with four game-winning goals.
In his first full pro season in 2018-19, L’Esperance played 18 games for Dallas in the regular season and scored a pair of goals. He also scored 30 AHL goals to rank ninth in the league in scoring while leading the Texas Stars. He was second amongst all rookies in the AHL in goals and also added 15 assists in 54 games. L’Esperance scored 13 power-play goals and five game-winning goals and was named to the 2020 AHL All-Star Game. In 121 career AHL games, he has 56 goals and 31 assists for 87 points.
L’Esperance played four seasons for Michigan Tech, appearing in 152 career games from 2014-18. He was an alternate captain as a senior and finished with 98 career points, racking up over 25 points in each of his final three seasons. In 20 career playoff games, he had 23 points on 10 goals and 13 assists while finding the scoresheet in all three NCAA games with two assists and a goal.
L’Esperance was a member of a senior class that won 97 games—the most since the 1984 class. The class was the first since 1978 to have a winning record all four seasons. They took the Huskies to three NCAA Tournaments, won a pair of WCHA Tournament Titles, won the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular season champs as sophomores, and were ranked the No. 1 team in the nation in 2014-15 after a program-best 10-0 start. They also won the Desert Hockey Classic in 2015-16 and the Ice Breaker Championship as seniors.
Before his career at Tech, L’Esperance played two seasons in the USHL. He spent the first half of 2013-14 with the Tri-City Storm, compiling 34 points (21G-13A) in 35 games before joining the Sioux City Musketeers. He had 14 points (6G-8A) in 25 games in Sioux City during the regular season and then helped the team to the USHL Western Conference Finals. He played for Compuware before joining Tri-City.