Fresh off the Elitserie championship this week with Skelleftea, a report from a Swedish site says Dallas Stars defensive prospect John Klingberg will be joining the Texas Stars as they begin the AHL playoffs.
The implication in the piece is that he could find playing time this year, though it remains to be seen how a team with 11 defensemen on it would distribute minutes to new-comers in a do-or-die race for the Calder Cup. Texas begins their quest Friday against the Admirals (Nashville Predators).
The piece implies that the Stars would like Klingberg to come to North American next year and play with the Texas Stars (or Steelheads) but that he remains undecided. At just 20 years of age and with the number of prospects the Stars have coming out of juniors this summer, he can, perhaps, afford to be patient.
From the expressen.se article (in Swedish, translated by a program) on his current trip to Texas...
"It would be pretty damn fun to play, it will be instructive and fun," says Klingberg to Norran.
One of the great worries of my life is that some day Google Translate is going to work much better than it does now, and all of these things will seem a great deal less funny.
Meanwhile Hundred Degree Hockey says that Stars defensive prospect Troy Vance (5th rounder, 2011) is in Cedar Park working out with Stars' strength coach JJ McQueen, but is not practicing on the ice with the team.
Vance is being listed at 6'6" these days and over 200 lbs. He'll turn 20 this summer, qualifying him to play with the Texas Stars next season after three of years in major-juniors, though the Idaho Steelheads may be just as likely a destination. It looks doubtful he'd play this year but the experience with the team and a development camp in the summer will be to his benefit.
Patrik Nemeth, Kevin Connauton, Joe Morrow, Jamie Oleksiak, John Klingberg, Troy Vance, Jyrki Jokipakka... Willie Desjardins and Scott White have a glut of defensive prospects and scarce ice time to dole out now that things turn serious in the playoffs. Commodore, Wrenn and Gaunce round out their group that start vying for the Calder Cup on Friday in Milwaukee.
Just two years ago we couldn't stop writing about the "cupboard being bare" where defenseman were concerned. It's a numbers game, and the Stars purchased as many lottery tickets as they were able. The time soon approaches where they'll find out if they picked any winning numbers.
With so many in the pipe, the conversation inexorably turns to trade speculation. Might the Stars move some of these pieces for a need in another area? Intrigue abounds as the draft looms just on the other side of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.