How Wyatt Johnston quickly became part of the Pavelski family
The Stars 20-year-old forward has an open option to stay with his landlord for another season.
They were arguably the most famous roommates in DFW last year.
Or better yet, the most famous landlord-tenant combo.
Wyatt Johnston, then a 19-year-old, lived with Joe Pavelski, then 38, and his family throughout the 2023-24 season. It was an arrangement that Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill approached Pavelski about, and it had better net results than anyone could have expected.
On the ice, Johnston played all 82 regular season games, scored 24 goals as a teenager in the NHL, and dealt the death blow to the Seattle Kraken in Game 7 of the second round to move Dallas into the Western Conference Final.
Pavelski continued to break traditional NHL aging curves. He scored 77 points (28 goals, 49 assists), had 14 points in 14 playoff games and became the oldest player in NHL history to score four goals in one game, when he did so against Seattle in his first game back from a concussion.
There were a couple reasons for the Pavelski-Johnston living arrangement. For starters, it made sense from a mentorship perspective, when it comes to “learning to be a pro,” it’s hard to find a better example than Pavelski. It also made more logistical sense, because despite the Stars plans for Johnston to spend the entire season on the NHL roster, they wanted to avoid the “get a place,” conversation a GM has with a player when they know they aren’t going back to juniors (or the AHL) and keep a carrot for Johnston to continue pushing for.
The Pavelskis — remember this is a family decision — enjoyed having Johnston live with them so much last season, that they re-extended the offer for this season. Johnston still has his key, and perhaps most importantly gets along great with Joe and Sarah’s teenage son, Nate.
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