Dallas Stars Sign Matej Stransky To Entry-Level Contract; Nystrom May Return Vs. Sharks

Some Dallas Stars news tidbits this afternoon...

The Dallas Stars announced today that the team has signed forward prospect Matej Stransky to a three-year entry-level contract. Stransky was drafted by the Stars in the sixth round of last summer's draft and was seen as somewhat of a "project", but one that could potentially turn into a late-round steal. Stransky, who had just 26 points in 76 games his first season in the WHL, certainly showcased this potential after he was drafted as he led the Saskatoon Blades in scoring with 39 goals and 82 points in 70 games.

If you've been reading this site at all this season then you know just how excited we've been about Stransky this year.

Stransky, a big-bodied playmaker at 6'3", 205, has received high praise from scouts this season and has drawn comparisons at times to Jaromir Jagr in regards to his ability to protect the puck and use his size to his advantage in making plays from the boards. He's has good speed for his size and steadily has become a very promising playmaker -- not just a legitimate goal-scorer. The Blades weren't the most defensively-capable team in the WHL this past season yet Stransky helped lead them to the playoffs, where they were unfortunately ousted by Medicine Hat in the first round.

Here are some good highlights of one of Stransky's best games this season, a 3-1 win over Swift Current. Some more good highlights here. You can also see Stransky's season stats here.

For those that are wondering, his first name is pronounced "mah-tay", although I've heard announcers say it almost like "mah-thew" at times this season.

When Stransky was drafted I was told by several sources that this could be one heck of a steal for the Stars. There's potential here for Stransky to become a legit NHL-caliber player and one that could become a playmaker from the wings that the Stars are desperately in need of. He's still just 18 and has several years to develop but for now, there's a lot of excitement over what he could potentially become for this hockey team.

Some Stars practice notes after the jump...

The big news, if there is such a thing right now, is that forward Eric Nystrom appears ready to return to the ice after missing several games with a lacerated leg.

Here were the lines at practice today, according to Mike Heika;

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Ott-Benn-Burish
Garbutt-Fiddler-Vincour
Morrow-Dowell-Petersen
Nystrom-Wandell-Smith

The big debate here is what to do with the fourth line, since Glen Gulutzan has a few very tough choices to make. Radek Dvorak is going to be a morning-skate decision tomorrow so there's a chance we see that old line back together as well. The educated guess is that Reilly Smith is another healthy scratch, with Morrow-Wandell-Vincour making up that fourth line. That's just a guess, there's not telling what will actually happen.

The other news was that Philip Larsen missed practice with an illness (the same one that hit Wandell?) although he's expected to play with Alex Goligoski tomorrow on the third pairing.

We'll have more thoughts on this situation tomorrow.

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