Tuesday notes: Joe Nieuwendyk talks open roster spots

Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk talked about open roster spots during a chat with the media at the team’s practice facility in Frisco Tuesday afternoon.

“We have, legitimately, three spots probably there,” Nieuwendyk said. “We have one on the backend and two up front. That’s been the silver lining in all this is that we’ve been able to keep a close eye on them (players with the Texas Stars), and the young guys have been leading the way down there. It’s been refreshing. Cody Eakin has been real consistent for them, and he’ll be on our club and then we’ll see from there.”

Asked about some of the players fans should keep an eye on in the battle for roster spots, the Stars GM threw out a few names.

“It’s no secret that we have three top prospects on the blue line in Jordie Benn, Brenden Dillon and Jamie Oleksiak. Those kids have all played well,” Nieuwendyk said. “The beauty of it is if we do happen to keep one we’re not married to that particular player. We can always interchange players and bring them up and down because of our proximity and the way they are playing.

“Up front, Cody Eakin has established himself and will be a good player for us. There’s opportunity for (Tomas) Vincour. Alex Chiasson has made great strides over the last month.”

Nieuwendyk also mentioned forward Colton Sceviour, who missed the first seven games of the season with a hand injury but has played well since his return.

“He doesn’t get the notoriety of some of the other prospects, but he is a pretty consistent player down there,” Nieuwendyk said.

The Stars GM said the forwards from the AHL in the hunt for spots are likely to fill roles on the team’s third and fourth lines.

“That’s why Sceviour is in the conversation. He’s a reliable, steady player. He never gives you a night off,” Nieuwendyk said.

More players join skate in Frisco

Nieuwendyk said he thinks all the Stars players could be in town by Thursday. On Tuesday, defenseman Philip Larsen and forward Ryan Garbutt to join the pre-camp skate in Frisco.

“I’m really excited to be back,” Larsen said. “I got in last night, so I still a little tired, but it is good to be here a couple of days before everything starts.”

Larsen spent part of the lockout playing in Finland, where he registered 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 27 games with Lukko of the SM-Liiga.

“It was really good,” said Larsen. “I got to play with some buddies from the national team in Denmark, Mikkel Boedker (Phoenix Coyotes) and Frans Nielsen (New York Islanders). We had fun, and the team there was a good group of guys. We played a lot and kept in shape.”

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