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Blueline prospect Nemeth progressing in Sweden

Tuesday, 07.12.2011 / 8:32 AM CT / News
By John Tranchina
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Blueline prospect Nemeth progressing in Sweden

There were some impressive prospects on the ice at the Dallas Stars’ annual development camp last week, but one of the more pleasant surprises was Swedish blueliner Patrik Nemeth.

Chosen by the Stars in the second round (41st overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-foot-3, 212-pound Nemeth stood out amidst a large contingent of defensemen, helping validate the club’s recent practice of selecting bigger players.

Following an excellent rookie season with AIK in the Swedish Elite League, during which he compiled one goal and six assists, while also registering an even plus/minus rating and averaging 17:42 of ice time in 38 games, the 19-year-old Stockholm native has demonstrated significant improvement over the past year, despite several physical setbacks.

“He had a really strong season,” said Stars Director of Scouting and Player Development Les Jackson. “He played regular in AIK and participated in the World Juniors, played hurt and looked good there. He’s a big boy, very mature. He’s in a good spot, we’ll send him back there for another year. I don’t see many barriers in his game, mostly just playing and gaining experience.”

“Last season was a good season for me, I played a lot in the Elite League in Sweden with my team,” confirmed Nemeth, who grew up idolizing former Colorado star Peter Forsberg. “I’ll be staying there this year as well, so I get another year to develop and then we’ll see what happens.”

Competing in the World Junior Championships, which took place in Buffalo, was a huge part of Nemeth’s 2010-11 season, proving his abilities on one of the biggest stages possible. In the glare of the international spotlight, Nemeth thrived, contributing one assist and a +1 rating in six games as Sweden advanced to the bronze medal game before losing to Team USA.

“It was a fun tournament,” said Nemeth, who is also eligible for the 2012 tournament. “Hopefully, I will play there this year as well and hopefully we’ll win this year. It was fun there, it was a good experience for me.”

With the strides he’s taken since joining the Dallas organization, Nemeth, who was ranked the club’s sixth-best prospect by The Hockey News recently, has insinuated himself into the mix for a possible Stars roster spot in a couple of years. Certainly, club management views him very highly.

“Patrik is a very promising prospect in our system,” said Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk. “He is a solid and physical player on the defensive side of the ice. We are looking forward to watching him develop as his career progresses.”

“He’s a smart player, he’s big, he can skate and he’s a good first passer,” Jackson added. “He manages the offensive blue line pretty well. He’s just a smart, two-way guy. He’s a guy you watch play and you don’t see many mistakes. He’s just kind of quietly good. His desire to be in Dallas is high, he’ll find a way.”

Nemeth’s unique blend of size and skill, not to mention his determination, will be key factors towards making that happen. He acknowledges that he still has aspects of his game he’d like to focus on improving next season when he returns to Sweden for another year in the Elite League.

“Probably my skating,” Nemeth said last week of the one area he’d like to upgrade most, noting that he would also be receiving some instruction from team management. “I’m a big guy, so I need to be a little bit quicker in my first three or four steps. But we’re going to have a talk and they’ll say what they think I should work on.”

As one of several big, young blueliners that could find their way onto the NHL squad over the next few years (a group that includes 2011 first-round pick Jamieson Oleksiak, recent fifth-round selection Troy Vance, and highly-touted Texas Stars blueliner Brenden Dillon, among others), Nemeth exemplifies the possible future of the Dallas defense corps.

“He’s a big, 6-foot-3 defenseman who plays a very aggressive, in-your-face type of game,” said Stars’ Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Bernhardt. “We think there’s some untapped offensive potential there, he’s got a big shot. He’s going to be a big player when it’s all said and done.”

Of course, only time will tell who makes it and who doesn’t, but for the Stars, having a wider field to harvest from can only help their chances of developing their own standouts.

“There’s a number of guys that have a chance to play,” Jackson said. “It’ll be interesting to watch them grow and move ahead, but now with the big club, we have enough guys that we can be patient with some of these guys and let them grow in the minors and in junior and Europe, in the Swedes’ case. I think we’ve stocked that cupboard pretty good, and I think it’s just a matter of time. They’ll all have to go through their learning experiences and their trials, but it definitely looks like a good group of young guys.”

The latest step on that long and winding journey brought Nemeth to town for a week to participate in his second Stars development camp, which wrapped up last Thursday at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in McKinney.

“I think it’s been a good week,” Nemeth said. “We’re working with skating and passing and shooting and all the skills we could work on. It’s been a good week. It’s mostly the same things that we did last year. When you got here, you know what was expected from you, but it wasn’t that much different. It’s been a lot of fun.”




1 DAL 24 19 5 0 84 62 38
2 STL 24 15 6 3 64 58 33
3 LAK 23 14 8 1 57 49 29
4 CHI 24 13 8 3 67 62 29
5 SJS 23 14 9 0 65 58 28
6 NSH 23 12 7 4 57 59 28
7 ARI 23 13 9 1 65 65 27
8 MIN 22 11 7 4 63 61 26
9 VAN 24 9 8 7 68 64 25
10 WPG 25 11 12 2 67 79 24
11 ANA 24 8 11 5 46 64 21
12 COL 23 9 13 1 68 70 19
13 CGY 24 8 14 2 56 86 18
14 EDM 24 8 14 2 61 74 18


J. Benn 24 18 17 11 35
T. Seguin 24 13 21 9 34
J. Klingberg 24 5 22 10 27
P. Sharp 24 8 12 3 20
J. Spezza 24 9 8 0 17
C. Eakin 24 6 6 4 12
A. Hemsky 23 3 8 1 11
J. Demers 21 4 6 6 10
A. Roussel 22 4 5 5 9
V. Fiddler 24 3 6 1 9
A. Niemi 10 4 0 .908 2.60
K. Lehtonen 9 1 0 .921 2.41 is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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