The trade deadline is tomorrow, and that means many teams are looking at their teams, and making tough decisions about how to improve their squad. Others are selling assets to acquire players of the future and getting rid of expiring contracts. Well that is the case for the Stars as they have traded veteran winger Erik Cole to the Detroit Red Wings for a 2nd round pick in the 2015 NHL entry draft and two prospects, Mattias Backman and Mattias Janmark. Going to Detroit will be Erik Cole and a conditional third round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. If Detroit makes the Eastern Conference Finals and Cole plays in 50% of those games then the Stars get the third round pick back. The Stars retained none of Cole’s cap.
I don’t necessarily like the trade, because I do not like losing Erik Cole from the roster. He provided some much needed goal scoring and a big body up front who was their leading hitter. Cole is also in the final year of his contract, set to become a free agent in the offseason. So the Stars did not want to risk losing him in free agency for nothing, but I wish he was extended at least one year, to be a solid backup goal scoring winger if younger players like Brett Ritchie are not ready, and if Val Nichushkin needs more time to recover from his hip surgery. None the less the trade is done.
About the prospects the Stars acquired, Mattias Backstrom is a 22 year old defenseman from Sweden. He was drafted in the 5th round in 2011 by the Detroit Red Wings.
Bäckman is an offensive defenseman with good on-ice vision and mobility. Contributes offensively by delivering clever passes and a good shot. There are still areas to improve when it comes to his physical game and strength (EP, 2012)
Despite his size, Backman doesn’t play a particularly physical or powerful game. He is a simple, economical defenseman who makes the smart play and knows to play within himself. He’s an excellent skater for his size, makes a good first pass and makes good decisions with and without the puck. He won’t wow you, but he won’t often be beat or get caught cheating either.
After making big strides forward in 2013-14 Backman appears ready to challenge for an NHL job. A crowded defense corps in Detroit will make that a challenge, and he may have to spend another season in Grand Rapids.
Mattias Janmark is a 22 year old center drafted in the third round by the Red Wings in the 2013 draft.
Has both offensive upside and defensive intelligence. Not a physical player, but a skilled forechecker who can translate that into scoring opportunities. Offensively, Janmark-Nylen is adept at both scoring and distributing the puck.
anmark had to find a new SHL team for 2014-15 after AIK was demoted. He eventually signed with Frolunda and will look to replicate the offensive success he had in the first half of 2013-14, when he appeared to project as a future top six forward in the NHL.
(Photo: Jordan Saleh)