- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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Here’s the latest in a series looking at the top prospects of the Dallas Stars. This one looks at Swedish defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who will play in North America next season.
Nemeth, a second round pick (41st overall) in 2010, played with AIK of the Swedish Elite league this past season. He had three assists and a plus-three rating in 46 games. He had one assist in 11 playoff games as AIK made it to the Elite League semifinals.
The 20-year-old also helped Sweden win a gold medal at the 2012 World Junior Championship, registering five assists and a plus-seven rating in six games. The five assists were tops among defensemen at the tournament and his plus/minus rating tied for sixth among all players.
“He’s played the last two years in the Swedish Elite League. He’s been playing at a man’s level, so he’ll come in and most likely start in Texas but I don’t feel like he’s that far from the NHL,” said Les Jackson, Dallas Stars Director of Player Personnel. “It’s just a matter of going down there and playing and adjusting to the everyday lifestyle of the North American game and culture.”
Nemeth came to North America after his season with AIK ended, but did not play with Texas due to an injury suffered in the Swedish Elite League playoffs. But Jackson said it did help the defenseman get a glimpse of what life will be like in the AHL.
“Unfortunately he was hurt or he would have been in the lineup,” Jackson said. “It was good for him. He came over and traveled a little bit with the team and he had a chance to work out with J.J. McQueen (Stars Player Develop Coordinator) and Brad Jellis (Stars Head Strength and Conditioning Coach) up in Dallas, so he got the first segment of his summer program for training. We’ll see him again in July (at development camp).”
The Stars see Nemeth as a good two-way defenseman. He has size (listed at 6-3, 215 pounds), doesn’t shy away from the physical stuff, he skates well and makes a good first pass.
“I think he’s knocking on the door,” Jackson said. “He’s a real competitive kid. He plays a real consistent game. I think he’s around it, being a really good NHL player.”
Background on Dallas Stars prospect Patrik Nemeth
29dFrom the NHLPA