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Jim Nill

Korean players join Dallas Stars’ development camp anew

13 July 2016 Entertainment News

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Dallas, TX, United States (4E Sports) – For the second straight year, Korean players have participated in the Dallas Stars’ annual development camp.

Last year, three Korean players competed and this year, defenseman Yeong Jun Seo and forward Sang Hoon Shin, joined the camp.

"It’s very good to compete with them," said Seo , 21, who plays for Korea University. "I think it’s … a really good experience for us, not just seeing and hearing [about the game], we can actually play."

The 22-year-old Shin spent last season with Anyang Halla , which won the Asia League championship for the third time in the past seven seasons.

During the development camp, Shin first noticed how much bigger the players are compared to those in the Asia League.

"We thought the players were really good, but the only difference is the height, maybe the height and size," Shin said. "I haven’t experienced a lot of skilled play, skilled practices. This is a new, different environment. It’s good for me to see it and feel it by coming here."

Dallas general manager Jim Nill is largely responsible for the Stars having Korean players in their past two camps.

Nill has a long relationship with former NHL defenseman Jim Paek , who became the first Korean-born player in League history when he debuted with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 13, 1990, against the New York Islanders.

Part of the Penguins’ 1991 Stanley Cup championship team, Paek also played for the Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators during his six-year NHL career.

Now director of hockey for the Korea Ice Hockey Association and coach of the South Korea national team, Paek asked Nill in 2015 about having his players participate in development camp. Nill agreed and the experience has been positive on both sides.

Seo and Shin will take the experiences and apply them to their national team, which will play in its first Olympics in 2018 in PyeongChang . As the host country, South Korea automatically is qualified for the tournament.