The Dallas Stars have announced that they are assigning Jamie Oleksiak and Richard Bachman to the AHL in order to get down to the 23 man roster to begin the NHL season.
While it was expected to see Oleksiak return to Austin, there was a question about whether Christopher Nilstorp or Richard Bachman would remain as the back up goalie for Dallas.
A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that the plan was to send Bachman back to Austin in order to get some game experience this season. While nothing was set in stone, it now appears that this will be the case as the season gets under way. This should not be seen as a demotion for Bachman, but rather a chance to get back into form after not having played during the lockout. This way, he can play some valuable minutes and be ready to go at a moments notice, rather than continuing to sit on the bench in Dallas.
Nilstorp has shown himself to be a capable goalie during his time in the AHL, and should be a reliable backup while Bachman is in Austin. The goal tending position for the Dallas Stars appears to be extremely solid, and Stars fans can feel confident with any three of the goalies in net.
Oleksiak, meanwhile, will continue to get the experience he needs down in Austin, no doubt playing on the top defensive pairing while he is there. Should Dallas suffer any injuries on the defense at any point during the season (and there will be injuries), expect Oleksiak to be called up at least as the #7 defenseman, and may even see some real playing time as the season wears on.
With these assignments, the Dallas Stars have now officially cut their roster down to the required 23, and are ready to face the Phoenix Coyotes tomorrow night for the season opener. Mark Stepneski at Stars Inside Edge has a full roster list, which you can view here.
There are a number of players on that roster who have yet to see any real playing time at the NHL level. Reilly Smith, Colton Sceviour, and Antoine Roussel are the newer forwards. On defense, as expected, are Jordie Benn and Brenden Dillon. Each of these players have less than 4 games of NHL experience, yet the Stars are going to have to rely on them in order to succeed.
Whenever Jamie Benn returns, it is likely that Roussel will be the player sent down to make room on the roster, since Sceviour would have to first pass through waivers if he were to return to Austin.It will be interesting to see how much ice time these players will receive as the season begins, and who will be the healthy scratches on a nightly basis.