The Dallas Stars could get a look at one of their top prospects in an NHL game soon. With Jordie Benn out due to injury, the Stars have recalled defenseman Esa Lindell from the Texas Stars of the AHL.
Lindell, a third-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, is having an excellent season with Texas. He’s tied for fourth in scoring among AHL defensemen with 25 points (7 goals, 18 assists) in 42 games.
Dallas management got a first-hand look at Lindell Sunday when Texas played at Ontario, wrapping up a three-game road trip in California.
“I know he has logged a ton of minutes with Texas. Watched him played yesterday [at Ontario] and it was a tough contest, three games in three nights,” said Dallas coach Lindy Ruff. “They’ve raved about how well he has played. I’ve heard nothing but good reports on how well he has played. The exhibition game he played for us, he played very well. Judging off that, we’ll see where it takes him.”
The 21-year-old Lindell, a left-shot, is considered a strong two-way defenseman. He was named the best defenseman in Finland’s top league last season. This is his first North American season and his first call-up to the NHL. There’s a chance he could play Tuesday against Los Angeles.
“Very excited,” Lindell said. “So far this season has been really good. I am looking forward to tomorrow, and maybe I am a little bit nervous about that, but I am trying to enjoy it.”
Since Lindell played three games in three nights over the weekend, the Stars decided to keep him out of Monday’s practice. Instead, he worked out off the ice. Ruff said it’s still up in the air if Lindell will play Tuesday against the Kings.
“That’s a decision we’ll make,” Ruff said. “We kept him off today because if we are going to play him the best thing he can do is rest. The players got their rest yesterday. I think he would have liked to have been out there, but I think the smart thing was to keep him off and get him refreshed.”
The Stars placed defenseman Jordie Benn on injured reserve Monday with a lower-body injury. Benn left Saturday’s game in San Jose after the first period with the injury and did not return.
“He got reinjured in the last game and is going to be out a period of time,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “I don’t think it is going to be too long, but it is going to be a period of time.”
Saturday was Benn’s second game back after missing two games with a lower-body injury.
“It’s all kind of sort of related. Whether it’s the same or not the same, it’s the same area,” Ruff said.
*Monday’s practice lines were the same as those used to close out Saturday’s game, which included a top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza. Cody Eakin centered the second line with Valeri Nichushkin and Patrick Sharp on the wings.
*Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, who is on a conditioning assignment in the AHL, played two games with the Texas Stars over the weekend. He had no points and a plus-one rating.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.