DALLAS -- Shortly after trading left wing Erik Cole to the Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill discussed the two prospects, defenseman Mattias Backman and center Mattias Janmark, the Stars received in return.
Backman, 22, was a fifth-round pick (No. 146) by Detroit in the 2011 NHL Draft. He played 18 games for Grand Rapids in the American Hockey League earlier this season before being loaned to Linkopings HC in the Swedish Hockey League.
Nill was an assistant general manager with the Red Wings when Backman was drafted, so he knows Backman well.
"He's a defenseman, a good puck-moving defenseman," Nill said. "He came over and played a few games at Grand Rapids start of the season and went back to Sweden. But he's very close to being an NHL-ready defenseman, just needs to gain strength in that but real good skill, good hockey sense."