Dallas Stars Impact Player #18: Antoine Roussel

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Antoine Roussel is #18 on our countdown of the players who can be expected to make the biggest impact on the 2014 Dallas Stars.

Antoine Roussel grew on Stars fans like a rapidly spreading fungus after his recall. Roussel almost made the roster out of training camp for a team that needed numerous spark plugs to bring energy. Roussel brought more than his share of energy after his initial recall, and because of his contributions after his recall he comes in on our list at #18.

The 22 year old Frenchman came to the Stars after being let go by the Vancouver Canucks. He became a quick fan favorite by annoying the hell out of anyone not wearing a Stars jersey. I'm pretty sure he has no real teeth remaining, and he barely speaks English. Roussel is a mix of stereotypes that don't really fit well together in theory, but in practice they work wonderfully for him.

Roussel chipped in 14 points in his first season with the Stars, including seven goals. A Youtube search of Roussel's exploits brings back hilarious results.The top three results are Roussel fighting with established NHL stars like Shea Weber, Brent Seabrook, and Jarome Iginla. The 5th result is Dustin Brown doing his thing and drilling Roussel. If you can say anything about Roussel it's that he has shown, in a limited time, the ability to annoy the top opposition players.

The new additions to the roster are likely to impact his playing time to a degree, but he wasn't expected to get much playing time last season either. Last season he made the roster out of sheer work ethic and by consistently driving the net. If he continues to play that same game there is no reason to think he can't make the roster as a fourth liner out of camp.

The biggest question concerning Roussel's ice time has more to do with who else plays well, and how many rookies break camp with the big club. Chris Mueller, Scott Glennie, Colton Sceviour, Brett Ritchie, Alex Chiasson, and Valeri Nichushkin among others are trying to make the NHL club out of camp along with Roussel. The fight for bottom six and top six wing minutes should be intense.

Ultimately Roussel is likely to produce at a similar level to last year, but over the course of the full season. His forechecking ability could make him valuable on the powerplay at some point, and his high energy is likely to make him an option to kill penalties. He showed that he does have a role in the NHL last year, but he's going to have to fight for roster spots more often than not given the limited upside of his offensive game.


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