The Dallas Stars announced on Monday morning the team has recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth from the Texas Stars. The 2010 second round draft pick has rocketed up the depth chart for defensemen in the system the past two years and has solidified himself as perhaps the best blueliner in Austin this season. He leads the team in plus/minus (not the greatest stat, but that's all we have to work with sometimes with the AHL) and has easily become the most physically intimidating prospect currently in the system.
Nemeth has played just 37 games this season, due to a stress fracture that took him out for a few months, and last season battled through concussion issues. When healthy, however, it's become clear that he is capable of shutting down the best the opposition has to offer and is capable of playing in all situations. He's not the most offensively gifted defenseman but is very capable with the puck and makes smart decisions when moving up the ice, along with being a nasty physical presence in front of his own net.
The reason for the callup is not immediately clear, but with Aaron Rome being shaken up against the Blues it's possible this callup is just for insurance purposes for Lindy Ruff -- he's shown he wants the option between puck-mover (Kevin Connauton) and more physical (Rome) at times this season. There's also the fact that an illness has been making its way through the locker room, and this could be part of that.
We'll see what Ruff has to say later today.
Update: It appears Rome is in fact injured:
Aaron Rome not practicing today, injured in Saturday's game which is why Patrik Nemeth was recalled today.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) March 31, 2014
Here's the press release.
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth from the Texas Stars, Dallas' development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Nemeth, 22, has posted 10 points (3-7=10) and a team leading +19 plus/minus rating in 37 games played for Texas this season. The native of Stockholm, Sweden is in his second North American professional hockey season, where he has earned 22 points (4-18=22) in 84 career AHL contests.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound defenseman was drafted by Dallas in the second round (41st overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft and was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract on April 21, 2011.