Stars AHL prospects update

By Tanya Lyon

The Iowa Stars are currently fourth place in the AHL West Division with a record of 21-16-1, going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

The Dallas Stars have 11 prospects playing for their namesake AHL affiliate, four of whom are playing in their first professional season.

Forwards

Marty Sertich, C

Coming off an impressive career at Colorado College, the undrafted Marty Sertich signed a two-year deal with the Stars this summer. The 2005 Hobey Baker Award winner seems to have had no problem adjusting to the pro game. He currently ranks third on the Iowa Stars with 25 points and 13th among league rookies in scoring.

Sertich currently has nine goals, three of which have come on the power play. At just 5’8, and 165 pounds, Sertich has greatly benefited from the new rules and the crackdown on obstruction.

Vojtech Polak, RW

Second-year player Vojtech Polak is also having a strong season for the Stars. He is on pace to break last year’s point total of 34 points in 60 games. This season he ranks fourth on the team in points scored with 10 goals and 14 assists in 31 games played.

The Czech native has thus far improved his defensive play as well and is a +3, an improvement over last year’s -5. Polak is one of three Stars prospects who have already seen action with the NHL club. Polak appeared in two games for Dallas and was pointless. He averaged 7:42 minutes of ice time and finished a -1.

Marius Holtet, RW

Holtet is another player who has improved over last season. The native of Norway has eight goals and nine assists in 26 games played. Holtet has been great on the Iowa penalty kill, helping the Stars to two short-handed goals, tied for the team lead.

Loui Eriksson, LW

Eriksson is in his second professional season with the Stars and has been called up by Dallas. In his 15 games played with the Iowa club, Eriksson has eight points and was a -5. Eriksson has already played in 27 games with Dallas, notching four goals and ten points, including two power-play goals. Due to the injury situation in Dallas, Eriksson will get an extended look.

John Lammers, LW

Lammers is in his first professional season with the Stars after playing four full seasons in the WHL. The Newcastle, Ontario native is coming off a career year in the WHL but thus far into his rookie season, he is still finding his pro game. In his rookie season games with the Iowa Stars, the left wing has three goals and seven assists.

Francis Wathier, LW

Wathier is in his second professional season and second season with the Iowa Stars. He has split the season thus far between Iowa and the Stars ECHL affiliate the Idaho Steelheads. In 17 games at the ECHL level, Wathier has scored four goals and 13 points. He was recalled to Iowa on Dec. 9. In 16 games played, the St. Isidore, Ontario native has improved on last season in games played and points scored. In 16 games, the 6’3, 198-pound forward has scored three points and is a -3. Wathier was named to the ECHL All Star team, but a replacement was named for him since he’s still up with the Stars.

Defense

Mario Scalzo, D

Scalzo is in his second professional season with the Iowa Stars. The defenseman has three goals and 10 assists in 32 games played. While he is on pace to nearly match his point total from last season, he will likely set a personal high for penalty minutes in the AHL. In just 32 games, Scalzo has already amassed 42 penalty minutes, equal to the number of penalty minutes he amassed last season.

Scalzo was selected to play for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup and thus missed some games in December for that tournament, held in Switzerland.

Mark Fistric, D

Fistric is also in his first professional hockey season after spending four full seasons in the WHL. In his debut season for the Stars, the Edmonton, Alberta native has scored 10 points in 38 games played. But at 6’2, 232 pounds, Fistric isn’t known for putting up high point totals and understands the role he brings to a team. Fistric currently ranks third on the Stars roster with 45 penalty minutes.

Nicklas Grossman, D

Grossman is in his second professional season with the Stars. In just 30 games, he has already eclipsed his previous point total from last season of five points, with eight this year.

Grossman is a solid defenseman and has also improved his plus/minus. His +13 leads the team and puts him 15th in the AHL for plus/minus. Grossman made his NHL debut for the Dallas Stars on Dec. 2 in a game against the Minnesota Wild. He played in two games for Dallas and averaged 12:34 minutes of ice time per game. At 6’3, 206 pounds, the Stockholm native appears to be the Stars’ most NHL-ready blueliner in terms of physical and defensive play.

Matt Nickerson, D

Nickerson is in his second professional season and first season with the Iowa Stars. The 2003 third-round draft pick spent last season in Finland. In his rookie season with the Stars, he is still waiting to score his first point at the AHL level despite playing in 24 games this season. The 6’4, 238-pound blueliner has been solid defensively and is tied for third on the team with a +4. Nickerson is not afraid to use his size and is known for having a mean streak. The blueliner ranks second on the team with 74 penalty minutes.

Goaltender

Tobias Stephan, G

Stephan is currently in his first professional season with the Stars. He has appeared in 17 games and owns an even record of 8-8-0, including one shutout. The Switzerland native ranks 20th overall in the league and sixth among rookies with a 2.73 goals against average. He was called up to Dallas this week, but has not played.

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