Opportunity Knocks for Patrik Nemeth

Monday, 03.31.2014 / 1:25 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Opportunity Knocks for Patrik Nemeth

The Dallas Stars recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth from the Texas Stars Monday, and it appears he’s not just going to be an extra body for the team’s upcoming four-game road trip through the Eastern Conference.

“Nemeth will play,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “He’ll play tomorrow.”

That means the 22-year-old Swedish defenseman, Dallas’ second round pick (41st overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft, will make his NHL debut against the Washington Capitals Tuesday night.

“This is what I’ve been waiting for since I came to North America,” said Nemeth. “It feels great, so it is going to be a lot of fun.”

Nemeth has played the last two seasons with the Texas Stars of the AHL following four years of pro hockey in Sweden, including two years in that country’s top league. He’s played 84 games with Texas over the past two seasons, recording 22 points (4 goals, 18 assists) and a plus-30 rating. He has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) and a team-high plus-19 rating in 37 games this season.

“He’s played really well down there. He’s defended well. He’s been in on a little bit of offense,” said Ruff. “I’ve just heard a lot of good things about the way he’s been playing, and he had a good preseason for us.”

There’s nothing fancy about Nemeth’s game. He’s a solid defensive defenseman, he’s big (6-3, 235 pounds) and can play with a bit of an edge. Stars defenseman Jordie Benn, who played with Nemeth last season with Texas during the NHL lockout, provides a scouting report.

“He’s a big Swede. He’s a very good defensive player, keeps everything pretty simple,” Benn said. “He never puts himself in a scenario where he gets stuck. He makes that first pass pretty well, he can skate. He’s just a good, sound defensive defenseman.”

And that’s what Nemeth is hoping to bring at the NHL level.

“Hopefully just a strong defensive game, good decisions with the puck and hard to play against,” Nemeth said.

Nemeth got the call up due to Aaron Rome being injured in Saturday’s 4-2 win in St. Louis. Nemeth has had his share of injury problems over the last two seasons. He missed extensive time with a concussion last season and was out earlier this season with a broken foot. It’s slowed his development a bit, and prevented him from getting called up earlier in the season when Dallas was hard hit by injuries on the blue line. But Nemeth said he has tried to make the best of the situation.

“I missed a lot of games, but at the same time you realize that you have to work hard and when I’ve been out I’ve been able to work on other stuff, upper body strength and conditioning,” he said. “That stuff is pretty good now. Some good things come with it, but it has been frustrating.”

Even the drive to Frisco from Cedar Park for Monday’s practice was a little frustrating. It took Nemeth a couple extra hours to make the trip, but like the journey to get his first shot at the NHL, it was worth it.

“It was a long trip. It took me five hours, a lot of traffic,” Nemeth said. “But it was a fun drive, and it is good to be here.”

Injury Notes: Cole will travel

Stars forward Erik Cole, who has missed the last five games with an upper body injury, did not practice Monday. He did skate Sunday and will travel with the team on the team’s four-game road trip.

“He is still day to day and is progressing, which is encouraging,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I feel if he keeps progressing there is a chance he could play at the tail end of this road trip.”

Aaron Rome, who was injured in Saturday’s game against St. Louis, did not practice Monday.

“Rome will travel. He stayed off the ice today, but he will travel,” Ruff said.

Faksa, Klingberg headed to AHL

Two of the Dallas Stars’ top prospects are scheduled to join the Texas Stars of the AHL this week. Center Radek Faksa is expected to join the team Tuesday. Faksa, Dallas’ first round pick (13th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, had his junior season end Friday when Sudbury was eliminated in the first round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.

Defenseman John Klingberg, Dallas’ fifth round pick (131st overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft, is expected to join Texas later in the week, spend some time there and then return to Sweden to try to make that country’s roster for the World Championship.

“He is coming over here until the end of April and then he’s heading back over there for [Sweden’s World Championship] training camp,” said Dallas GM Jim Nill. “It’s the best of both worlds. He gets to come over here and get some experience, and then he’ll head back there for their training camp and hopefully he makes their team. If he doesn’t, we’ll bring him back if [Texas] is still in the playoffs.”

Klingberg’s season ended in Sweden when Frolunda was knocked out in the first round of the Swedish Hockey League playoffs.

Monday’s practice lineup

Here’s how the Stars lined up in Monday morning’s practice in Frisco.

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt
Shawn HorcoffVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour
Ray WhitneyDustin JeffreyAlex Chiasson

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Jordie BennBrenden Dillon
Patrik Nemeth/Kevin ConnautonSergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen
Tim Thomas

Not skating: Aaron Rome (lower body), Erik Cole (upper body), Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat)

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.




1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
J. Benn 13 5 10 2 15
J. Spezza 13 5 8 0 13
C. Eakin 13 1 7 -4 8
A. Goligoski 13 4 3 -6 7
P. Sharp 13 4 2 -4 6
P. Eaves 9 3 3 3 6
R. Faksa 13 3 2 2 5
M. Janmark 12 2 3 -3 5
C. Sceviour 11 2 3 1 5
J. Klingberg 13 1 3 -5 4
K. Lehtonen 6 3 0 .899 2.81
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .865 3.29
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