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Stars Prospect Patrik Nemeth Keeps it Simple

Nemeth, the Stars’ second round pick in 2010, will be making the jump to North America this season

Monday, 08.13.2012 / 1:46 PM CT / Feature
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars Prospect Patrik Nemeth Keeps it Simple

Dallas Stars prospect Patrik Nemeth keeps it simple when it comes to media interviews. His answers to questions are straight forward and to the point. That reflects the way he plays. There’s nothing fancy about Nemeth’s game, but he gets the job done and does it well. And that’s why the Swedish defenseman is so highly regarded by the Stars.

“He plays a real consistent game,” said Les Jackson, Dallas Stars Director of Player Personnel. “He’s all-in. He has a passion to play and he’s got ability. That’s a pretty good combination to advance.”

Nemeth, the Stars’ second round pick (41st overall) in 2010, will be making the jump to North America this season after spending the last two seasons with AIK in Sweden’s top league.

“Here’s a kid who has played two years against men. In some ways, he’s ahead of a lot of the guys going into Texas,” said Les Jackson, Dallas Stars Director of Player Personnel. “He’s had two years in the Swedish Elite League, he’s played in the last two World Junior Championships for Sweden. He’s a kid with a great attitude, he’s a great teammate and he has a great base of abilities. I sense he is going to go in there and do well right off the hop.”

The 20-year-old native of Stockholm played more than 100 Swedish Elite League games– 84 in the regular season and 18 in the postseason.

“It’s been a good two years and I feel I am ready to take the step to North America,” said Nemeth.

In the 84 regular season games he had 11 points (1 goal, 10 assists) and a plus-4 rating. The offensive numbers don’t jump out at you, but he’s considered a well-rounded defenseman. He’s solid defensively, can move the puck and does have some offensive attributes.

“He’s got a little bit of everything in the game. I think the base is defending and advancing the puck,” said Jackson. “I don’t know what his upside offensively will be, but he’s good on the penalty kill, he’s a good defender, he’s a good skater and he’s got a good shot from the point. Time will tell, but right now he has a good base to work with for sure.”

Nemeth did show some offensive flair at the 2012 World Junior Championship, picking up five assists in six games as Sweden won the gold medal. Those five assists were tops among all defensemen at the tournament. He assisted on two game-winning goals, including the only goal in Sweden’s 1-0 win over Russia in the championship game.

“It was fun,” Nemeth said. “I played in two World Juniors. It’s a short tournament, but it’s good.”

As is the case with many young players, there is still plenty to work on for Nemeth, who was among the Dallas prospects who took part in the team’s development camp in Frisco last month.

“You want to work on everything,” he said. “You want to improve your puck skills, your skating and your shot. It’s everything.”

Nemeth, who shoots left-handed, is physical and can play with a bit of a mean streak. He possesses good size (6-3, 212 pounds) and strength.

“He’s one strong human being,” said J.J. McQueen, Dallas Stars Player Development Coordinator. “I’d put him at the strength of (Nicklas) Grossmann and (Mattias) Norstrom. He’s a very strong man.”

Nemeth’s often been compared to Grossmann, the former Dallas defenseman and fellow Swede, and it’s a comparison he welcomes.

“I know him personally,” said Nemeth. “He’s a good guy and a very good hockey player. It’s fun.”

Making the move from Europe means Nemeth will have to adjust to playing in North America. Part of that will be playing on the smaller ice surface. The 2012 World Juniors, which were played in Canada, gave him a taste of that.

“It’s a bit different,” said Nemeth. “I don’t know what happens in the fall, but we’ll see.”

He got a glimpse of what the American Hockey League looks like late last season. After AIK was eliminated from the Swedish Elite League playoffs, Nemeth spent some time with the Texas Stars. He wasn’t able to play due to an injury, but did watch a few AHL games and familiarize himself with the Texas organization.

“I haven’t seen American League games before,” Nemeth said. “I saw two games down there and thought it was pretty good hockey. It was a good experience to see how they played and how the games were.”

Nemeth is expected to start next season in Texas, but Jackson believes the Swedish defenseman is close to challenging for playing time at the highest level of hockey.

“I don’t feel like he’s that far from the NHL,” Jackson said. “It’s just a matter of going down there and playing and adjusting to the everyday lifestyle of the North American game and culture. I think he’s knocking on the door.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 54 28 33 16 61
T. Seguin 54 28 30 11 58
J. Klingberg 54 9 35 15 44
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 54 16 24 -1 40
A. Goligoski 54 4 20 17 24
C. Eakin 54 10 13 1 23
M. Janmark 54 10 10 13 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 51 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 14 5 0 .909 2.82
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